A BENDIGO rescue agency wants to build a haven for society's forgotten creatures while they wait for housing.
Chally Rescue has asked the City of Greater Bendigo's permission to turn former school land in Longlea Lane, Longlea into short-term accommodation for dogs and cats.
Many would come from other services, which for one reason or another are deemed ill-suited to staying with them.
The animals would still go to a temporary home as soon as possible, the not-for-profit's secretary Julie Gannon said.
"We've been growing and growing over the past three years until we've got to the point when we've had to sometimes say 'no' to other services," she said.
All of Chally's foster-carers are volunteers and many can not look after animals that have not had vaccinations.
"Right now our coordinators are taking those animals, but that can be tricky if they already have others at their properties," Ms Gannon said.
"What would happen if an animal came to us with an infection like, God forbid, the canine parvovirus?"
That highly contagious disease is known to stay active in the soil for up to a year after an infected animal moves on.
Chally wants to solve the problem by building kennels and runs at Longlea, as well as a separate training yard for animals arriving without basic behavioural skills.
The group would also use the old school building for office administration.
The nearby recreation reserve would be unaffected.
The Longlea site is on council-owned land and Chally's fencing and kennels would be designed to be temporary.
"It will be sturdy and well-built, but it will be relocatable," Ms Gannon said.
Chally wants to be able operation to another property if such an opportunity becomes feasible, and because the council would not want to manage any permanent animal assets if the not-for-profit moved on, she said.
The request comes at a tough time for the six-year old service.
Chally has asked city planners to reduce planning permit fees for the Longlea application to help it make ends meet after COVID-19 stopped fundraisers through most of 2020.
"We also rely heavily on donations and due COVID-19 these have ceased. We use monies raised to manage our pet rescues, plus to pay for food and vet treatments for rescued animals while they are in our care," Chally told town planners in their submission.
Council officers will rule on the matter at a later date.
To learn more about becoming a foster carer or to donate to help animals visit www.challyanimalrescue.org.au