By Alesha Capone
All 4 Paws Dog Rescue has saved more than 650 dogs during the past three years.
The volunteer-run group rescues and rehomes dogs from pounds, and also takes in surrenders, including pregnant dogs and senior canines.
All 4 Paws was founded by Altona Meadows resident Maryanne Kovach and her friend Danni McRae, with the encouragement of their friends Terri Sutton and Arianne Spratt.
Ms Kovach said that she enjoyed bringing people together who have a “positive outlook” on rescue dogs.
At the moment, Ms Kovach is looking after some pups which came into care at just four days old.
The puppies, which are a staghound and border collie mix, were rejected by their birth mother but another dog – a mixed-breed named Jade – who had just finished whelping her own litter took over as their foster mother.
“It took her a few days to accept them but in between bottle feeds, toileting and sharing the load with our amazing carer Teena Hussey,” Ms Kovach said.
She said that it often cost thousands of dollars to help rescued dogs.
“We never know what we are getting, such as Lilla, a Newfoundland, who was underweight and in poor condition – it cost almost $7k just to get her to a state of being able to be rehomed.”
Ms Kovach said All 4 Paws relied on donations, gifts and fundraising, such as garage sales and its annual gala.
“We often ask for unwanted gifts we can put into hampers, or gift cards, or donated items from stores or vouchers,” Ms Kovach said.
She said the group also raised money by selling dog accessories, such as bandanas made by a talented foster carer.