Desert Dogs


Desert Dogs is a Not for Profit Dog Rescue Organisation

This program, which rescues adorable desert dogs, is run by Warlukurlangu Artists of Yuendumu, the art work that you see on this site comes from them (click on the art to be taken to their site)

The dogs and puppies available have been saved, thanks to their rescuer and foster carer Gloria, and both she and her other carer Roz are now trying to find them permanent homes.

The puppies, which are fostered by Gloria 'The Dog Lady' have had a wonderful puppyhood. Some pups have been with Gloria since they were only a week old and have learned 'doggy manners' as they have to share with 20 other dogs. They are given excellent food, wonderful walks in the bush (including swimming in billabongs) and this means that they don't have the tragic issues of many city dogs which have been abused. All the desert dogs get on with other dogs, avoid trouble and have learned to be submissive. They ignore cats and other animals and like children and as they are crossbreeds they are very healthy due to hybrid vigour.

Unlike the countless number of abandoned dogs rescued from our city Pounds and re-homed, the Yuendumu people did not buy the dogs from a pet shop, puppy farm or a breeder. Instead these animal loving communities were just left to cope with domestic dogs that were dumped and, unlike the Dingo, domestic dogs breed prolifically.

Seven years ago, before the program began, the local Yuendumu people had to cope with as many as 20 or more dogs per household and, although many of them love their unique dogs, they were overwhelmed by the number as many aboriginal people just want to have 2 or 3 family dogs. Gloria Morales then established the Desert Dog Project and says that "one of the most effective things we can do is to stabilise the breeding cycle and we have gradually halved the dog population, which has hugely improved the health and wellbeing of the dogs. Even with the increase in dog control there is still an epidemic amount of puppies that need loving homes and that is where the Desert Dogs helps".

Sadly, despite the work of volunteers and the dedication shown by both Gloria Morales, vet Dr Honey Nelson and Dr Steve Cutter from AMRRIC (Animal Management in Rural Remote Indigenous Communities), changes to funding management by the local shire mean the future and the program is at risk. Ms Morales is currently campaigning for the vital $25,000 p.a. minimum needed over the next 5 years. If she succeeds, Yuendumu could become a national success story and a prototype for all other remote communities.

"There are only so many puppies that we can re-home, and if we are forced to abandon the Desert Dogs project Yuendumu will revert to having a plague of diseased and hungry dogs and this will have a major detrimental impact on the already poor health of these communities" adds Gloria.


If you would like to help the "Desert Dog Project" by becoming a foster carer, please complete our Foster Carer Enquiry Form and make sure you let us know that you are particularly interested in fostering a Desert puppy!

Desert dogs and puppies are now available for the special adoption fee of $400 thanks to both AMRRIC and the Green Cross Vets who have provided them with reduced rates for all their veterinary work.

As the dog program in Yuendumu improves, other local communities now bring abandoned and sick dogs to "The Dog Lady" who needs assistance with basic vet supplies and funds to transport dogs to vets in the cities. We also need QANTAS passengers who are prepared to accompany a dog to a new home or to a foster carer in major cities as this saves the Dog Project paying freight charges. If you would like to help, or to obtain more information, please phone Gloria on 0407 716 905.

For those who may be interested, a PHD student studying dingoes in the area took DNA from about 25 of Gloria's dogs and the results showed that there was less than a 50% chance of any of them having Dingo blood in them. Further studies have since been completed.

Copyright © Desert Dogs 2011

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Gloria 'The Dog Lady'

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