Random Acts of Kindness
renovation fails animal shelter
A Random Act of Kindness may spell a death sentence for a struggling animal welfare shelter that rescues and rehomes animals otherwise destined to die.
Pets Haven in Woodend, Victoria, underwent a generous renovation thanks to the popular program screened on Channel 9, Random Acts of Kindness, featuring Karl Stefanovic, Scott Cam and Simmone Jade MacKinnon.
But even with the massive make-over, the shelter has failed to comply with Victoria's animal practices code and proprietor Trish Burke claims she can't afford to now bring her shelter up to strict industry standards.
Pets Haven has just weeks to make major changes that could cost tens of thousands dollars Ms Burke said she has no hope of raising.
She said the shelter had already attracted the attention of the Macedon Ranges Shire and the Department of Primary Industries following complaints by a disgruntled former employee.
"But I think being highlighted on the show last month just exacerbated everything and brought it to a head."
Ms Burke agreed the shelter also failed to comply on the grounds of staff training, record keeping and dealing with waste water.
Random Acts of Kindness is produced and made by Cornerbox in Sydney and broadcast by Nine.
Ms Burke claims structural changes to the shelter during the televised renovation included new cat cages and sewage works that do not comply with state guidelines.
"What was meant to have been a random act of kindness has turned into heartache and heartbreak for me and all the shelter volunteers,"Ms Burke said.
"As soon as I walked in and saw what the program had done, I knew we were in trouble in terms of failing to meet Department of Primary Industry guidelines governing the running of an animal shelter.
Ms Burke said the show's organisers spent just a few days making major changes to the shelter that has run on a shoestring since 2002.
As with the normal format, she was sent on a surprise trip away and the work was carried out in secret in her absence.
"But as soon as I walked in and saw the changes I knew there were problems,"she said.
"I asked the girls who were here when it was done if they showed the program producers the code they had to comply with and they said they had.
"But work done includes obvious breaches, including using fencing wire on cages instead of wiring that prevents people from putting their fingers in to pet the animals."
Producers of Random Acts of Kindness could not be contacted nor could Macedon Ranges or DPI spokespeople.
By Kelly Ryan
July 13, 2009 12:00am
❊ Address & Contact ❊
⊜ 6, 130 High St, Woodend | Map
✆ (03) 5427 3603
❊ Web Links ❊
→ Random Acts of Kindness
→ Source: Daily Telegraph
→ Pets Haven Pro Life Animal Shelter
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