BARN 2010







Thank you to all who attended the Wildlife Rescue Training Day on November 13. Narelle Smith from Wildlife Rescuers shared her knowledge and experience with an enthusiastic crowd. Attendees came from several towns across West Gippsland, as well as from suburbs closer to Melbourne including Berwick, Cheltenham and Surrey Hills. It was a successful day, and one which we hope will be followed up in 2011 with a further training event.

Sunday December 5 has been designated as Earthlings Day – a day on which free screenings of the film Earthlings have been arranged across the globe, in order to highlight the plight of animals on our planet. Due to a lack of preparation time, the BARN is unable to host a community screening on December 5, however copies of the film are available on DVD from our Lending Library. Contact the BARN directly if you would like to borrow a copy of this life-changing documentary: (Please note that while Earthlings is an unrated film, we do recommend an “adults only” viewing due to the graphic content.) Alternatively, the film can be viewed online at this link: Earthlings

A big thank you goes out to Christine Peck of the Bunyip Volunteers Association who has created a new webpage for the BARN on the website of the BVA. You can visit our new page, and other local community webpages, on the BVA site by clicking here.

A couple more notes of thanks must also go out to the following – the team at the Bunyip Vet Clinic, for their ongoing support, and the team behind the Bunyip & District Community News, for doing such a great job of presenting our monthly updates in the local newsletter.

The BARN would like to wish all of you – and your kritters – a safe and happy holiday season. We look forward to offering more interesting news, useful services and educational events to our local community in 2011.






wildlife rescuers logo


Vacancies are still available for the BARN’s Wildlife Rescue & Transport Training Day on Saturday November 13. The event will take place in the supper room of the Bunyip Hall and will run approximately from 9am until 5pm. The cost is $25 per head and a Certificate of Attendance will be awarded to each participant. Please visit to learn more about the team who will be hosting the workshop. Residents who don’t have internet access can call Kim on 0412 763 859 to register their interest.

On the topic of wildlife rescue, springtime is a notorious time of year for animals to get hit on the roads, particularly baby animals who have no understanding of how to avoid traffic. If you have the unfortunate experience of colliding with an animal, please stop and assess the situation. Injured animals need to be attended to immediately, and deceased animals need to be removed from the tarmac. It may be of interest to note that if the carcass of a deceased animal has been tagged with spraypaint, the tag is merely an indication to other passers by that the body has been checked by a rescuer.

The BARN is pleased to announce that it is now able to offer Bunyip residents a selection of Animal Rescue DVDs on a free loan basis. A list of excellent movie titles has been put together for our Lending Library, and these include both Australian made and International films relating to animal rescue and animal protection. To view the list of titles and arrange for the borrowing of any DVD, please contact the BARN directly via email:

The Snake Handler team from South Gippsland are running another Venomous Snake Handling Course on the first weekend in December. These courses are well presented and offer the participants a nationally recognised skill level. For further details contact the Snake Handler team directly on

Until next time … “ be kind to the kritters… ”






Happy World Animal Day! (October 4)

The BARN’s Animal Photographic Competition closed on September 30. Congratulations to Samantha Taylor of Longwarry, whose photo of “Jacob” has been chosen as the winning entry. Samantha has won a gift basket full of treats, for herself and her animal friends. Thank you to all who submitted animal photos for the competition, and thank you to the team at the Bunyip Vet Clinic who had the difficult job of selecting the winning photo.

View Samantha’s winning photo here:

October 1 – 7 is International Vegetarian Week. To celebrate the occasion, Animals Australia has launched a spectacular recipe section on their website, and those recipes can be found here:

October 4 is World Animal Day, and the local celebrations included a “Blessing of the Animals” service at the Sound Shell in Civic Park, Drouin, on Sunday October 3. The service was lead by special guest, Reverend Barbara Allen, who is a full-time Chaplain at the Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Melbourne, and there was also a local vet in attendance from the West Gippsland Vet Centre. The weather was perfect, and a fun afternoon was had by all – both human and non-human.

October 8 is Happy Tails Day, which is an annual fundraiser held by the RSPCA:

And October is also Wildlife Awareness Month. You can find out more by clicking this link:

A Wildlife Rescue training day for Bunyip is now confirmed for Saturday November 13. It will be facilitated by Narelle Smith and the team from Wildlife Rescuers, (a well respected animal rescue group which is based in the northern suburbs of Melbourne): The training day will take place in the supper room of the Bunyip Hall and will run approximately from 9am until 5pm. People of all ages are welcome.

This special workshop will cost $25. It will include tea and coffee, a door prize, discounts on wildlife care products and a “Certificate of Attendance” for each participant. It is requested that attendees BYO lunch. (Please note that food is always available from various outlets in the Bunyip township.) Places are filling quickly, so interested persons should contact the BARN to register for this event as soon as possible:


Until next time … “ be kind to the kritters… ”





Thank goodness Spring is finally here, after such a long, cold winter! The BARN’s Animal Photographic Competition ends on September 30. We have had some wonderful entries come in so far, but time is running out. If you would like to be in the competition, send your best photos to us at the BARN:

There are lots of workshops coming up for those interested in Animal Rescue. The Snake Handler team from South Gippsland have two courses running before the end of the year, with the first being held in mid September. Contact them directly for more details: (If you already have a snake handler’s licence and would like to make yourself available for the task of local snake relocation in the coming months, please contact the BARN: )

A Wildlife Rescue training day is being planned for the Bunyip area and will be held during October or November. Places will be limited, so interested persons should contact the BARN to register their interest as soon as possible. Further details will be available soon:

Project Hope Horse Rescue will also be running a training day in late October. This event will take place in Melbourne and interested persons will need to become members of Project Hope to have access to the training day. For more details visit:

October 4 is the annual celebration of World Animal Day. The Christian religious community often refers to this event as the Feast of Saint Francis, and this year it will be celebrated in churches on Sunday October 3. Many local churches traditionally hold a special service to which animals are openly invited, and the Anglican parishes of Bunyip, Drouin and Warragul usually host these events. Contact your local church for more details.

Until next time … “ be kind to the kritters… ”







Thank you to the members of our local community who have kindly offered monetary donations to the BARN to assist us with our work. Unfortunately, the BARN is unable to receive any funds until we have acquired Not For Profit status. Hopefully that will happen in the near future.

On August 1, the BARN hosted a screening of the documentary film The Witness, which features the incredible story of Eddie Lama – a tough construction worker from a rough New York neighbourhood who has become a passionate animal rescuer. This award winning and life changing film is now available online to view free of charge, courtesy of the film makers. The “online screening room” can be accessed here:

Local cartoonist Mark Knight is well known for his clever political comments in our Herald Sun newspapers. Recently, following the passing of one of his four-legged family members, Mark devoted one of his daily cartoons to the memory of his equine friend, Miss Dina. Mark’s moving tribute to Miss Dina is available for viewing at this link:

The BARN’s Animal Photographic Competition is well underway. (Details of the competition guidelines appear in our July update, below.) There is no entry fee for this competition. Send your best animal images to: The competition closes on September 30 and the winning entrant will receive a gift basket of goodies. The winning photograph will be chosen by the team at the Bunyip Vet Clinic and will be published on the BARN webpage in early October.

And don’t forget, August is National De-Sexing Month! Find out more by visiting:


Until next time … “ be kind to the kritters… ”






Warragul resident, Helen Sibley, recently collected donations of animal bedding for the Lost Dogs Home’s “winter blanket appeal”. In just one month Helen received enough donations to fill a 6 x 4 trailer, and with such a positive response it is likely that this will become an annual exercise in the West Gippsland area. Thank you to Helen for her wonderful work in co-ordinating the local effort, and we’ll keep you posted on any such plans for 2011.

The BARN is pleased to announce an Animal Photographic Competition for 2010. The competition will run for three months, starting on July 1 and closing on September 30. The winning photo will be chosen by the team at the Bunyip Vet Clinic and announced for World Animal Day on October 4. Locals are invited to send their best animal photographs to the BARN via email. We invite images of all kinds of kritters, including wildlife, companion animals and animals living on farms.

  • Photographs must be the original work of the entrant
  • Each entrant may submit up to three separate photographs
  • The photographer must reside in the West Gippsland area
  • The photo must have been taken within the West Gippsland area


There is no entry fee for this competition. Contact the BARN for further details, or simply send your best images to: The winning photographer will receive a gift basket of goodies, and the winning photograph will be published on the BARN webpage in early October.

It is anticipated that a Wildlife Rescue workshop will be held in the Bunyip area during October. If you would like to be notified of this upcoming event please send us your details and we’ll keep you posted.


Until next time … “ be kind to the kritters… ”







With the winter weather upon us, many older animals will be experiencing the discomfort of stiffness and joint pain. Advancements in veterinary care mean that animals are now able to live high quality lives even into their most senior years, but one of the most debilitating issues, particularly for dogs, continues to be the loss of mobility. To counteract this problem, some clever people are choosing to use prams or pushers to take their geriatric canines on their daily “walks”. A dog sitting in a baby carriage may seem unorthodox, but this simple solution can keep disabled dogs stimulated, and can also assist with the maintenance of obese dogs by allowing them to alternate between riding and walking.

Local animal lovers, Ruth and Graeme Reader, pioneered this practice in Bunyip for their beloved King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, Bronte. With Bronte’s recent passing, the Reader family have now donated their pram to the BARN, so that it may be handed on to another family for the same purpose. If you have a small elderly dog who would benefit from daily walks-on-wheels, please contact the BARN so that you can arrange to collect the pram: Thank you to Ruth and Graeme for their thoughtful donation. If you have an old pram or pusher that you would like to donate, feel free to get in touch with the BARN team.

On a similar theme, you can visit this link to read some heart warming stories from the US organisation “Pets with Disabilities”:

Sadly, winter is often the time of year when many elderly animals decide they are ready to leave us. There are now many hospice options for dying animals, and locals may be interested to know that additional animal services, such as palliative care and euthanasia support, are available in the West Gippsland area. Contact the BARN for further details.

World Environment Day is being celebrated on June 5. Planting some native trees during the month of June would be a great way to help local wildlife by providing them with much needed habitat.


Until next time … “ be kind to the kritters… ”







Thank you to Reg and Jenny Mattingley who hosted a wonderful information day about Wildlife Care last month, with support from WRAP. The workshop was attended by more than 20 people, including shelter operators, foster carers, animal rescuers and a police officer. It was an enjoyable day and proved a useful networking event for locals.

A further Wildlife Training event is being planned for later in the year. If you would like to be contacted regarding the next event, send your details to and we will be sure to keep you up to date.

The annual Million Paws Walk in Warragul will be held on Sunday May 16. It will take place at the Warragul Linear Trail and starts at 2 pm. This event aims to raise funds for the RSPCA and also aims to raise awareness of their work. For further details contact Shirley Westerberg on 5634 2243.

Humane Research Australia, mentioned in our April news, has just launched its first three television adverts. These will be screening around the country soon. If you’d like a sneak preview, visit this link:

Dog Training: If you have been considering the help and guidance of a dog trainer for your canine friend, there are several well reputed trainers working in the local area. Puppy socialising, obedience classes and agility lessons are all available. Contact the BARN for further details:


Until next time … “ be kind to the kritters… ”






The Maryknoll Wildlife Shelter will be hosting an information workshop on wildlife foster care at the Tynong North Hall on Sunday April 11. The workshop will run between 10 am and 4 pm and attendance costs $10.00. For more details check this flyer on the W.R.A.P website: and to register for this event please call Reg or Jenny Mattingley on 5942 8518.

The annual World Week for Animals in Laboratories runs this year from April 17 – 24. This international campaign aims to raise awareness about the millions of animals used for scientific purposes. Australia uses approximately 7 million animals each year, and the scientific activities that utilise these animals are largely funded by donations from the Australian public. There are however, many Australian medical and health charities which do not engage in animal based research. If you would like to support medical advancement without supporting animal mistreatment, a list of Australia’s humane charities can be found on the internet at this link:

Edgar’s Mission is a farm animal sanctuary at Willowmavin, (near Kilmore), one hour north of Melbourne. Their annual Compassionate Art Day is being held on April 18 and submissions of all kinds of animal related artwork, including photography, are invited from all around Australia. For more details visit or contact the BARN if you would like a flyer sent to you:


Until next time … “ be kind to the kritters… ”






One of the best ways to help native animals is to remove litter from their natural environment. March 7 is Clean Up Australia Day, and there are many “Clean Up” sites already registered between Pakenham and Warragul. Sites can be located via the official website: Getting involved in a Clean Up project is a fun and easy way to help the wildlife that lives in our local region.

Easter celebrations are just around the corner, and as we eagerly await a visit from the Easter Bunny, the BARN once again has a handful of copies of Bunny Business to give away. Bunny Business is an informative booklet written by local rabbit lover, Wendy Parsons. If you would like a copy sent out to you free of charge, simply email your postal details to

Spare a thought for the many animals used in unnecessary product testing procedures. While the European Union banned this practice some time ago, it is still regularly utilised in Australia for items such as deodorant, toothpaste, sunscreen, cosmetics, hair colorants and household cleaners. The website of Choose Cruelty Free Australia has compiled a comprehensive list of companies that do NOT test their products or their raw ingredients on animals:

As consumers, we can save many animals from suffering by purchasing only products which are recognised as being “cruelty free”. If you would like to receive a hard copy booklet of the Preferred Products List from Choose Cruelty Free Australia, just contact the BARN:


Until next time … “ be kind to the kritters… ”






Welcome back to a new year of Animal Rescue news. Andrea Darcy from the BAST Cat Rescue team sends her heartfelt appreciation to the Bunyip community for donations of cat food which were left at the Bunyip Vet Clinic in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Andrea and her assistants are currently caring for approximately 70 cats who desperately need loving homes, and your generous donations are being put to good use. Thank you to the Bunyip community, and also to the team at the Bunyip Vet Clinic for receiving donations of food at their office.

The holiday period is a notorious time for animals to go missing. Our altered routines, a change of location, and the New Year’s Eve fireworks are just some of the reasons animals become lost on the holidays, but anybody can play a part in helping a lost animal. Always approach an unknown animal with care, and if it is safe to do so, restrain the animal and take it to an appropriate location, away from traffic. Quite often, animals will have their peoples’ contact details noted on their collars or tags. If there is no identification visible, remember that vet clinics will scan lost animals for microchips free of charge. Microchips are life-savers, and the database of chipped animals is handled by both Central Animal Records: 1800 333 202 and the National Pet Registry: 1300 734 738. Saving a life is often as simple as making a phone-call. Checking the microchip details for lost and found animals can now also be done through the respective websites: and

Finally, a brief note about a new film that will premiere in Australia on February 5: The Soi Dogs Documentary is about the rescue and sterilisation of street dogs in Phuket. Not only is it the first time that this movie will be screened publicly in Australia, but John and Gill Dalley, (the founders of Soi Dog Foundation), will be flying in from Thailand to attend the event. For information about the incredible work being done by John and Gill Dalley please visit: . The screening will take place at the Elsternwick Classic Cinema and it is a fund raising event to assist the Soi Dog team in their amazing work. Details of the night are as follows:

  • Date: Friday 5th February 2010
  • Location: Classic Cinema Elsternwick, 9 Gordon Street, Elsternwick
  • Time: 6:00pm food served, 7:00pm movie starts, 9:00pm close
  • Tickets are $35 each and include hot and cold food and dessert
  • Bookings can be made via direct deposit, credit card or PayPal
  • 5 signed copies of the DVD will be given away on the night


Until next time … “ be kind to the kritters… ”