Working Dogs Retirement Foundation

Working Dogs Retirement Foundation                                  

In memory of Moss the Dog

Moss had been hard at work for 12 years before she was retired and as my patient I got the privilege to adopt her. Moss - as many farm dogs like her, was riddled with arthritis and as early as 3 days after adoption I had to perform a pyometra surgery (removal of infected uterus) as well as remove three mammary gland tumours.

Moss recovered well from her operations and with good management of her arthritis, she decided to take her retirement very seriously.

Moss adopted the back seat of my car as her home - the most expensive and luxurious kennel in Tasmania of that time. For four years the car's back door was opened day and night so she could come and go as she pleased, driving everywhere with me and enjoying every minute of it.

Moss was a month short of 16 years when her failing kidneys claimed her life.

Since Moss came to my life I've been thinking long and hard how to make other hard working farm dogs happier in their retirement, even how to make them to retire rather than being 'disposed' off as soon as they 'fail' to perform for whatever reason.

And so the idea of Working Dogs Retirement Foundation popped in.

It is a non profit private foundation with the aim to save any hard working dog from the 'faith' of being disposed of at the end of the working life without the 'luxury' of peace and rest for the rest of their life rather than a 'bullet between their eyes' or a 'green dream' as "appreciation" for the hard work they've done rain and hail day in day out 24/7 until and ailment or a break strikes.

The foundation will assist with medical treatments and initially will assist with relocating to new retirement homes until enough land is purchased to establish retirement home for these dogs.

The Working Dog Retirement Farm will carry small number of sheep and stock for the more active dogs to keep working at  much slower pace if required and enough space for the ones like Moss that decide that work is for the younger ones.

To register interest to give a retiree farm dog a new home please email our contact details through the contact page or call Longford Veterinary Clinic on 03 6391 1737


BSB 037 012 Account 35 2619 Name: Working dogs Retirement Foundation

Any donations towards Working Dogs Retirement Foundations are welcome.

These donations are not tax deductible, however a receipt can be provided on request.


New lives for old dogs


One of the hardest parts about Martina McPeace’s job as a vet is putting animals down.

What is even harder for Dr McPeace, is seeing animals that still have a quality of life ahead of them put down “for business reasons”.

Working as a rural veterinarian at Longford, many of her clients are farmers and their working dogs.

Unfortunately, she said, many farms  – not all, she stressed – see their working dogs as parts of their business, not as animals or pets.

“Some farmers that don’t have money to pay for treatment or surgery, for when their dog breaks a leg, for example,” Dr McPeace said.

“They say, ‘For this amount of money, I can just buy a new dog’ [and put this dog down].

“I have heard them say ‘The bullet costs me 80 cents’ and they put them down themselves. It is heartbreaking for me.”

Dr McPeace has begun the Working Dogs Retirement Foundation, in the hopes of seeing more dogs continue to live, and be loved.

The foundation aims to connect dogs who have reached the end of their working life, but still have a lot of life and love to give.

Operated through the Longford Vet Practice, the foundation will build a database of people willing to adopt an ex-working dog.

“I have heard [farmers] say ‘The bullet costs me 80 cents’ and they put them down themselves.”- Dr Martina McPeace

The practice will also assist with initial medication treatments and costs, and supply the first month of food.

Since registering the foundation in July 2016, she has already had a handful of successful rehomes. But she wants more.

“I need people to register to take a dog, if one comes in,” Dr McPeace said.

“But I also encourage farmers to come forward and say ‘I don’t want him anymore’.

“I won’t judge them. We just want to give the dog a very, very, good retirement.”

The end goal for Dr McPeace’s not-for-profit organisation to raise enough money to buy an old farm, where she’ll establish yards and find a few sheep.

There, the dogs will continue to be able to do what they know and enjoy – rounding up sheep – without the physical stress that a “full-time job” would place on their bodies.

Registrations for the Working Dogs Retirement Foundation can be made by contacting the Longford Vet Practice.

Donations are also welcome.