The Victorian Animal Aid Trust (Animal Aid) is an animal welfare organisation dedicated to the care of stray and surrendered animals. Animal Aid is an 'Open Door' shelter which means we never refuse an animal based on breed, age, health, temperament or perceived 'adoptability'.
We believe that all animals deserve the safety and comfort of a loving home and we aim to provide that opportunity to every animal that comes through our doors; whether that be through reuniting a lost pet with their owners, or finding a new forever home for an abandoned animal. We greatly value the role that pets play in society and in our lives.
The founders of Animal Aid, Alexander & Stella Grierson, started their public animal welfare work in 1938, but it was not until the end of the war that they became the Croydon Animal Aid. In 1948 the organisation was registered as a not-for-profit charity under the Companies Act (now the Corporations Act 2001) and became The Victorian Animal Aid Trust. A small veterinary clinic was established in Croydon and in 1950 27 acres of land was purchased on the corner of Colchester and Canterbury Roads in Kilsyth with the intention of building a veterinary clinic and welfare facility. Unfortunately, by 1956 the area was re-zoned 'light industrial' so instead the Trust purchased a 17-acre farmlet at 62-80 Colchester Road, Kilsyth.
In 1999, after 50 years of providing vital animal welfare services in Kilsyth, the ever-growing encroachment of residential development created insurmountable limitations to Animal Aid's ability to continue its work at that location, effectively forcing us out of Kilsyth.
Following the decision to relocate the shelter; the Kilsyth site was sold and the Coldstream Boarding Kennels and Cattery, at 35 Killara Road was purchased in April 2000. For the welfare work to continue, new facilities were built incorporating a welfare cattery, fully equipped veterinary clinic and office, with some of the existing kennels adapted to provide housing for the welfare dogs. Our Coldstream facility can house approximately 100-120 cats and kittens and up to 90 dogs.
Animal Aid has been operating from Coldstream for more than 15 years now and our facilities are starting to really show their age. In particular the original boarding area, which is over 40 years old, is in need of a big facelift! Luckily through the generosity of our supporters we have the funds to begin a long term redevelopment of our Coldstream facilities, starting with boarding and eventually our shelter cattery, vet clinic and shelter kennels. So hopefully one day soon 'our history' will include some great before and after shots of our Coldstream home!
The operations of Animal Aid are administered by a board of voluntary Trustees, supported by paid professional staff and assisted by an enthusiastic group of volunteers. Animal Aid is bound by the Code of Practice for Animal Shelters.
In late 2005 Animal Aid successfully tendered to operate the East Gippsland Council pound. Like our Coldstream site, the Bairnsdale facility holds stray animals for the council as well as taking in owner surrendered animals. Animal Aid East Gippsland relies heavily on volunteer involvement and we are very grateful for the support received from both the local community.
Bairnsdale can hold almost 60 cats and dogs at any one time and is particularly busy during kitten season. The Animal Aid East Gippsland team takes great pride in the fantastic relationship they share with the people of Bairnsdale. Operating on a skeleton staff, the shelter simply would not be able to care for so many animals if it weren't for the dedicated band of volunteers. With help from the public Animal Aid will succeed in finding new loving families for the homeless animals in our care.
Shelter Manager Megan Abraham and the team are looking forward to working towards a common goal of responsible pet ownership and increasing the number of companion animals adopted from the Animal Aid Shelter in Bairnsdale.
In 2010 Animal Aid acquired the Wellington Shire Council pound tender. In the past 7 years Animal Aid has developed a great working relationship with the Council and the community, putting our team in the best position to create second chances and new opportunities for even more animals in need.
The custom built facility at Sale can hold 40 dogs and 40 cats at capacity and also has limited livestock facilities when the need arises. The Animal Aid Gippsland team provide loads of love and care to stray and surrendered animals seeking a second chance with the assistance of a wonderful group of committed volunteers.
Each year Animal Aid Gippsland rehomes around 230 cats and dogs back in to the Gippsland community. As with our Bairnsdale shelter, animals are often transferred to our Coldstream facility. This may be for specialist veterinary attention, due to the shelter being at capacity or to give the for long term residents a chance to be adopted from a larger population.
Collectively our three shelters work towards a shared purpose to unite stray and surrendered pets with loving families and encourage responsible pet ownership within the communities we serve.