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1 October, 2020

All paws on deck to help charity

THE Paws and Claws Refuge and Boarding Centre in Port Douglas is one step closer to having a forever home after holding its inaugural “Dogs’ Day Out” fundraiser on Saturday, September 26.

By Tanya Murphy

In September 2016 the charity lost its home due to a new development being built on its existing site, leaving the region’s lost and abandoned dogs and cats with nowhere to go. Paws and Claws CEO Michael Kerr said the organisation’s volunteers had been working tirelessly for years to fundraise for a new centre. 

“There’s definitely a need for it because we used to care for and re-home around 200 pets a year which were neglected or abandoned by their owners, which we can’t do now that we’ve lost our facility,” he said. 

After an exhaustive search for a suitable new property, in 2017 the association purchased a former printing factory with the help of a $300,000 contribution from the Queensland government. 

However, to meet council regulations and be in the best interest of the animals and surrounding community, the building must be renovated and made sound-proof before it can be used. “The support from the community has been enormous over the past few years, which just goes to show how well-loved Paws and Claws is,” said Mr Kerr. 

“The Federal government has committed $500,000 towards the project, but we need to raise more before the facility can become a reality.” Initial plans for the “Dogs Day Out” fundraising event were thwarted by COVID-19 in May, so community members and canines alike were beyond excited when it went ahead last weekend. 

Around 120 people and their 50 loyal companions enjoyed a live DJ, a sausage sizzle, stalls, treats and competitions at the free event, and by all reports, most of the humans were very well-behaved. 

“We managed to raise $1000 on the day and would like to thank everyone who participated, and Ann Ireland who organised it with the assistance of Douglas Shire Council,” said Mr Kerr. To donate or for more information visit

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