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Decades-old animal shelter in urgent need of an upgrade


Decades-old animal shelter in urgent need of an upgrade

Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge is holding its annual Paws for a Cause fundraiser.

A Sunshine Coast animal shelter in need of “dire” repairs is hoping an annual fundraiser will give comfort to animals in care.

Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge (SCARS) is holding it Paws for a Cause fundraiser on May 29, something president Penny Brischke says will contribute to funding building repairs.

“We have been running since 1979, so most of our facilities are 42 years old and as you can imagine that makes for a lot of wear and tear on buildings,” Ms Brischke says. “Two of our dog buildings are desperately in need of some refurbishments – it’s a couple of years overdue.”

The current buildings are made of besser block with wire fences overlooking the rest of the shelter.

“We’ve got very base-grade accommodation for them at the moment.

“It’s not overly good for dogs that have behavioural issues or anxiety because it is a highly stimulated environment out there.”

The refurbishment project is estimated to cost about $200,000 for 20 new dog enclosures.

“What we’ve had drawn up to build is something that will provide much better spaces for the dogs to actually be waiting in while they’re waiting to be adopted.

“They’re lower-stimulus pens, they block out noise, they’re cooler, they’re more like a room rather than a pen and that’s really important to us to rehabilitate them while they are there.”

The fundraising event, on May 29, will include a three-course lunch at Buderim.

“We are allowed to bring along some of our fury friends, which is really special and something a bit different for people” Ms Brischke says. “The crowd get to connect with the cause, which is a fabulous thing.

“The last one we did in 2019, we even had a few people interested in the animals and most of the animals that came along actually found homes afterwards.”

Ms Brischke hopes businesses and individuals will help SCARS reach its goal through a sponsorship initiative.

“We will be introducing a program where local business can get on board. We are looking at something like ‘The Shelter the Community Built’.

“We will be inviting businesses or individuals to sponsor a pen.”

Businesses are also welcome to donate prizes for silent and live auctions at the Paws for a Cause fundraiser.

Ms Brischke says the shelter is seeing an influx of animals as a direct result of the rental crisis. “At the moment we have about 50 animals on site – cats and dogs – but we also have a foster program we run and there would probably be about 30 to 40 [animals] out there.”

Businesses interested in sponsorship opportunities can email General donations can be made at

Limited tickets to the fundraiser are available. Search for ‘SCARS Paws for a Cause Long Lunch’ at

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