Rallying to help dog sanctuary

Published 3:00pm 7 September 2023

Rallying to help dog sanctuary
Words by Nick Crockford

Support has flooded in for a Morayfield couple battling changes to their passion for the last 17 years – the Sanctuary for Senior Dogs Brisbane.

Karen and Jamie Goullet have applied to Moreton Bay City Council continue caring for old dogs at their home in Oakey Flat Rd.

More than 200 public submissions have been made – the vast majority in favour of the sanctuary – ahead of tomorrow’s (September 8) deadline.

Mrs Goullet believes a final decision by Council may then be made at the end of October or beginning of November.

It would end months of concern after Council responded to complaints of too many dogs with a compliance notice and instruction to reduce the number to four.

The Goullets then lodged a development application (DA) for a Material Change of Use (MCU) on their 8000sqm property to Animal Keeping (Senior Dog Sanctuary).

Council officers have visited the sanctuary and Mrs Goullet said they “seemed to be happy with what they saw”.

Mrs Goullet, whose 24/7 work led to a nomination for Moreton Bay Regional Council Citizen of the Year in 2018, believes this is the first such a case in Australia.

Karen Goullet with one of the dogs at her sanctuary

“We don’t know if it will go in front of the councillors (for a decision), but all we’re trying to do is save old dogs,” she said.

“We’ve always loved doing it. We don’t have volunteers or staff. We don’t ask for donations. We fund it entirely ourselves.

“Our house is their house. We love the dogs whether they are with us a few weeks or years.

“When the time comes, they die in our arms. We want to ensure they don’t pass away alone in a shelter or pound.”

The sanctuary “exists to provide a safe and secure place for elderly dogs that have been abandoned, abused or sometimes simply ignored to live out their twilight years in comfort and security”, according to the DA.

To date, 74 dogs have called the sanctuary home, with some arriving for “hospice” care offered to those that are terminally ill. The shortest stay was just three weeks.

Mr and Mrs Goullet’s property has a metal fence down one side and dog-proof fencing along the rest of the perimeter. The dogs are kept indoors at night.

Dogs must be 12 years or older to be taken in and are examined by a vet before arriving.

All subsequent vet checks and medical needs are covered by Mr and Mrs Goullet, who say the right treatment can add years to a dog’s life.

Mrs Goullet also co-founded and helps run the Senior Dog Action Group Australia Facebook page.

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