Collection dogs lead the way in fundraising

Feeding our collection dogs is welcome!

Our iconic Collection Dogs are hungry and you can spot them all around the State in supermarkets, cafes and many other businesses. They’ve been doing their job for more than 40 years.

Real dogs and collection dog

Some of the first dogs – real and not real.

Since the 1960’s we’ve used dogs made of resin, fiberglass and plastic. The life size ‘models’ attract cuddles from children in airports, supermarkets, and at events. Their ‘mini’ counter top cousins benefit from members of the public looking to lighten their pockets and purses. Believe it or not, we have just over 2,100 of them in the state and they are all waiting for a feed.

Collection Dogs are famous:

One of our iconic Collection Dogs, Stay Here, was dog-napped from a supermarket in the early nineties and taken to Antarctica. Since that time, she has been the much loved mascot, finding her way from station to station. She’s even doing a stint on Macquarie Island at the moment. Her owner is unknown, as is her exact location at any time. We do know, however, that Stay raised over $2,500 for Guide Dogs Tasmania in early 2017, by walking across the island. (By walking, we mean that she was harnessed securely to the backpacks of several brave human walkers.)

Stay the collection dog

Stay Here on Macquarie Island – photo Penny Pascoe

When we least expect it, Stay  turns up in Tasmania. And then, as quick as a flash, she’s off again. She truly has an adventurous spirit and must have some amazing friends! Stay has even had a book written about her adventures by award-winning author, Jesse Blackadder.

A collection dog mystery:

Almost all of our collection dogs resemble Labradors.

Almost.

We found one in the roof of Guide Dogs Tasmania that looked like a cattle dog!

A man saw it in our window in 2015 and dropped in to tell us about it. He said he thought it was from the 1960’s and was used in Aboriginal communities in Northern WA.  The work was that of a man from the Carnarvon area.  He said it was made to look like this, and not a Labrador, because it looked like the local working dogs and was therefore more likely to attract donations.  He hadn’t seen one for 30 years and felt quite nostalgic when he saw it. How the dog came to be in our roof, however, is still a mystery!

Cattle dog collection dog

Guide Dogs, whether real or of the collection variety, must be adaptable and eager to serve in many different situations. In addition to their celebrity status our Collection Dogs are an essential part of our fundraising initiatives. They have a wonderful team of volunteers as their support crew who regularly collect them from their resident locations, empty them, clean them up and send them off again with fresh faces to carry on the good work.

Our Collection Dogs still hold pride of place in many hearts today. Just last year our volunteers picked up, emptied and cleaned 6,500 collection dogs and traveled to every corner of the state to do so.