Maddie Donaldsonwith her dogs at Canoe Point.
Maddie Donaldsonwith her dogs at Canoe Point. Mike Richards GLA020118DOGS

Meet the Mount Larcom woman who has saved 50+ animals

SELF-CONFESSED animal hoarder, Maddie Donaldson is a relatively new resident of Mt Larcom, but she's already developed a reputation as a "crazy animal lady".

However the term is an endearing one, with the former Brisbane woman growing her fledging animal sanctuary with husband, Lynton Goodwin.

Both Maddie and Lynton operate Abby's End Animal Sanctuary at their Mt Larcom property after moving to the area 18 months ago, looking for a fresh start.

"We both really needed that country change and the lifestyle really appealed to us," Maddie said.

"I wanted to get into the animal rescuing - we already did rescue but we only had a small property in Brisbane.

"We had three acres but now we've got 38 acres."

The couple had a vehicle version of Noah's Ark when moving up to Mt Larcom, doing the trip multiple times to accommodate their vast array of animals.

"We were in the 30s when we moved - it was a hard slog moving those animals and we had to do it in shifts with cats, dogs, birds - obviously you couldn't mix the cats with the birds and the cats with the dogs," she said.

"So we had to do the animals in three trips in the ute, then I hired a horse transport to move the sheep, goats and horse.

"They had the whole run of the truck to themselves... it was a big move and I'm not planning on doing that again."


Greyhounds Cedes and Storm at Canoe Point.
Greyhounds Cedes and Storm at Canoe Point. Mike Richards GLA020118DOGS

The Abby's End Animal Sanctuary has grown in size since the move north, with more than 50 animals in the couple's care.

There is also ex-battery hens, ducks, turkeys, geese and goats on the property.

The sanctuary is named after the first dog Maddie took in, Abby, who is still with her today.

"We've certainly grown while we've been here, but that's the idea," Maddie said.

"The numbers are always fluctuating; we lose some but then we might get some more.

"We are both wildlife carers so we'll do wildlife rescues as well - we've got bats, a crow, we've had turtles recently. We do that through Gladstone Wildlife Carers. We've got our hands full."


Abby's End Animal Sanctuary is located at Mt Larcom.
Abby's End Animal Sanctuary is located at Mt Larcom. Facebook

Maddie has also taken in two greyhounds, Storm and Cedes, who were no longer required in the greyhound racing industry.

"It was one of the better greyhound trainers who really cares about his dogs and finds homes for the ones who don't make him any money," she said.

"Both Storm and Cedes weren't fast enough, they were trained up but didn't make the cut."

Taking in unwanted animals is a labour of love for Maddie and something she wants to continue growing.

"Not all of these animals are rescues," she said.

"I tell people I'm an animal hoarder, that's what I do, but they are all my pets whether they're rescue, bought or given to us, they are all my babies."

Find out more on Abby's End Animal Sanctuary by visiting their Facebook page.