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AIR FORCE November 12, 2009
By LAC Aaron Curran
NEXT time you feel you need a
rest and a break from it all, spare a
thought for FLTLT Tanya Evans.
FLTLT Evans and her husband,
PLTOFF Andrew Evans, spend every
spare moment of their time look-
ing after and rehabilitating German
Shepherds. A day off to them is a
Both are aeronautical engineers
based in Canberra and for the past
year have opened up their hearts --
and wallets -- for German Shepherds
"We rescue abandoned, abused,
neglected and unwanted German
Shepherds," FLTLT Evans said.
"It is common for us to drive to a
pound in Sydney to pick up a dog or
even as far as West Wyalong, Griffith,
Wagga or Newcastle."
They started their work, 'Save a
Shepherd', in July 2008 after taking
in a Shepherd-cross pup.
"It just exploded from there,"
FLTLT Evans said.
"When we looked at breeding we
saw a lot of backyard dodgy jobs
and dogs that needed urgent help. So
instead of going down the breeding
path we decided to help the dogs that
are already out there and in threat of
being put to sleep."
PLTOFF Evans already had a love
for the breed, so it was an easy deci-
sion for him to make.
On their property at Goondah,
about 80km north-west of Canberra,
they can accommodate up to 16
Shepherds, but have occasionally had
more than that.
Displaying dedication to their
charitable work, they purchased the
property solely to accommodate their
rescued dogs and now commute more
than an hour each way to work.
"This is what we do when we are
not at work," PLTOFF Evans said.
"Transport, administration and
looking after them takes a lot of time
and effort. We do get some donations,
but generally the adoption fees we
charge help to cover the vet work."
Outside of the vet work, the
Evans' pay for all the food and trans-
port costs out of their own pockets.
'Save a Shepherd' is trying to
become a registered charity.
They said they are not in it for
monetary profit, only to find a
Shepherd a good home.
"Most of the dogs we get are
between four to six years of age,"
FLTLT Evans said.
"The only ones we will not take
are the human-aggressive ones and
generally the pounds won't release
They have, at times, contacted
the Military Working Dog Section at
RAAF Base Amberley
"We ask for advice
from them if we have
one that has some
training issues," she
said.When asked about the highlight of
their work so far, they said the case
of Max, a nine-year-old Shepherd,
was one they remember most.
"Max was with us for more than
eight months," FLTLT Evans said.
"He was older and was not social-
ised with other dogs, but he was the
nicest dog to people you will ever
meet. Then we received a phone
call from ACAUST AVM Mark
Skidmore, who ended up adopting
Max after coming out to see us."
Older Shepherds are harder to
find homes for due to the fact they
can have age related health issues,
such as arthritis, as was the case with
When asked how long they see
themselves rescuing and adopting out
German Shepherds, FLTLT Evans
and her husband looked at each other.
"It will be too hard to stop now," she
For more information on adopting a
German Shepherd, or to help 'Save a
Shepherd' become a recognised char-
ity, visit www.saveashepherd.webs.
For the love of
WHO LET THE
DOGS OUT?: FLTLT
Tanya Evans on her
property at Goondah,
about 80km north-
west of Canberra, with
two of the German
Shepherds she and
her husband have
(left) and Xena. Left
inset, Xena shows
her rescuer some
Photos: LAC Aaron Curran
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