Volunteers save and rehome dogs on death row

Shar pei rescue volunteer Natasha Goodchild with one-year-old Clyde and her two-year-old shar pei Marvin. Picture: David Baylis d493138
Shar pei rescue volunteer Natasha Goodchild with one-year-old Clyde and her two-year-old shar pei Marvin. Picture: David Baylis d493138

THE traumatic loss of her own Shar Pei/Ridgeback cross Oscar led Community News business development executive Natasha Goodchild to volunteer work.

“I wanted to give back to honour him and started fostering Shar Pei,” she said.

“I have lost count of the amount of foster dogs I have had through my home, but they each have a part of my heart with them.”

Ms Goodchild is a founding and current board member of the WA Shar Pei Protection Inc, which was established in 2013 to take over local rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of Shar Pei.

“We take in Pei from all over Australia, as the only active Shar Pei specific rescue,” she said.

“A lot of dogs are from death row in pounds and their last hope is for us to get them on a plane to us here in Perth.

“Most of the dogs that are surrendered to us are from super terrible circumstances and homes and are emaciated and abused.”

While it could be distressing at times, Ms Goodchild said it was also heartwarming to see an abandoned dog bloom and find a new home.

“Being a part of a dog rescue changes your life,” she said.

“You see a huge amount of terrible things but seeing a happy dog and family is so rewarding.”

Ms Goodchild said juggling work, single motherhood and volunteering was difficult, but it was “nice being nice” and “knowing you were making a difference”.

“I think in our busy world it is so hard to find the time but giving back in any way, small or large, is rewarding and appreciated by any organisation in the community,” she said.