BARN 2011





Merry Christmas

And thanks to our friends at Edgar’s Mission ,

we would like to share a special Christmas video :




The BARN team would like to send out a big thank you to the very kind people who responded to the call for a voluntary dog walker, as advertised in our November update. The little dog in question now has a handful of local residents taking him out for some exercise on a rotating roster. It is entirely heart-warming to live within a community where a call for help like this one receives such a warm and enthusiastic response.

Locals who are involved in farm animal rescue will be saddened to read about some animal cruelty footage that surfaced (on 24 November) from within a West Gippsland abbatoir. The authorities were so appalled by the treatment of pigs during slaughter that the facility was closed down within hours. More details can be found at ABC Gippsland Online and Animals Australia .

Do you need a Christmas gift idea for an animal-loving friend? The BARN has been offered a sneak peek at a new book for animal lovers which features a collection of personal stories from around the globe, compiled and edited by Australian author and animal rescuer, Kathy Divine. The book—Vegans Are Cool—will be launched in Melbourne on Friday 16 December, but copies can be pre-ordered through the BARN for $19.95 each. This book will be a worthy item in any animal lover’s Christmas stocking! Orders will be accepted via email up until Saturday 10 December:

Because the holiday season is fast approaching – and because the holiday period is a notorious time for animals to go astray – we have now included the contact phone numbers of the microchip databases on the BARN’s contact page. Microchips are lifesavers, but if you have moved house or changed phone numbers since having any chips implanted in your animal friends, please ensure that the National Pet Registry and/or Central Animal Records have been notified of your new contact details before the holidays begin.

The BARN’s end of year gathering will take place in mid December. It will include a film screening coupled with an afternoon tea and will be an opportunity for local animal lovers to socialise and share stories. The BARN team is now taking stock of another productive year, and celebrating some successful networking which has furthered the cause of local animal rescue.

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome everyone who has joined our network thus far, and we would also like to thank those who facilitate the growth of our local association, including the wonderful teams behind Horse Whispers, Speak For Animals, the Bunyip & District Community News, the Bunyip Volunteers Association and the Bunyip Vet Clinic.

Stay safe over the coming weeks. The next BARN update will be printed in February 2012.

Until then, be kind to the kritters.






The BARN is currently seeking a voluntary dog walker to assist with exercising a small-medium dog living in the Bunyip township. This friendly little guy has been missing out on his regular walks because his favourite person is recuperating from a recent illness. If you would like to help by offering just one hour per week please contact the BARN via email:

November 1 is World Vegan Day. This event is celebrated by animal lovers all around the globe by way of free festivals which are usually organised by volunteers. While the main focus is on ending animal cruelty, these events also represent other aspects of social responsibility including environmental protection and the promotion of fair trade practices with our neighbours in developing countries. They also advocate for a healthy lifestyle via a plant based diet. The Melbourne event takes place on Sunday 6 November at the picturesque Abbottsford Convent, located directly adjacent to the Collingwood Children’s Farm. There’ll be live music, delicious food and more than 70 stall holders. For more details visit the website: For a comprehensive explanation of the vegan ethic, there is a short film (of approx 30 minutes duration), called Making The Connection, which is available to watch online at no charge, from this link.

The Warragul Seventh Day Adventist Church is hosting a series of vegetarian cooking nights on November 7, 8 and 9. Cooking demonstrations by vegan chef Oscar Sande will be held at the Drouin Secondary College cafeteria from 7 pm on each of those nights. The total cost of these three sessions is $35 and the price includes a cookbook for each participant at the conclusion of the program. Bookings are required, and can be arranged by calling 5622 0695 or 0414. 836 148.

November 12 – 20 is international Orangutan Caring Week, and on November 12 the Australian Orangutan Project will be hosting an information booth outside Kindness House in Fitzroy. This promotion will help to educate the public about the devastating impact of the palm oil industry. Merchandise and baked goods will also be sold from the stand to help raise funds for Orangutan protection. For full details visit:

The BARN team knows there are some young local residents who are very passionate about the palm oil issue. If you would like to join the growing movement to preserve jungle habitat and save the Orangutan from extinction, you can visit the Australian Palm Oil Action Group online:

November 25 is known as Fur Free Friday. This campaign began several years ago and has been used as a vehicle to expose the horrors of the fur trade around the globe, (including the well documented accounts of seal pups in Canada, and dogs and cats in China being habitually skun while still alive). For a better understanding of the fur industry, the BARN recommends watching the documentary The Witness, which can be viewed online at no charge, at this link .

Have you ever rescued an animal and not known where to take it? The BARN website now features a new page which lists some local animal rescue contacts. It includes links to local wildlife shelters and to some nearby domestic animal sanctuaries:

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





Congratulations goes to Carol Mann from Drouin, who is the winner of our Animal Photographic Competition for 2011. Her photo, and a selection of other entries, are available for viewing at this link: The runner-up prize goes to Annie Latham from Iona. Thank you to everyone for sending in your amazing animal photos, and thank you to the team at the Bunyip Vet Clinic who had the difficult task of choosing a winning picture.

A group of delegates from West Gippsland attended the Oscar’s Law rally in Melbourne last month, adding their voices to the national call for the abolition of puppy farms. If you too would like to speak out against unethical and unscrupulous breeders, you are invited to sign the Oscar’s Law petition which is still on the counter at the Bunyip vet clinic.

Thank you to everyone who donated goods for the Harmony Reins Animal Haven drive during September. Goods were collected between Bunyip and Trafalgar, and they will be delivered to the animal rescue venue in Yarra Junction sometime in the next fortnight. Anyone who missed the September collection can still donate goods to other animal rescue groups, thanks to local resident Kathryn Dewis. Items such as blankets and bedding, cat and dog food, etc. are always in high demand. Kathryn can be contacted on 5629 5687 and further details can be found at this Facebook page.

The BARN has been contacted by several people who are concerned about the impact of the new Pitbull dog laws. Our team is sadly aware of the various ways some dogs and their families are being impacted. For anyone who requires breed identification through DNA testing, we recommend speaking to Genetic Technologies in Melbourne. Visit them online for more information about the specific services they can offer: And for those who love and appreciate this much maligned breed, the BARN’s Lending Library now has a copy of the DVD, Diva Dog: Pitbull On Wheels, about one man’s special relationship with his rescued canine friend.

October 1 – 7 is Be Kind To Animals Week. It is a week for putting into action some of the many different ways we can make a positive difference in the lives of the animals that share our world. Visit the Be Kind website to learn about what other people are doing and to read some wonderful stories about animal friendships and animal rescues. Also available through the ‘shop’ page are free Kindness Packs containing posters, stickers and badges:


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




Good bye to winter and hello spring!! On September 7 we recognise National Threatened Species Day, and September 11 is a day earmarked as National Bilby Day, in order to raise awareness of these uniquely Australian creatures, which are not unlike our local bandicoots. While we are anticipating a Bandicoot protection group to be developed in coming months, several initiatives are underway to raise money for the Save The Bilby Fund. More details about Bilbies can be found at the website: In fact, the entire month of September is also Save The Koala month! Visit the website of the Australian Koala Foundation to learn more.

Sunday September 18 is International Puppy Factory Awareness Day. In Melbourne, a rally has been organised for the steps of Parliament House at 12 midday. Visit the Oscar’s Law website for more details, and visit Prisoners For Profit to learn more about puppy farming.

During September, BARN is collecting goods on behalf of Harmony Reins Animal Haven in Yarra Junction. A list of requested items can be found on this Harmony Reins webpage. Items include first aid materials, food for dogs or cats or horses, bedding and blankets, worm and flea treatments, transport crates, collars and lead ropes, animal toys, etc… If anyone has any items they would like to donate, please contact the BARN via email and we will arrange collection of the goods and transport to the recipient:

As we prepare for Be Kind To Animals Week (October 1 – 7), a special event has been planned for September 30 in Melbourne featuring international guest, an acclaimed author and animal advocate, Jeffrey Masson. A highlight of the event will be a screening of the documentary The Emotional World Of Farm Animals. For more details contact the BARN.

Don’t forget, the BARN’s Animal Photo Competition closes on September 30. There’s no entry fee. We look forward to your last minute submissions, which can be sent to us via email, in jpg format: The winning photograph will be chosen by the team at the Bunyip Vet Clinic and announced on World Animal Day, October 4.


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






Congratulations to the Bunyip Landcare Group for running a very successful Bandicoot information night during July. A panel of experts imparted some useful information to our community, and local residents shared some wonderful stories of their close encounters. Due to the high level of interest in this very special species, the BARN website now features a new page dedicated to our furry little friends, including a link to some short video clips of our Bunyip bandicoots on You Tube.

The BARN’s Animal Photo Competition for 2011 is now in full swing. Some great pictures have already come through to us, but no bandicoot photos as yet… We know there are some great photos out there, so be sure to send them in by September 30. There is no entry fee. Each person may submit up to 3 photos, and these may be submitted via email, in jpg format, to . Our prize this year includes a gift basket of assorted treats including: edible delicacies, Australian-made health care items, a copy of the classic true story of the lioness Little Tyke, and a bag of nutritionally balanced cruelty-free pet food, (cat or dog), from local manufacturer Sandy Anderson.

Some locals have contacted the BARN to enquire about the upcoming National Rally to Ban Live Export. We have been informed that the Victorian Rally will be held on the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne on Sunday August 14, starting at 10.30 AM. Guest speakers will include Lyn White, Dr Hugh Wirth and Adam Bandt. More details can be found at: . Readers may also like to take a peek at this newly recorded campaign song called It Ain’t Right, penned by GG Twang and performed by Sydney-based country-rock band, The Black Spurs. The song can be purchased for $1.69 from iTunes, with all proceeds going to Animals Australia.

The BARN’s Humane Education branch has been busy in recent weeks, with two presentations at Bayles Regional Primary School in late July. There is also an upcoming session at Gippstafe in Warragul on August 16. Several educational programs are available, and these can be tailored to suit students of all ages. If your local group or education facility would like more information on the sessions please contact the BARN directly: .

August 22 – 28 is Keep Australia Beautiful week. Looking after our beautiful countryside is of course a great way to help our native animals. More details can be found on the Keep Australia Beautiful website:

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







The BARN is pleased to announce the opening of its 2011 Animal Photo Competition. As per last year, there is no fee involved for submitting photographic entries, and once again, there are only two guidelines: (1) photographers must reside within the West Gippsland region and (2) the photos must have been taken within the West Gippsland region. Photos may be submitted via email, in jpg format, to . The competition opened on July 1, and entries will be accepted until September 30, with the winner being announced on World Animal Day – October 4.

July is National Desexing Month. The team at Death Row Pets in NSW has reported that each year in Australia more than a quarter of a million healthy dogs and cats are euthanised because there are simply not enough homes for them. We can all play a part in counteracting this tragic situation by following three simple guidelines:

  • We can choose to avoid breeding our animal companions
  • We can ensure all our animal companions are de-sexed
  • We can adopt new animal companions from shelters

Find out more by visiting the National Desexing Network and by visiting Death Row Pets.

The humble feline is undoubtedly the species that suffers most from unchecked breeding. In backyard breeding situations, unwanted kittens are often destroyed or abandoned, however these actions are simultaneously cruel and unlawful. To remedy this, the BARN team has been instrumental in assisting local residents to reclaim responsibility for homeless cats through our TNR program. The BARN supports the TNR initiative because it is the proven most effective method (and the most humane method) of reducing wild cat numbers. You can learn more about this program by visiting the BARN’s newly launched TNR webpage:

Reducing wild cat populations is not just good for the cats – it is also beneficial for the wellbeing of our residential communities and it makes a positive contribution to wildlife protection. But on the topic of wildlife protection, it would be both inappropriate and inaccurate to demonise the feral cat. The destruction of a native animal’s natural habitat is by far the biggest factor in the demise of our precious wildlife. As such, the BARN stands united with other local conservation groups in the promotion of environmental sustainability and in heralding the value of planting native flora.

Those who recently attended the presentation of Dr Michael Bascombe might also be interested in the latest newsletter from one of our local animal healers / animal communicators, Jenny Pearce of Rokeby. Her newsletter can be accessed at her website, Books With Spirit .

Finally, don’t forget the bandicoot information night being held on July 14, organised by the Bunyip Landcare Group. The event will take place in the Bunyip Hall and will begin at 7pm. All are welcome.

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






Updates on the campaign can be sourced from the SPEAK website’s NEWS page:




A family from Garfield was singing the praises of micro-chipping last month after their feline friend, who disappeared in October 2010, was safely returned to them. The young cat, who’d been missing for seven months, wandered onto a property in Bunyip and had been cared for by a kind-hearted local lady until a micro-chip scan revealed that the little puss had a loving family living just a few kilometres away. The family was overjoyed to see their friend again. What a wonderful outcome!

Stories like this are not uncommon, and they reinforce the value of having our four-legged friends micro-chipped. All dogs and cats living within the Cardinia Shire are required to be chipped, and for this reason, the local Council offers semi-regular opportunities for Cardinia Shire residents to have their animals chipped at a discounted rate. The next low cost chipping day is planned for October 15 and will take place at the Cardinia Cultural Centre in Pakenham.

The visit from our guest speaker, Dr Michael Bascombe, on May 29 was a huge success. Dr Michael’s charismatic nature and his sincere approach to his work enthralled a roomful of attendees who had come from Gippsland and beyond, to hear him speak. His stories of animal healing and communication were both entertaining and educational. Thank you to everyone who came along and made the afternoon so enjoyable.

On Friday June 10 and Saturday June 11, the Cardinia Shire Council will be hosting their second annual Sustainability Expo. While Friday will mainly be an educational day for students, Saturday will be populated by the general public. Some pro-animal exhibitors at this event will include Edgar’s Mission Farm Animal Sanctuary, Humane Research Australia, Animal Liberation Victoria, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Wildlife Victoria. The Expo will take place at the Cardinia Cultural Centre in Pakenham, and more details can be found at this link.

The Bunyip Landcare Group has arranged a special bandicoot information evening for next month. Several bandicoot experts will be in attendance to talk to Bunyip residents about our little endangered marsupial. This will also be an opportunity to network with others about bandicoot conservation, and swap notes on bandicoot sightings. The event will take place in the Bunyip Hall on Thursday July 14 and will begin at 7pm. All are welcome.


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





The RSPCA’s annual Million Paws Walk takes place around Australia on Sunday May 15. Local RSPCA supporters will be pleased to know that a Walk has once again been organised along the Linear Park Trail in Warragul, starting at the corner of Burke and Anderson streets. Registrations take place on the day from 1pm, with the Walk commencing at 2pm. More details can be found at this link.

It is now well documented that every vegan saves between 90 and 100 animal lives each year as a result of their food choices. Local chef, Ben Cadby, will be hosting a seven-day Vegan Food Program in mid-May. The program is open to anyone who is interested in exploring a plant-based diet. Ben will be providing complete recipe plans for all meals during the seven days, so participants will learn how to prepare a wide variety of fresh and healthy gastronomical delights. For further details contact Ben directly: 0447. 553 627. There is no fee involved for this program, and Ben will be available to answer questions and offer guidance every step of the way. You can meet Ben on the SPEAK website’s Vegan Faces page.

West Gippsland horsewoman, Jenny Pearce, will be holding a riding clinic at Rokeby on May 28 and 29 entitled Zen Connection With Horses. An author and equine specialist, Jenny has practiced various healing modalities and taught intuitive communication for many years. For further information about the clinic call Jenny directly: 5611 0558

The BARN is now taking bookings on behalf of our upcoming guest speaker, Dr Michael Bascombe. On the afternoon of Sunday May 29 he will be talking to us about how he incorporates holistic treatment and animal communication into his veterinary work. The cost of attending is $25 per person. (Free for children under 13.) Those who register by May 15 will receive a complimentary holistic remedy on the day, valued at $15. To secure a place at this event, contact the BARN directly:

The Soi Dog Foundation, in conjunction with Animals Australia, is holding a major fundraiser in Melbourne on Friday June 3 at the Classic Cinema, Elsternwick. The event will feature a screening of the Australian made documentary, A Delicate Balance, followed by a vegan buffet. Tickets are $35 per person, and funds raised on the night will be split between the two charities. For more details contact or call 8786 5303.

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





Thank you to the volunteers who staffed our BARN information table at the Columba Catholic Primary School Fete on March 18. They spoke with some lovely people, handed out some literature, and entered some names into a prize draw. Congratulations to Vikki, from Drouin, whose name was drawn at the Bunyip Vet Clinic on March 19 as the winner of the cat-carrier.

Last month, the Baw Baw Shire signed a momentous agreement with Animal Aid Coldstream which will result in saving the lives of many dogs. The majority of unclaimed dogs from Baw Baw Pound – who would previously have been euthanased – will now be transported to Coldstream and enrolled in their canine adoption program. This arrangement is the end result of some wonderful campaigning by animal rescuers in the Warragul area. The situation will be reviewed after twelve months, and if successful, will be continued for another year. Well done to all involved, for ensuring that so many lives will now be given a second chance.

And a quick reminder to anyone looking for an animal companion – “adoption is the best option”. Visit the Animal Aid website to learn about their wonderful work:

April 24 is the annual global observance of World Laboratory Animal Day, and the week preceding this date, (April 16 – 24), is known as WWAIL, or World Week for Animals In Laboratories. There are three government-funded facilities in Australia breeding primates for scientific research, and locals may be interested to know that two of these facilities are located right here in Gippsland. The Melbourne office of Humane Research Australia has launched a new website for WWAIL 2011 entitled Humane Awareness, which aims to inform the general community about how each of us can reduce the suffering of animals in laboratories:

Statistics consistently show that most consumers would prefer to avoid buying household products and personal items that have been tested on animals. To make that process easier for us, the Melbourne organisation Choose Cruelty Free has recently updated their Preferred Products List. These booklets are free and can assist shoppers in making more compassionate product choices, whether that may be shampoo, window cleaner, lipstick, car polish or any number of everyday items. The BARN has several copies available. If you would like to receive a copy, contact us and we will send one out to you:

The BARN is now taking bookings for our guest speaker on Sunday May 29, Veterinary Practitioner, Dr Michael Bascombe, who has travelled the world giving presentations and healing animals. Dr Bascombe will be talking to us about how he incorporates holistic treatment and animal communication into his veterinary work. The cost of attending is $25 per person, and is free for children under 13 years. More details about his visit are now on our events page. To register for this event, contact the BARN directly:


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






In recent weeks the BARN has been contacted by several locals reporting circumstances of suspected animal neglect and mistreatment. While the BARN appreciates all such communications, we are unable to act upon your concerns. We can, however, direct you to the appropriate channels for further advice, and please note that an emergency phone number for urgent situations of this nature appears on the left hand border of this webpage.

Columba Catholic Primary School will hold its annual Twilight Fete on Friday, March 18. BARN volunteers will be staffing an information table at this event and they look forward to interacting with the local community on behalf of the BARN team. We would like to thank Columba for inviting us to be involved in their event.

Edgar’s Mission animal sanctuary, based near Daylesford, is holding their Compassion Art Day for 2011 on Sunday, April 17. The theme for this year is “compassion” and entries of artwork are invited from all around Australia. More details are on their website:

For locals interested in horse welfare, the Victorian Horse Rescue group, Project Hope, are planning to conduct a Training Day in the Cardinia Shire during April. For further details contact the Project Hope team directly:

BARN is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a guest speaker in late May. Veterinary Practitioner, Dr Michael Bascombe, will visit Bunyip to talk about how he incorporates naturopathic remedies and animal communication into his veterinary work. For more details contact the BARN directly:


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






Happy New Year to you and your kritters. 2011 is already shaping up to be a good year for animals, since it has officially been named as World Veterinary Year. This year we celebrate the 250th anniversary of veterinary education around the world. The world’s first veterinary school was founded in France in 1761 by Claude Beaugelat, and what a long way we’ve come since then! You can read more about World Veterinary Year on the internet:

Over the recent holiday season, some lucky local dogs have been treated to a complimentary massage by Warragul resident Nadine Rimmele who is currently training as a Canine Myofunctional Therapist. Nadine has kindly extended the offer of free treatments until the end of February. If you would like to be sent a flyer about Nadine’s work, contact the BARN via email: Alternatively you can contact Nadine directly to arrange an appointment: 0415 743 313

The BARN is anticipating an active and productive year ahead, with a variety of activities being planned for the coming months including a guest speaker, a film screening, school visits and another wildlife workshop. If you would like to be notified of upcoming events, simply send an email with your contact details to The DVD Lending Library has been launched, and a couple of transporters / carriers for small animals are now available for borrowing by local residents on a short term basis. The BARN team looks forward to serving the local community in 2011.


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