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    About the sanctuary

    The Australian Native Dog Conservation Society (ANDCS), an organisation with a membership of over two hundred people worldwide and a network of supporters in the academic, political and canine world was formed in October 1976 by Berenice Walters (pictured below) to promote a better understanding and knowledge of Australia’s Native Dog, the Dingo, and its official recognition and protection as native fauna.

    Berenice came to an Obedience Club hosted by Lucille Ellem and brought her Dingo to be trained. “At the time I was Chief Instructor, and she called her dingo a cross Kelpie because in those days you were not allowed to own one. We got on well and I went to her property in Bargo, met up with all the dingoes and became committee members, did some training with the other dingoes and I stayed with the ANDCS with the hope to bring recognition to the breed, to have them recognised as an Australian Native keeping the Australian ecosystem in balance, and to stop senseless killing and 1080 poisoning”.

    Berenice has since passed. Her legacy continues through various blogs and pages dedicated to her memory, and through the Sanctuary here.

    Berenice Walters – founder member ANDCS

    The Society addresses issues relating to the Dingo and related canids. Education being the Society’s primary function.

    It is envisaged that the 32 Dingo residents at the Dingo Sanctuary will help contribute towards conservation of the Dingo. In addition, the Society has contributed funds to the University of NSW for the development of a DNA test which, it is hoped, will allow Dingoes to be differentiated from similar-looking domestic dogs and hybrids and will facilitate the preservation of Australia’s Native Dog. Learn more about the Dingoes and DNA testing in our page About Dingoes.

    Love ’em or hate ’em, most people have an interest in dogs one way or another! At the Dingo Sanctuary, set in magical, open woodland-style, Australian native plant gardens, visitors are accompanied around the facility for hands-on introduction to the Dingoes by knowledgeable volunteers. The first thing which strikes many is the peace and calm. There are no jostling crowds.

    There is almost complete absence of noise from the 32 canine residents. Usually birds, and the gentle rustling of leaves in the trees soaring above, are all that is heard in the background as each Dingo is introduced with humorous anecdotes, illustrating aspects of their ecology and biology. There is no set commentary – visitors are encouraged to ask questions, and dialogue can range over a diversity of canine-related topics.

    The Dingo Sanctuary is a public company and registered charity which maintains a colony of Dingoes for public education and Dingo conservation.

    We are situated at Bargo in the Wollondilly Shire on the south western outskirts of Sydney.

    Here visitors are able to meet and learn about dingoes in a natural setting. A volunteer accompanies visitors, giving them a guided tour and answering questions. Video presentations are available on request.

    Lucille Ellem – founder member ANDCS

    Planning a visit?

    Our Sanctuary is open 7 days a week. Visiting times are –

    10am – 12noon  or  12noon – 2pm  

    Please ring or fill in our convenient online booking form.

    0419 488-680  or  0408 889-137

    We welcome tour groups any day of the week with the provision the bookings are made in advance.

    Meet our dedicated staff below …

    Meet the staff

    Meet the people who work tirelessly to keep the sanctuary open and the dingoes happy and healthy.

    Lucille Ellem – President (ANDCS)

    Luci together with Berenice founded the Australian Native Dog Conservation Society (ANDCS) 44 years ago.  She continues the battle on behalf of the Dingo, and to have them recognised as a Native breed and part of the natural balance of our native fauna. She is a professional dog trainer, a registered obedience dog judge, and Councillor of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW. She holds a Certificate III in Captive Animals. Her passion for the Native Australian dog started after training a dingo owned by Berenice. It was supposed to be a ‘Kelpie cross’. Luci has spent many years studying the Dingo.

    Rebecca Bancroft –Vice President

    Rebecca has been volunteering at the sanctuary for 10 years, she is such a credit to the sanctuary.  Rebecca gives up almost all of her free time to look after the dingoes and the visitors. “I’ve been involved with animals all my life specifically dogs, in the conformation show ring and obedience. I’m a teacher weekdays and the highlight for me is weekends when I can spend time at the sanctuary. I’m lucky enough to sponsor my favourite dingo Tyipa who I have been involved with since his birth. The Sanctuary is an awesome place and it’s a privilege to be involved”.

    Malcolm Vaughan – Treasurer

    Malcolm has been involved in the Financial Industry all his life and fell in love with the dingoes after his wife became a volunteer. He is now a huge asset to the sanctuary giving up his free time to help out where he can.

    Guy Pidding – Secretary

    Carol Domsalla – Board Member

    Carol has been an animal lover since childhood and is right at home with the dingoes. We can’t thank her enough for the work she does to keep the everything at the sanctuary running smoothly. “I have been involved in the dog world for 37 years in obedience, and successfully showing in conformation and agility. The dingoes are such an amazing animal, so intelligent and individual”. Carol is an Obedience Dog Instructor and a registered breeder of Border Collies

    Stephen Kitchin – Board Member

    Stephen has volunteered his time selflessly with the sanctuary for the past 7 years. “I’ve lived with dogs big and small. I believe the native dingo is a special breed worth preserving as a part of our indigenous history”.

    Gloria Third – Board Member

    Gloria just loves to garden and thanks to her wonderful efforts, the Sanctuary always looks fantastic. And when she’s not attending to the gardens, she can be found feeding the dingoes or helping out. She has also been a valuable part of our fundraising events.