Barking glad: dog rescue group safe
 

Monika's Doggie Rescue had been facing closure at the beginning of last month until a story about the shelter's plight in the Herald brought donations and offers of help pouring in.

And now the icing on the cake, which will allow the centre to plan for the future and rehouse many more unwanted dogs, is a three-year rent "holiday".

"We're just so thankful and excited - we can't believe it," said the founder, Monika Biernacki. "We've never had any support from government before."

More in hope than expectation, Ms Biernacki had written requesting the rent relief.

The Minister for Local Government, Barbara Perry, said the Government was pleased to be able to help.

"The Premier asked for their situation to be reviewed," she said. "As a result, a significant rental concession has been granted through the Department of Lands for the Crown land lease they operate on.

"Monika's Doggie Rescue is a charity that works hard to find stray dogs a new home. The rental concession recognises the wonderful work this registered charity undertakes every year."

Ms Biernacki said the rent saving would be used to improve facilities at the Ingleside centre, including building roofs over the outdoor yards to protect the dogs from winter weather.

The money will also help cope with a marked increase in demand for the service sparked by the global financial crisis. Many more dogs are being handed over and Ms Biernacki said multiple surrenders, where families bring in three or more dogs they can no longer afford to feed, were becoming much more common.

Within 24 hours of last month's Herald story, $75,000 in donations flooded in, saving the centre from the threat of immediate closure.

Ms Biernacki is confident the shelter will stay open into the future. "There are so many ongoing expenses … but now at least we can budget," she said.