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Hayla is much more than man’s best friend!

Domestic dogs and wildlife are often not a good mix, but a very special working farm dog has proved that this is not always so. 

Hayla, the Maremma X Blue Heeler dutifully spends her time protecting the livestock on her owner’s farm in Myocum NSW from predators such as foxes and wild dogs.

However Hayla has managed to take her care responsibilities to a whole new level this week, arriving home at 6am after her boundary check with a tiny female possum joey snuggled into the fur on her back.

Two day earlier, the property’s owner Lindsay had found a dead female ringtail possum in a paddock which he believes was most likely the orphaned joey’s mother.

“Hayla has always had an incredible work ethic and she’s dedicated to protecting our animals particularly the young, sick and vulnerable but when she arrived home carrying this tiny possum on her back we were just amazed,” said Lindsay.

“We really shouldn’t be surprised by anything she does in her role as farm guardian which includes checking on the nesting turkeys where she welcomes the newborn chicks - she even alerts us to any birds that are trapped or in distress.”

“She also attaches to our pregnant cows and guards their newborn calves and will sit all day with an orphaned calf that’s being fed in the yards – she’s a true carer.”

The tiny (88g) rescued joey is now in care with a WIRES* volunteer and will be buddied up with another ringtail youngster currently being rehabilitated. According to the WIRES spokesperson they will be released together when they are about 8 months old.

In recognition of the wonderful life saving work done by her canine rescuer, the tiny joey has been nicknamed Hayla.

Thank you Hayla from all the WIRES volunteers – you’re one in a million!

*If you find an injured, orphaned or displaced native animal please call the WIRES Rescue line ASAP on 1300 094 737.

WIRES relies almost entirely on donations to continue its work rescuing, caring for and releasing native Australian wildlife and tax deductible donations (over $2) can be made at or on (02) 8977 3396.

Hayla guarding stock

Hayla and Lindsay off to check the animals

Lindsay handing rescued Ringtail joey over to WIRES

Rescued Ringtail joey
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