Last updated: 22 Jul, 2019
Published on: 10 Jan, 2017
Rescue dog gets free flight to her perfect furever home
Zulu the mastiff x greyhound loves children so much, her carers at Kunapa Kari in Tennant Creek knew she wouldn't settle in a new home unless she was surrounded by kiddies.
So Kunapa applied to PetRescue’s Pets on the Move program to request a free flight from Alice Springs to Adelaide with Jetpets and Virgin Airlines.
“Zulu is such a special girl, we really didn’t want distance to be barrier to her finding the perfect family,” said manager of our Pets on the Move program, Tarsha Andrews.
Zulu was born in the remote Aboriginal community of Ali Curung, five hours northeast of Alice Springs. Otherwise known as ‘Dog Dreaming Country’, it’s a special place where all camp dogs are regarded as sacred totems and highly valued by the local people.
Camp dogs are traditionally a mix of working dog breeds from the surrounding cattle stations, with maybe a touch of dingo in there. However, in Ali Curung, you might see every shape and form, from chihuahuas to wolfhound-mixes like Zulu. But one thing that’s characteristic of all Northern Territory camp dogs is a gentle, calm, confident and loyal nature, and Zulu is blessed with all these loveable traits.
As a young pup, she was given to an Aboriginal family in Tennant Creek. But by the time she was six months old (a young teenager in dog years), she’d grown into a tall, athletic, 35-kilo dog and developed a regular habit of jumping fences and wandering around the neighbourhood, which earned her an unfavourable reputation with the local authorities. Eventually, a resident caught Zulu and took her to Kunapa Kari Rescue (meaning ‘Dog Place’ in the local Waramungu language).
When Zulu’s owners were contacted, they made the difficult decision to surrender her for rehoming. But as Zulu was so good with children she was immediately placed in foster care with a local family, where she thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with the kids, relaxing on the couches, and generally soaking up the ambience of family life at home.
As soon as Zulu was listed for adoption on PetRescue, Kunapa Kari received many expressions of interest and found the perfect family in Adelaide with two kids and another large breed rescue dog to keep Zulu company.
The biggest challenge was transporting Zulu from Tennant Creek to Adelaide. So Kunapa Kari founder, Lee Lanyon, applied to PetRescue for a free flight through Jetpets and Virgin Airlines. Once approval and flight details were confirmed, a Kunapa Kari Board member drove Zulu to Darwin to catch her flight to Adelaide and she was on her way.
“Zulu’s forever family just adore her,” said Lee. “And so does her new brother Sirius. Now that she feels secure and happy, she’s no longer jumping fences and wandering. It’s such a fantastic outcome for this lovely girl.”
PetRescue has partnered with Jetpets since 2007, coordinating a provision of free interstate flights for homeless pets in need every month.
“This valuable partnership with Jetpets and Virgin Airways has opened up so many great opportunities to move pets from places of low demand to places of higher demand,” said PetRescue’s Program Manager, Tarsha. “Giving pets like Zulu a better chance of finding happiness and a human to love for life is a real joy.”
You can find out more about the Pets on the Move program, our partnership with Jetpets and other free adoption support services run by PetRescue, on Our Work page.
If you’re a registered PetRescue member (rescue group, pound or shelter) and wish to apply for a free flight, please contact PetRescue.