Litter of pups, SCARS – Image Courtesy Victoria McGuin

Sunshine Coast Animal Rescue Service and 4 Paws Animal Rescue will be able to expand their footprint after being granted leases at the former Sunshine Coast Council-operated Sippy Creek Animal Pound in Tanawha.

The two Sunshine Coast community organisations, which are focused on caring for and rehoming the region’s surrendered dogs and cats, will have the best possible opportunity to continue their outstanding service after being granted 10-year lease arrangements by council.

4 Paws already operates under a licence from a premises on council-owned land adjacent to the former council pound, while SCARS operates from a site adjoining the former pound under a lease direct with the State Government.

Both groups will now be able to expand their operations close to council’s new pound, also on Sippy Creek Rd.

Corporate Strategy and Finance Portfolio Councillor Tim Dwyer said the new lease agreements for the community groups were in accordance with the Local Government Regulation Act 2012 which enabled council to grant leases to community organisations without tender or auction.

“Building a smart economy, a strong community and a healthy environment are the key overarching goals of council and the provision of 10-year leases to worthy community organisations is one way in which we can achieve this,” Cr Dwyer said.

“The community groups who received 10-year leases today have demonstrated that they provide tremendous value to the Sunshine Coast community and have the capacity to be able to continue their great service into the future.”

SCARS treasurer Penny Brischke said the granting of a 10-year lease over the property would enable 4 Paws and SCARS to more easily complement the activities of council’s new Sippy Creek Animal Pound facilities.

“SCARS was established in 1979 and is an independent, non-profit charitable organisation that is managed by an unpaid elected committee and run by a small staffing compliment and a large dedicated group of volunteers,” she said.

“We have a non-euthanasia policy and all cats and dogs that come to us vet checked, vaccinated, wormed, de-sexed, micro chipped and medically treated if necessary before being made available for adoption for the public.

“This year alone we have successfully re-homed 505 dogs and cats.”

4 Paws Animal Rescue founder Julie Penlington said the non-profit organisation was run entirely by volunteers and relies solely on donations.

“We provide refuge for displaced cats and dogs and most of the animals which come into our care are directed there from the council-operated animal pound and are generally surrendered or abandoned,” she said.

“Animals are housed with 4 Paws until they can be re-homed.”

The North Coast 4×4 Club was granted a 10-year lease at a site within the Yandina Sports Complex, North Street, Yandina. The site comprises the former Yandina Guides building and adjoins the current Yandina Scouts building. The club was established in 1998 and has grown from 16 foundation members to around 100.

The Sunshine Coast Beekeepers were granted a 10-year lease for a site on the Farrell Street side of the Yandina Sports Complex that was formerly a lawn bowls club. The Sunshine Coast Beekeepers were established 16 years ago by a small group of amateur enthusiasts to help generate interest in the craft of beekeeping.