ALTHOUGH she didn't want to, genuine concern prompted Tehree Gordon's verbal agreement to take over the Chewton Dingo Farm yesterday.
Moments before applications for tender closed, the Geelong woman, who operates the Jirrahlinga Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary, considered walking away from the two-hectare property.
But concern for about 70 dingoes on the property, and her friendship with former property owner Bruce Jacobs, prompted the animal enthusiast - together with her husband, Hamish - to take on the mammoth task.
"We would have been happy to support local people with the fundraising and manpower because we know it is going to be a very big job," Mrs Gordon said.
"It's going to be a very big job and I recognise that. We just felt we couldn't walk away from the dingoes."
The Gordons yesterday verbally agreed to purchase the property and plan to sign a formal contract next week.She would not disclose the sale price - the farm was advertised for $130,000 - but estimates it will cost about $250,000 to restore.
Mrs Gordon met Mr Jacobs, who died from a heart condition last December, in the late 1970s.
He brought dingoes to the sanctuary and the pair shared an interest for animal welfare issues, she said.
"Bruce Jacobs' original vision was a good one," she said. "We aim to retrieve that and make it something we can all be proud of."
Mrs Gordon plans to turn the farm into an education centre for school groups.
She said she was relying on support from the Chewton community to help rebuild the neglected site.
Brett Fitzpatrick, from Castlemaine Property Group, said the dingo farm was the most interesting property he had been in charge of selling.