Lilydale brigade volunteer supporting dogs in need

A Lilydale CFA volunteer is leading a dog food donation drive to help drought-stricken and fire-affected farmers.


Tanya Brock with some of the food she has collected.

Two years ago, Tanya Brock saw a photo of an underweight kelpie in East Gippsland, a victim of a farmer struggling to feed his family and livestock during the severe drought. Drought -stricken farmers often have little left to buy food for their working dogs after spending all they have on keeping stock alive. 

Tanya was aware of several programs helping supply hay but much less was being done to support working dogs. It inspired her to do something to help dogs whose owners are battling to feed and look after them.

With the help of Lilydale Rotary Club President Ron Haines who connected her with Buchan Fire Brigade Captain Peter White Tanya rallied her family and friends and started the ‘Dogs in Need’ project, collecting and donating dog food to needy farmers in East Gippsland. Tanya has been collecting food ever since and when the fires broke out in the same area, the need for food became even greater.

Tanya put out a call through her fellow brigade members, Facebook, at ‘Chrome Bumpers’ and other events the brigade attended and walked the streets in her local area putting brochures in letterboxes requesting donations. 

Donated food is dropped off and collected at Lilydale Fire Station. Along with the food, donations of dog beds, bowls, treatment products and cat food have been received. Some regular contributors donate frequently.

The items are then transported to Buchan Fire Station where the captain and brigade members coordinate the food distribution to farmers in need.

Since the fires began in late November, Tanya estimates she has collected and distributed 300 bags of food, enabling struggling farmers to keep their dogs, many of whom are not only a valuable resource on the farm but also much-loved pets.

For her efforts Tanya was awarded a special recognition certificate at MP Tony Smith's annual Casey Volunteer and Community Awards.

Author: Sue Harley