DOGGED DEVOTION: Vicki Fairley, of WeCare kennels with Nero, a male malamut.
DOGGED DEVOTION: Vicki Fairley, of WeCare kennels with Nero, a male malamut. DEIRDRE SMITH

Nero needs a dog-gone home, now

NERO might not be an emperor but at 45kg, he's a big boy.

Bryce and Vicki Fairley, of WeCare kennels at The Summit love him, but his size is a problem.

The pair, who formerly fostered animals through Southern Downs Ark, are now going it alone. And Nero is just a bit too much for them to handle.

"We're not getting any younger,” Bryce said.

"And big dogs are too hard to move on.”

A new policy means that the pair will only take small and "selected” mid-sized dogs. While that might seem harsh, they say there is no point if they cannot find a home for the animal.

"It's silly to take dogs that sit here for 12 months or so,” he said.

"And that prevents us taking a dog we have a good chance of rehoming.”

Bryce said it is easy to find homes for "small, fluffy types”. Staffordshire and other bull terriers are easy to move on but taking in other mid-sized dogs is a question of temperament.

Nero remains behind from the Ark days as do his friends, Lily, Max and Jasmine who are kelpie-crosses. The shelter has also refused to take litters of kittens as there are "literally too many”.

"The problem is out of control,” he said.

He blamed people who did not have their cats or farm dogs desexed and then gave away the offspring..

"Down the track, it's more of a problem,” he said.

"You've got different types of situations but there's the ones who couldn't care less.”

Malamutes such as Nero and similar Arctic dogs are a feature in shelters all over Australia as they are appealing as small, fluffy puppies but require a lot of training and and exercise as they grow. Even though they might have cost their owners thousands of dollars, many are happy to let them go.

There is a donation bin for pet food at Spano's IGA in Stanthorpe and the Fairleys are grateful for the support they receive. Rehomed dogs are all desexed and microchipped and cost around $400 or $450 for a pure-breed while cats cost $200. Contact WeCare Kennels on 4683 2518.

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