Real Life

Meet the lady who took in 30 rescued huskies

''I’ll do everything I can to find them a furever home.''
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Monika Biernacki, 66, from Inglesea, NSW shares her story with Take 5.

Barks of excitement greeted me as I arrived at work for the day.

I had a lot of tasks to get through, but before I started, there was something I needed to do.

Picking up a tennis ball, I threw it across the yard.

“Go fetch!” I called as six dogs chased after it with excitement.

As CEO of Monika’s Doggie Rescue, I’m responsible for screening people who are looking to adopt dogs and I also run the charity.

I can safely say this job is a dream come true!

Monika’s job is a dream come true.

(Image: supplied)

Ever since I was a kid, I’d loved animals and it almost seemed like downtrodden or homeless dogs sought me out.

“Can we bring him home?” I’d beg my mum after finding a lost pup.

“Okay,” she’d say. “But you’re responsible.”

When I was older, I learned that the local dog pound had a devastating kill rate.

I vowed to do better and took in as many dogs as I could.

Through my own personal contacts, I found the sweet animals new homes with loving families.

Monika with Watson at the shelter.

(Image: supplied)

Sometimes, I even put posters out on telegraph poles and ads in the local newspapers.

Eventually, my operation got so big that charity was born in 2001.

“We need more people like you,” said prospective pet adopters.

It was incredibly hard work, but rewarding.

Over the years, we’ve rehomed over 13,000 dogs and 600 cats.

Last year, I couldn’t believe it when I was recognised with an Order of Australia medal for my efforts.

“It’s an honour,” I said, wiping away a tear as I accepted the award.

Monika and Pie the cat.

(Image: supplied)

During COVID, there was a wave of adoptions and all of the pounds were empty. It was wonderful to see so many animals find new homes.

But sadly, when the world opened up again and circumstances changed, many dogs were returned. It was devastating.

One day, I heard about an extreme case from a fellow rescuer.

“It was a hoarding situation,” she told me. “There are over 100 huskies in horrible conditions. Can you help?”

“Of course I’ll help,” I said, agreeing to take on 10 of the poor dogs.

Monika with Kayuh and Nanook.

(Image: supplied)

As the days rolled by, the number doubled from 10 to 20.

On the day of their arrival, I stood outside the dog shelter ready to welcome them.

The dogs arrived in a dark greyhound-like transporter, meaning that we couldn’t see inside.

Putting my hand into the dark hole, I grabbed a dog praying that it didn’t bite.

“You’re safe now,” I assured the terrified pooch.

We then took the dogs to the vet’s to be vaccinated and microchipped.

Chinook, Miska and Kayuh.

(Image: Kim Bernotas)

It was heartbreaking to see them so thin and frightened.

None of the animals had ever walked on a lead or had any human interaction.

But seeing them progress day by day was incredible.

Soon, we agreed to take on another 10. We even set up a husky sponsorship for the public to donate to individual animals.

Now, to see the dogs walking on leads with volunteers makes my heart soar with pride.

Nothing would make me happier than to have every dog go to its furever home.

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