Puppies and kittens face death row as rescue van breaks down
COUNTLESS animals have been left stranded in rural pounds as their one way out of death row hit a roadblock when the rescue van broke down.
The van, which has been beyond repair for two weeks, is an integral part of a life-saving project founded by Laidley animal-lover Cheryl Hicks.
Without the van, Cheryl's mission to save lives is much harder.
"I just did an emergency trip in my car to pick up 12 cats from Bundaberg - they were due for euthanasia," Cheryl said.
"I couldn't let those cats die so I drove up to Bundy in my own car."
Since founding Rides4Rescues three years ago, Cheryl has driven the van to rural pounds, collecting abandoned cats, kittens, puppies and dogs, delivering them to foster carers and forever homes.
"There was no way to get the animals from (rural pounds) down to Brisbane - it's a big long trip," she said.
"We get a lot more adoptions down around the Brisbane area because there are more people."
She estimated she has rescued more than 4000 animals in the time she has had the van.
Without it, she uses her car but the capacity is significantly hindered.
"If I had the van, I would have been able to get dogs as well but I could only get cats into the car today," she said.
"I usually move 20 dogs a week - it's killing me not being able to get dogs off death row at the moment."
Travelling to and from the Rockhampton pound takes nearly 30 hours.
"It's a long time but it's worth it," she said.
She hired a van but the cost of the kilometres made it unsustainable and drained already-stretched funds needed to go towards a replacement van.
"I need something with a towbar that can get me back on the road - I usually have the van and the dog trailer as well," she said.
A GoFundMe is aiming to fund a replacement van.
"To get even a second-hand van, they're anywhere from $15,000 up to $30,000," Cheryl said.
"I hate asking for help … But everyone has told me to do it, saying everybody needs a hand now and then."
Read more news by Ebony Graveur.