Providing farmed animals refuge from abuse, neglect and abandonment, not-for-profit Little Oak Sanctuary is aiming to future-proof their sanctuary for “whatever Australia’s challenging climate throws our way”.
Located between Bungendore and Braidwood, Little Oak Sanctuary co-founder and vice president Kate Luke, said they are aiming to raise $35,000, which will cover hay and fund the construction of a bridge.
Ms Luke said hay prices have almost doubled due to the drought, and with an increase in abandoned animals, it has left them “severely stretched financially”.
Currently, Little Oak Sanctuary has around 180 animals in care. These include pigs, sheep, goats, horses, cattle, chickens, roosters, ducks, geese and turkeys.
In addition to fundraising to feed animals in care, Ms Luke said they also want to fund a bridge. She said the main access to Little Oak Sanctuary crosses a creek and when it floods, as happened in 2016, they can be cut off from veterinary care and vital feed supplies.
“It also means we are unable to undertake animal rescue work whilst we are flooded in, and history has shown it is at exactly these times that animals need us the most. We want to ensure we’re not cut off from continuing our work for animals regardless of what the weather throws our way,” she said.
Ms Luke said caring for farmed animals in the Australian environment is an ongoing challenge and “our priority is building the sanctuary to be as sustainable as possible”.
“We are improving our soil and pastures with ongoing sustainability in mind, ensuring we have adequate fencing to allow us to leave parts of the property to rest and recuperate, maximising our water capture and storage, tree planting, and other similar projects. These are all long-term projects that require ongoing effort and funds.”
To help raise awareness, Little Oak Sanctuary is running a bus campaign, Compassion in Action, which was funded entirely by the community.
“We’re hoping the bus will grab people’s attention and draw them to our website where they will find out more about the issues facing animals, and also how they can take action to create a more compassionate world for all,” Ms Luke said.
To find out more or to donate, visit littleoaksanctuary.org