Local Legends & the Newcastle Dog Rescue

With the success of the Cancer Council fundraising through the ‘Skip the Line’ innovative the Sydney Junction Hotel invited the Newcastle Dog Rescue on board for the month of July to join the Local Legends family.

The Newcastle Dog Rescue is completely run by volunteers who have dedicated their time, energy, love and support to rescuing abandoned, neglected or abused dog, puppies, cats and kittens.

Animals that are otherwise neglected are taken in by foster carers and given a second chance. The Newcastle Dog Rescue save dogs that are subject to being euthanized and house them until permanent homes can be arranged.

Dogs, puppies, cats and kittens are removed from homes of domestic violence and saved from toxic and harmful environments and cared for by those who open their homes to fostering mistreated pets.

What sets the organisation apart and makes it a unique animal rescue is that there are no kennel facilities, and every mistreated, abandoned or abused dog or cat is brought into the home of a volunteer.

The Newcastle Dog Rescue are incredibly fortunate to have a number of passionate volunteers who dedicate their time to fundraising, looking after these animals and finding permanent homes. One of the biggest struggles however is the financial strain of covering vet bills over this time with a monthly estimated cost of over $20,000.

Since its establishment in Newcastle in 2008 by Sue Barker and Anne Ward, the Newcastle Dog Rescue have fostered and re-homed over 6,000 dogs and 600 cats through a network of over 150 foster carers and the help of volunteers and fundraising appeals. This is a huge achievement that the Sydney Junction Hotel recognized and felt obligated to get behind and raise not only money for but awareness to start a conversation about animal welfare here in the Hunter.

The Dog Rescue volunteer troops arrived at the hotel every Friday and Saturday night over the month of July, buckets in hand, and were quick to make an impression on our customers. Their work resonated with patrons and conversations started between fundraisers and late-night goers about stories of pets they themselves had saved and how much their families loved these animals and the positive impact it had on their own lives.

With a number of busy nights here at the hotel, patrons donated $20 to skip the line and funds were raised fast. By the end of the month the volunteers proudly accepted a cheque for $15, 554.80 – a huge contribution to their fundraising appeal.

Chris Stratton presenting Rhonda Domanti and Sue Barker with a cheque for $15, 554 

Chris Stratton presenting Rhonda Domanti and Sue Barker with a cheque for $15, 554 

Staff and Management have been extremely supportive; our volunteers have felt safe with the many security guards on hand. Skip-the-cue is a great incentive where patrons can donate money to the charity enabling them to enter SJH without having to wait in line…an absolutely brilliant way to raise funds for our charity
— Rhonda Domanti, DRN Fundraising coordinator

The positive community engagement will be a long-term result of the Dog Rescue fundraising at the hotel. A conversation was started and the work the Rescue do for the local community was recognized and appreciated by hundreds of people.  "Volunteers had so much fun as patrons proudly showed off their pets displayed on their mobile phones while waiting in a que to enter the premises. Lots of sad and funny stories were shared with us during the month" commented Rhonda Domanti. 

SJ’s has a passion for giving back and supporting locals and felt a corporate obligation to use our platform to help this truely wonderful organisation. It was a great experience hosting the volunteers from the Dog Rescue and the hotel was thrilled that patrons were so supportive in helping raise a huge amount of money that will help out the organisation enormously.