WILDLIFE CARER: Sanctuary owner Simon Stretton with his dingoes at the Durong Dingo Sanctuary.
WILDLIFE CARER: Sanctuary owner Simon Stretton with his dingoes at the Durong Dingo Sanctuary. Durong Dingo Sanctuary

Can you help save Durong's dingoes?

A WILDLIFE carer fears his animals may die if he cannot come up with urgent funds.

Durong Dingo Sanctuary owner Simon Stretton was warned by the bank he would be evicted if he could not financially settle the debt by October.

"It means the dingoes will have to be killed, that's my biggest fear, and being left homeless," he said.

The 18 dingoes would have to be put to sleep if the sanctuary was shut down, because they were too wild to cope with a relocation and would live the rest of their lives in fear.

Mr Stretton bought the property more than 30 years ago, and has since built the sanctuary up with his own blood, sweat and funds.

Diagnosed with Crohn's disease 10 years ago, he was prevented from working as a builder and has since lived on a disability pension.

Mr Stretton spreads the money he earns from the pension as best he can by living off basic food, but the animals will always come first.

He earns a little for the dingo account through school visits and excursions, but the animals need to be fed, their enclosures maintained, and added costs of straw for their kennels as the winter mornings reach negative temperatures.

"If there's no money in the dingo account, it comes out of my disability pension," Mr Stretton said.

With recent setbacks such as his long hospital stays and the sanctuary bushfire in April, he decided to sell half his farm, cattle, tractor and his investment properties.

"As soon as I knew things were looking bad, I sold all of my assets," Mr Stretton said.

"At the moment I just want to save the sanctuary financially."

The dingo sanctuary recently received the Gambling Community Benefit Fund to construct a new toilet for sanctuary visitors, however it is only one of many projects the property needs.

The sanctuary is unique, one of the only dingo havens of its kind, with natural bushland settings in the large enclosures, and most of the dingoes are kept wild, unlike the mostly domesticated animals found at zoos.

It is the only legal dingo breeding facility in Queensland, and is also home to some Fraser Coast dingoes, a protected blood line of dingoes.

Durong Dingo Sanctuary also runs an animal rescue ambulance, providing support to South Burnett wildlife carers and veterinarians.

People can volunteer their time at the sanctuary to help maintain the enclosures, purchase dingo merchandise or make a donation.

To support the sanctuary, people can also virtually adopt one of the dingoes for $50 per dingo a year, which would go towards food and enclosure upkeep costs.

For more information visit www.durongdingosanctuaryqld.com.au or visit their Facebook page.

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