SMART bursting at the seams

Tessa Cross cuddles a puppy while cleaning out the holding areas at Snowy Mountains Animal Rescue (SMART).

SMART Animal Sanctuary has suddenly filled to overflowing with cats, dogs and a few farm animals, with ‘not a spare kennel at all’ and an average of four people a day calling with new surrenders. 

“We are chocka absolutely,” said founder Lorene Cross.

“They’re still going out at a good rate but there’s more coming in than we can handle at the moment.”

Mrs Cross said she has no idea why there are so many animals needing new homes. There doesn’t appear to be any connection to the Covid pet boom, with the majority of the surrendered animals around three or four years old.

“They’re not ones that have been brought through the Covid time,” she said.

“We’ve got 35 puppies under 13 weeks, 14 adult dogs and 46 cats at the moment. We’re pretty full up and pretty full on.”

With the influx of animals, Mrs Cross said the sanctuary is constantly running low on all kinds of supplies, from cat and dog food to kitty litter and worming and flea treatments.

“We always need supplies of everything,” she said.

Despite the large number of pets being separated from their families, Mrs Cross said she’s pleased, because people are handing their animals in to be taken care of.

“There’s just so many out there that need help. We’re still rehoming as many as we’re getting. We just can’t seem to get on top of it,” she said.

Earlier this month, Mrs Cross made her largest-ever transportation trip, with 29 animals in her van, including cats, dogs and a chicken.

“It was a stinky ride home,” she said.

The trip included several litters of puppies from Wagga pound, but the sanctuary also works with the Tumut, Cootamundra and Gundagai animal shelters. 

“We’re getting busier all the time,” she said, “[As we’re] getting more known.”

Anyone with supplies to donate can contact SMART Animal Sanctuary via Facebook or by calling Mrs Cross on 0428 491 492.