Beaudesert student has found passion in rescuing dogs no one else wants

SAVED: Connor Kirmond with Opal, who was destined to be used as bait in dog fights. Photo: Larraine Sathicq
SAVED: Connor Kirmond with Opal, who was destined to be used as bait in dog fights. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

WHEN 11-year-old Connor Kirmond met his best mate, a mini fox terrier cross Maltese poodle called Puppy, he did not know it would lead to him creating online canine rescue service Hope for Paws.

Puppy came to the Beaudesert lad's home with special needs, being blind and deaf as well as having a heart condition.

"We got him about May last year after my mum's friend said there were some dogs who needed a home," he said.

"There were a few dogs there but even though Puppy had special needs and had been mistreated, he was the happiest one there.

"I think his hearing has got a lot better and he might have some sight too, because he's not bumping into things as much now.

"He's pretty happy and he's cute, fluffy and goofy."

Puppy was rescued blind, deaf and with a heart ailment.

Puppy was rescued blind, deaf and with a heart ailment.

Connor's mother, Sharon Kirmond, said her son had started his rescue group to try and help dogs who would be destroyed or had been abandoned.

She said Connor funded the project with cash for cans and apart from occasional food donations and her business, SEQ Property Maintenance chipping in for petrol to collect rescue dogs, he had not done any fund raising.

"We recently drove to Bundaberg to pick up Opal, a mastiff cross who was to be used as a bait animal in dog fights," Ms Kirmond said.

"We saw her on Facebook, where plenty of people felt sorry for her but no one was really interested in getting her.

"We ended up bringing back four dogs in total. We already found homes for the others but Opal is still in our back yard.

"She is a good dog, always looking for love and attention."

Connor said Opal would make a great pet for the right family.

"She's about six months old and she's had a rough life," he said.

"But she's so happy whenever she sees anyone.

"My message to everyone is adopt, don't shop and don't mistreat animals.

"All they really need is love, time and care."

Ms Kirmond said her son started Hope for Paws after completing an assignment on animal rescue at Hills International College in Jimboomba.

"He had a lot of support and guidance from the school, particularly from grade 6 teacher Paula McKenzie," she said.

Ms Kirmond said Hope for Paws relied on foster carers who could look after the dogs until they find a permanent home.

"We always meet the people who show interest in adopting, we interview them and make sure the animals are going to a good home," she said.

"We always need more foster carers but we have heard from people who can't house animals but are willing to help collect the animals for us or feed and care for them."

Connor said Hope for Paws would happily accept donations of dog food or drink containers that can generate cash.