Welcome to Mt Alexander Animal Welfare Inc


The shelter is an essential service for animals in our community. Our staff and volunteers will continue to care for our sheltered animals during the next seven days of lockdown, but the shelter will be closed to the public, with the exception of pre-arranged appointments.

Where possible, please call the shelter to arrange a time for stray drop offs and reclaiming pets.

Food donations can be dropped off in bins located at the gates.



Understanding the community interest in MAAW, the Committee have announced the reasons for their decision not to accept a capital grant to alter the Shelter premises at 24 Langslow St, Castlemaine to establish a community veterinary clinic.

The Committee noted that the Working Group Report modified some of the earlier application’s forecasts, but up to $25,000 would still be required to cover clinic establishment costs not funded by the grant.  Furthermore, the Working Group stipulated that a central factor in ensuring the project was successfully implemented involved the appointment of an executive manager, an idea that the Committee had already investigated but found financially unfeasible in the current climate.  Successful implementation would also require the employment of specialist staff on contract, the establishment of an Advisory panel to provide expertise in clinical veterinary practices and additional training of Shelter staff and re-training of volunteers.

Local vets and professional bodies all acknowledge a serious shortage of qualified staff in regional areas.  ABC News reported on 26 December 2020 that thirty percent of vets are predicted to leave the service in the next few years worsening the situation.  Staffing the proposed clinic would therefore be unpredictable.

The organisation has recently invested in the employment of additional staff at the Shelter and with the financial liabilities of a mortgage on the property at Langslow St, imminent remedial costs to the old RSPCA building, planned improvements to the new cattery along with the threat of an unpredictable 2021 the Op Shop’s income could be impacted hence we are reluctant to undertake another venture in this climate.  While the Shelter receives some funding from the Shire, its everyday operations and capital costs are heavily dependent on the income contributed by the Op Shop.

Disruption to the core business provided by the Shelter, both during the construction period and on days when the clinic operated would be significant.  In an unpredictable work environment and in anticipation that post COVID many animals will be surrendered, the Committee are concerned not to overextend staff, either paid or the volunteers who assist them.

Cost/ benefit and risk analysis of investment indicate alternative arrangements like a subsidy scheme can more effectively achieve the desired aim of providing financial support to disadvantaged pet owners unable to fund the health care needs of companion animals.

As an incorporated body MAAW’s rapid growth has already stretched its human resources, hence it is time to consolidate, offer a positive culture and engage/ manage our obligations to the community with a positive experience and outcome.


Mount Alexander Animal Welfare Committee of Management – Midland Express 10 November 2020

The Committee was saddened to read the recent article in the Midland Express, however we take the concerns raised seriously and acknowledge that all persons are entitled to their view.

Our role as the Committee of MAAW is to oversee, ensure good governance of the organisation and to achieve our vision through appropriate strategies, solid fiscal and operational management to ultimately achieve great outcomes for Animal Welfare.

Over the years, governance has changed significantly, and the MAAW Committee has undertaken changes to its structures and processes to continue to meet legislative requirements. The committee of volunteers has worked tirelessly to address these.

Funding Proposal

MAAW Committee Members are presently reviewing the opportunity to receive a grant for a low-cost vet clinic at the animal shelter.  The committee is presently completing its due diligence to ensure its financial and operational viability and is liaising with its key stakeholders.  It is essential for the committee to guarantee the vet clinic project would be achievable and sustainable into the future. The committee did not endorse the original grant submission, nor were there any future costings provided to the committee for consideration.  In achieving the aim of a one day a week clinic, the committee has established a fund to assist low income families and has already contributed to two urgent vet surgical cases.

Earlier this year the MAAW committee provided funding to the Hepburn Wildlife Shelter and contributed to the bushfire appeal to help koalas.

MAAW’s Governance structures and processes needed some attention to continue to meet legislative requirements both as a Not for Profit Organisation and one in receipt of government monies.

The current committee has completed an annual financial and payroll review to ensure it is compliant in all areas financial.  The review has shown that there was some attention needed to ensure that it adhered and continued to adhere to the many legislative requirements as a Not for Profit and one in receipt of government monies.

The committee has partnered with an accounting firm to assist it to make these changes and to implement them.  This ensures the best use of our member and government funds which is a key and fundamental step for MAAW as a Not for Profit entity.

One of the committee’s priorities, for example, is to pay off the mortgage and eliminate the interest we pay monthly before we commit to any more debt.

The key to the success of entities such as MAAW is having good clear direction and a clear plan for all to achieve it.  

The current MAAW committee members and managers have also been developing a strategic plan for the coming two years that will see MAAW refine its operations and take the organisation to new heights.  This includes setting a clear direction and strategy moving forward.

This will see MAAW’s operations refined, and in the future secure MAAW’s position to deliver its vision to further fund key animal initiatives and projects.

MAAW is a community organisation whose purpose is to provide high quality and compassionate animal welfare services to Central Victoria. This is certainly inclusive of the shelter but also includes many other organisations and we look forward to continuing to deliver this vision across Central Victoria.

Finally, the safety of our people and animals is paramount.

MAAW’s current committee has reviewed a number of OHS matters over the last 12-months.  The committee have purchased appropriate equipment to facilitate safe storage and movement of goods to look after our staff, volunteers, and animals.  Additionally, we have taken out additional insurance policies to ensure all our volunteers are fully covered.

In challenging times MAAW is innovating.

In the difficult time of COVID-19 the shelter has been directly affected where we have limited opportunity to re-home animals, and only limited numbers of people have been able to visit the Op-shop.  In response to this, and to future proof a part of the operation we are very excited to announce that MAAW will be launching a new, vibrant online presence that gives the shop exposure to a larger market and enables the shelter to promote their work in caring for animals in need, and finding them a loving new home.

The Victorian Government through their Business Support Fund has provided the funds for MAAW to employ expert assistance to design a website, and we are most grateful for that initiative.  This provides MAAW with an additional way of improving MAAW’s income stream so that the organisation can continue to provide funds for the shelter to improve its capital works, as well as broaden support for the many smaller animal welfare organisations in the region that have similar goals to MAAW

Caring for Animals

Mt Alexander Animal Welfare Inc (MAAW) is a not for profit animal welfare organisation providing high quality animal care and community education on animal welfare.  We find lifelong homes for surrendered and homeless animals through careful rehoming programs.

MAAW was formed in September 2017 and is operated by a dedicated and hardworking group of volunteers on the MAAW Committee.  The MAAW Shelter is managed by Robyn Slattery, Manager, MAAW Shelter, who works with a team of animal attendants and volunteers.  The MAAW Opportunity Shop is managed by Tania Butterworth with staff and volunteers.

MAAW is supported and advised by the Mt Alexander Shire Council.  MAAW operates the Council’s Pound services for Mt Alexander Shire.

The New Cattery

We received our occupancy certificate in July 2020 and our wonderful new cattery is now in operation, providing a warm, happy and cosy environment for our cats and kittens.  The overall cost to build the cattery was approximately $210,000, with $50,000 of this coming from a state government grant, $40,000 from three generous donors and the remainder $120,000 of the build was funded by the MAAW Op Shop.


Volunteers are vital to our organisation

Lola, part-time helper, part-time soothing Op Shop volunteer.



Our volunteers are vital to the existance and success of MAAW.  If you are interested in volunteering at either the shelter or the op shop, give them a call and find out what you need to do next to join the team.


Purchase of the MAAW Shelter from RSPCA

On 31 January  2019 the MAAW Committee finalised the purchase of the MAAW Shelter from the RSPCA.   Since then we have had wide coverage of the purchase.

Read about it here:

‘Mount Alexander Animal Welfare’s animal shelter model could be applied to other communities‘, February 2, 2019, by Chris Pedler, Bendigo Advertiser.

This purchase comes two years ahead of MAAW’s planned timeline due to our success, funds generated through the Opportunity Shop, and our ability to get a loan from ANZ. We’d like to thank the RSPCA for assisting us and for agreeing to the terms of the settlement back in September of 2017.  Thanks to everyone in the community, to Mt Alexander Shire Council, especially Darren Fuzzard CEO and Bronwen Machin, Mayor, to our wonderful staff and to our fabulous volunteers at the op shop and shelter.

We were required to own the shelter site before we could get building approval to go ahead with our cattery.  Now we have the Certificate of Title we will be able to move ahead with the new cattery.


Animal Welfare Shelter:

Email us at shelter@maaw.org.au

Phone us on 5472 5277.



Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 10am – 3pm.  Saturday 10am – 1pm. Monday & Tuesday are our main donation days and larger furniture drop offs are easier with parking.  

Donations are always appreciated and we encourage our donors to call the shop to arrange a suitable time to donate.

Email us at opshop@maaw.org.au

Phone us on 5472 4200

Membership & General Enquiries

Email us at secretary@maaw.org.au

Look us up and Like us on Facebook. The shelter – Mt Alexander Animal Welfare Inc on Facebook.

The Op Shop Empawrium MAAWOPSHOP https://www.facebook.com/maawopshop

Follow us on Instagram – #mountalexanderanimalwelfare OR #MAAWOPSHOP

Call in to the Shelter or to our Opportunity Shop.


Animal Welfare Shelter:   Monday to Saturday 10 am – 2 pm

Opportunity Shop: Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 10 am – 3 pm, and Saturday 10 am – 1 pm

Download Membership and Volunteer Forms here:

Become a Member – download and fill in the form Membership Application Form 2020 or click on the Donate/Join button at the top of the page.

MAAW invites new members to join and to become involved.  Membership is just $10 for 12 months.

We depend on volunteers so please volunteer with us!!

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