International Dingo Rescue (Part 1)


The Buhusi Zoo in Romania was forced to close in 2005, as it did not meet European Union Regulations, due to abuse and neglect of the animals. The Lions Roar (a charitable organisation to improve the lives of animals in captivity) worked tirelessly to get all the animals re-homed, however no-one was prepared to take the last two animals, being two dingoes. If no home could be found, the dingoes would have to be destroyed.

These two dingoes (Lena and Janis) are descended from a breeding pair given to Romania by the Government of Australia, sometime in the 1980s.

During a chance contact in December 2008, Tehree Gordon from Jirrahlinga Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary, immediately offered to take both dingoes and give them a new home, provided they could get back to Australia. Special thanks to Linda for her assistance to Tehree with all the paperwork and hours of volunteer time and hundreds of emails.

Due to Australia’s stringent quarantine regulations the dingoes could not be imported from Romania. The Lions Roar was successful in finding temporary accommodation for the dingoes in Holland to meet Australia’s six month quarantine requirements.

Jirrahlinga Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary were able to get a permit for the importation of the dingoes and Tehree Gordon approached the Melbourne Zoo for their assistance. The Melbourne Zoo was happy to help, however due to their mandate were unable to import animals on behalf of an organisation that did not have Melbourne Zoo accreditation. Not to be deterred, Jirrahlinga Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary achieved accreditation with the Melbourne Zoo in May 2010.

Lena and Janis arrived late 2010 and were quarantined at the Melbourne Zoo and home to Jirrahlinga for Christmas.

In addition to running Jirrahlinga Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary at Barwon Heads in Victoria, Tehree and Hamish Gordon purchased a defunct dingo ‘farm’ in Chewton, Victoria in 2005. Tehree and Hamish have worked tirelessly to transform the farm into the Dingo Conservation Center, in an effort to ensure the dingo stays pure and is not diminished by inter-breeding with domesticated dogs.

When asked ‘with all your dingoes, why on earth would you want to import two more?’, Tehree responded ‘these dingoes are Australian Natives and deserve to feel the Aussie earth underfoot and have clear skies overhead, like any other Australian animal’.

A special thank you to all the people who worked with such dedication to bring our two Aussie's home. Lena and Janis will need a great deal of love and attention and we would love to give them a very special enclosure after such an ordeal and if you would like to help, please make a donation to “Dingoes Lena and Janis” remember all donations $2 and over are tax deductible.


International Dingo Rescue (Part 2)
The Dingoes Lena and Janis HOME at last


This journey – that started so long ago with the courage, love, care compassion, sheer hard work and unfailing commitment of the Lions Roar team - has reached the next stage and an outcome that seemed almost impossible.

Here are the words of Laura Sims In 2003,
We discovered twelve dingoes living miserably in two small adjoining concrete cages with a tiny inside enclosure that had not been cleaned in years. They were across from the lion cages and the howling wild dogs and the hungry lions cried pitifully each day making a sound that was nothing short of heartbreaking. Lions Roar was able to bring some relief to the dingoes by improving their diets. We had arranged a sewer system and water hoses that reached their cages. With medical care and laboriously cleaning their indoor area tiny improvements were made. But it barely made a difference.

When the zoo closed in 2006, only four dingoes survived . One male and one female dingo were sent to another zoo in Romania. But the two female dingoes, separated, abused and living in despair and fear were offered no home. In the last moment (April 2009) , the Pantera Sanctuary in Holland gave Lena and Janis temporary environments and they were driven to Holland. It took months for them to relax in their new enclosure. Presently they are more comfortable, eating well and have bonded with their keepers. But, Pantera was temporary. We knew that from the start.

Tonight Lena and Janis arrived in Melbourne after a marathon trip from Holland, where they have been resident since escape from Romania. Pantera, who has provided a sanctuary for the last two lions from Buhusi, the disabled Gypsy and Romany, agreed to take them for 6 months to give some time to try to work out how to get them to Australia. That 6 months stretched to 18 months as the many obstacles were overcome.

After being sealed in their crates 48 hours ago at Pantera, Lena and Janis are now in the good care of Melbourne Zoo, who is providing the essential quarantine facility. Tomorrow morning they will undergo an examination by AQIS vet and all essential import documentation will need to be verified.

Then in 30 days time they will make the journey to Jirrahlinga sanctuary.

At this moment I am so aware of everyone who worked to make this happen. Personally I would like to offer thanks to:

  • The Lions Roar team - Laura, Sue and Jane – these amazing women whose commitment, compassion and sheer hard work will always inspire me.
  • Brenda on CARE2 who posted the original news story on the plight of Romany, Gypsy, Lena and Janis.
  • Tricia Holford and Born Free – whose willingness to answer and follow through on a single e-mail led to this rescue being possible.
  • Arno van der Valk for providing a caring haven in Holland to save their lives and without which import would have been impossible.
  • The Bali Street Dog Foundation who offered advice and support on animal import.
  • Martin Phillips from ARAZPA whose support and advice led us finally on the path of success.
  • Ainslie Brown Principal Vet Officer with AQIS who immediately learning of our problem came up with a solution and was always on hand to advise.
  • Sjoukje Vaartjes, Helen McCracken, and the team at Melbourne Zoo for providing the essential quarantine and with their expertise and support on the import process.
  • Rhedyn Ollerenshaw, Michelle Van der Voort and the team at DEWHA for every assistance in getting the necessary CITES permits.
  • Monique Schellinger and Linda Broekhof from VCK logistics for their unstinting support and attention to detail.
  • David and Ross from Menzies Aviation who were willing to take all those last minute ‘phone calls and kept us posted every step of the way.
  • Melanie, Danny and David from Jetpets for their efficiency in getting documentation sorted and a swift and compassionate transfer for Lena and Janis.
  • Linda Mira-Bateman for all her admin work on behalf of Tehree and Jirrahlinga. Linda’s expertise on computers, emails and having one person handling all of this made al the difference to the smooth transition between everyone.
And finally ………….. Tehree and Hamish Gordon – who immediately and without any reservations offered sanctuary to the dingoes. It may have taken years to find you both – this was for the very reason that you are the best place that Lena and Janis could be in anywhere

A miserable existence in small
adjoining concrete cages
International dingo rescue - Jirrahlinga helps rescue 2 abused dingos from Romania
Their enclosure hadn't been
cleaned in years
International dingo rescue - Jirrahlinga helps rescue 2 abused dingos from Romania
No sewer systems or running water
International dingo rescue - Jirrahlinga helps rescue 2 abused dingos from Romania
With the help of "Lions Roar" and so many others the Lena & Janis make it to Jirrahlinga
International dingo rescue - Jirrahlinga helps rescue 2 abused dingos from Romania
Clean, fed and loved at last
International dingo rescue - Jirrahlinga helps rescue 2 abused dingos from Romania
No concrete jungle here
International dingo rescue - Jirrahlinga helps rescue 2 abused dingos from Romania
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