Home' LOTL : April 2010 Contents 14 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
Lifestyle Opinion / Profile / Travel / Food / Stars
Despite a lack of professional training
in the animal industry, Monika Biernacki has
been saving animals from death row for over a
decade. Her charity, Doggie Rescue, was established
in 2001 although prior to this, Monika had been res-
cuing pets privately for years. "Lucky my hubby was
a huge animal lover! I have been rescuing dogs for 17
years, saving a few here and there."
Monika says the philosophy behind Doggie Res-
cue was a simple one, "just trying to save some of the
countless dogs that are destroyed each week." Since
the introduction of compulsory microchipping in
1999, which allowed her to keep more thorough
and accurate records, she has saved 9161 dogs from
According to Monika, the thing that makes Dog-
gie Rescue di erent to other pet re-homing services is
"the no-kill philosophy. is policy includes accept-
ing former Doggie Rescue dogs back if their owners
Monika says that many of the dogs they take in are
cross breeds, smaller toy breeds or puppies - although
big dogs can come their way too from time to time.
So where does this never ending stream of animals
come from? Sometimes the pound, sometimes they
are surrendered, other times they are strays found
wandering and brought in to Doggie Rescue.
A er receiving veterinary treatment, all dogs are
microchipped, heartworm tested and vaccinated by
a veterinarian, who also gives them a basic health
check and provides Doggie Rescue with an estimate
of their age. e dogs are then desexed (if required)
and given any additional veterinary treatment to re-
turn them to good health.
"All of our rescued dogs are then cared for, await-
ing adoption into a permanent loving home," says
Monika. "Once the dogs have completed 8-10 days
quarantine (so we can obser ve them for any illnesses
they may have picked up) they are placed into a foster
home or stay at our shelter at Ingleside on the north-
ern beaches. At any one time we have about 200 dogs
up for adoption. ey are all featured on our website
that is updated daily. Over a year we save about 800
to 1,000 dogs."
So what can you do to help?
"Fostering a dog in your home helps us save an-
other life when we have no more room at the shelter,"
states Monika. "Tell your dog loving friends about us.
Perhaps there is someone you know thinking about
adopting a doggie? We also have a wish list on our
web site of goodies that we can always use" (so pull
out your wallets and cough up some cash).
Whilst saving animals on a daily basis no doubt
leaves you feeling good, there is a down side as well.
Many of the dogs Monika rescues have been abused.
Monika says, "We have had some terribly abused
dogs that have found forever homes with people
willing to work further with the doggie. is takes
many months, sometimes years. Not every welfare
agency would have that patience. It can only be done
through a volunteer organisation -- other wise the
costs would be prohibitive. at is what we are all
about. We don't discriminate on which animals we
take from the pound. We take the doggies who have
To nd out more info about Doggie Rescue,
volunteer your services, or even make a donation,
Saving dogs from death row... By Cec Busby.
CARING FOR PETS
Ever since she was
a little girl, Janet
Cridland had an
af nity for animals.
"They fascinated me
and I crinkled my
brow and stretched
my imagination as I
tried to fathom what
they might have
thought of us." It
seemed destined that
the inquisitive little girl with a penchant for bringing
home stray cats (until her parents banned her at age
11) would one day become a veterinarian.
When she rst started in the eld, women vet
surgeons were few and far between -- especially in
her area of specialty, which at the time of graduation
was large animals and equines. "It was suggested to
me that women could not be adequate in this role,"
Today, Dr Cridland runs Livingstone Road Animal
Health Clinic -- notice the 'health' part of the business
name? "It's about prevention and early intervention
rather than reactive medicine," says Cridland. "To
further this philosophy we have recently added
acupuncture and physiotherapy to our services.
Otherwise there's complete medical and surgical
facilities including treatment of behavioural issues,
and nutritional advice." They even offer "feline
boutique bed and breakfast style boarding."
According to Cridland, LRAHC is about "animals and
the people that live with them." In Cridland's eyes,
the human may "pay the bills but is a carer, not a
controller of life." She sees her role as "respecting
and supporting the bonds while always remaining an
advocate for the animal regardless of the human's
perspective." Cridland and her team of 17 also spend
a lot of time assisting our furry friends in need. They
supply free services to WIRES and just like those
childhood days rehome a lot of kittens and cats.
As an out and proud lesbian, Cridland is active in
the community "We have always been very political,
connecting with the LGBT community and supporting
them." It's clear this is one vet who sees civil rights
and animal rights as going hand in hand.
Animal Health Clinic
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