Every animal deserves a loving home, and ending up in the wrong pound or shelter should not be a death sentence. Tens of thousands of animals die in New South Wales pounds each year, making the work of animal rescuers like Monika Biernacki, owner of Monika's DoggieRescue, so vitally important. An animal rescued by Monika is saved for life. At her shelter here in Sydney, Monika and her team often care for hundreds of rescue dogs at any one time, helped by loving foster homes and carers. Together they provide a safe haven for hundreds of homeless animals, many of whom are sick, old, pregnant or abused and were once sitting on death row in council pounds. They include dogs like Coco, who was on death row because he was anxious and scared of children, and cats like Ariel, who was rescued just moments before she would have been put down despite her medical issues being treatable.
Those fur babies and many others are now happy, healthy and ready to find their forever homes thanks to Monika's tireless work. While "convenience" killing in New South Wales pounds still exists, we are lucky to have people like Monika who know that all animals, regardless of their start to life, deserve another chance. People like her are willing to put in the work to make sure the animals' needs are met regardless of how challenging they might be and willing to give their time, energy, money and heart to save a life. But Monika and her team can do only so much. With no Government funding and the huge number of abandoned animals in this State, the animals they save are the lucky ones. Many others are killed and given no chance for a better life. I am sure Monika would agree that this urgently needs to change. As we work towards those changes through the Parliamentary Friends of Animals Pound Reform Working Group, I thank Monika and her staff and volunteers for the lifesaving work they are doing and have done over the past 20 years. I thank them for saving the lives of 13,000 dogs and 800 cats. Monika and her team are genuine lifesavers.