UPDATE: A good samaritan is currently heading to the RSPCA in Unanderra in person to pay Wendy’s fine, with hopes she can be reunited with Lou-Lou this afternoon.
Wendy Lawrence lives in the sand-dunes at Wollongong Beach and is fighting to get her only companion back by her side.
Her small dog Lou-Lou has repeatedly been picked up by Wollongong City Council rangers for not wearing a lead, each time she says it becomes harder and harder to get her back.
Ms Lawrence said the Jack Russell-cross is microchipped and desexed and never leaves her side except to ride in the front basket on her bicycle.
The distraught 56-year-old is trying to scrounge up more money to get Lou-Lou out of the pound.
“It’s the same [council rangers] picking her up all the time, over and over and over,” she said
“It’s like we’re on a first name basis now, it’s unbelievable.
“They need to give me a break and go pick on somebody else.”
Ms Lawrence said she’s been homeless for over five years but always puts her companion first when it comes to food and warmth, owning several dog jumpers and coats and even a pair of booties for her.
A council spokeswoman confirmed this is the sixth time Lou-Lou has been impounded since September of 2015 and has been declared a Nuisance Dog for not being on a lead.
“On Sunday 7 May a dog was found by a member of the public roaming uncontrolled near WIN Stadium in Wollongong. The member of the public took the dog to the RSPCA at Unanderra,” she said.
“The RSPCA staff identified the dog as Lou Lou … and attempted to contact its owner on several occasions.
“In the past our staff have provided the owner with a lead when her dog has been seen off leash in the CBD. Council staff have spoken with the owner on a number of times this week to provide her with information and support, and will continue to work with the owner to resolve this matter.”
The spokeswoman said release fees have been dropped and frozen at $56.30 in line with the Hardship Policy.
Cheryl Delandre has come to know Ms Lawrence and Lou-Lou over the past six months as the pair often come into her workplace for a cup of tea and a biscuit.
Mrs Delandre said she thinks Ms Lawrence has been ‘’targeted’’ by council rangers, considering the repetitive nature of the enforcements.
“She’s not vicious and does not bite anyone,” Mrs Delandre said.
“This woman has nothing … [Lou-Lou] does not leave her side, she is not a hindrance to anyone because they both love each other and look after each other.”
Ms Lawrence, who’s on a disability support pension, hopes to be able to have enough money by Friday to get Lou-Lou home.