Barks and Brews: RSPCA sniffing out business to host new venture
REFUSING to let crippling monthly vet bills overpower them, Gladstone RSPCA is looking at its metropolitan sister for inspiration to stay above water.
During a recent surf of the internet, president Nicole Allison stumbled upon Brisbane RSPCA's fundraising and outreach venture Barks and Brews, and was inspired.
The monthly events combine two of people's favourite things - dogs and drinks, and acts as a social, fundraising, business and advertising initiative.
"I saw it advertised on Facebook and just thought how good would that be," Ms Allison said.
"I thought to myself, 'I'd love to go do something like that' and so if I want to go to it maybe other people would want to go to too."
With nowhere to kick back and have a drink with your pooch in Gladstone, the idea is far from unsuitable.
Ms Allison said Barks and Brews would bring dog owners, RSPCA foster carers and people interested in adopting together in a relaxed and friendly way.
"On either a Saturday or a Sunday, people would have a few drinks, listen to the live music and enjoy the day," she said.
And though still in the initial planning stages, the idea would be to have $1 from every drink purchase go back to the Gladstone RSPCA centre.
Gladstone RSPCA spends about $15,000 on vet bills each month and re-homes more than 450 animals a year.
"We're struggling to stay afloat. As this would be a fundraiser we'd probably look at having donation tins set up at the event and our foster carers would bring the dogs available for adoption with them, making sure they're wearing their adopt-me vests," she said.
Ms Allison said she was still looking at options in terms of who would host the event but noted, in an ideal world, a business would come forward and offer up its space.
"It would be mutually beneficial for us and them (the host-business) in that it would probably help with their marketing and advertising," she said.
No business has officially been chosen to host the event still in the works, however, several people have sent in suggestions.
"Some suggested Tannum Sands Pub or the Railway Hotel in Calliope," Ms Allison said.
"But the downside is most of our carers are in Gladstone itself and those locations would limit our reach.
"But maybe we could organise something so we have Barks and Brews one month in town and then one month out of town."
Enough space is another obstacle the Gladstone organisation will have to overcome in the effort to establish the event.
Ms Allison said it was hard to find a space with an outdoor area with enough room and willing to host.
"The Dock and the Airport Cafe were interested in helping, but those are quite small locations to bring dogs to," she said.
If a business is interested in hosting Barks and Brews and getting the initiative off the ground they can phone Ms Allison on 0449826105.