It was long distance love at first sight for West Australian resident Louise Sass who flew from her remote home town to Darwin and then to the Gold Coast to meet and adopt the Animal Welfare League of Queensland’s resident Anastasia; a three month old Doberman Pincher cross German Coolie. Louise’s journey from Kununurra, north east Western Australia to the Gold Coast began when she saw Anastasia on the Pet Rescue website.

 “We’ve always adopted shelter animals and got our one year old Catahoula from the Pet Rescue website in February,” Louise admitted. “When I saw Anastasia on the Pet Rescue website and the look in her eyes I knew she was the right dog for us.” It wasn’t easy to adopt Anastasia though. “When I found out she couldn’t be an interstate traveller I knew I had to go there and get her myself,” Louise explained.

Louise immediately called the Coombabah Shelter and explained her situation and desire to adopt a puppy she hadn’t laid her eyes on. Senior Dog Attendant for the Coombabah Shelter, Helen White looked after the adoption and was astounded at Louise’s determination and love for a dog she had only just met. “We don’t usually hold a dog for someone to look at and adopt, but given the extreme and unusual circumstances Louise gave us, we couldn’t really say no,” said Helen.

 “I couldn’t bear to have her fly from Kununurra to find Anastasia had been adopted.” Louise’s friends and family laughed at her for considering flying to the Gold Coast to meet Anastasia but she shrugged it off.

 “They were all saying ‘I can’t believe you’re going that far for a dog’ and I knew it was right.” After a two and a half hour flight to Darwin from her local airport, a nine hour stop over, a four and a half hour flight to Brisbane and an hour’s drive to the Coombabah Shelter, Louise met Anastasia. And luckily for Louise, she passed her pre adoption and adoption interview, hitting it off with Anastasia immediately.

 “She was so gentle and soft natured and exactly what I thought she would be.” After adopting Anastasia, Louise headed home with her newest family member, not before enduring an overnight stop over, returning home and amazed at how well Anastasia was adapting to her new surroundings.

 “Anastasia’s adapted remarkably well considering the distance we travelled and is getting on well with her Catahoula sibling.” It was the Animal Welfare League of Queensland’s most unusual adoption yet according to Communications Manager Brooke Whitney.

“We have had people travel with their dogs in cars for a few hours to meet our animals, but travelling for almost 17 hours across the country to meet and adopt one was unusual but warmed our hearts,” Brooke explained.

 “It’s always nice to know that we have the support of not only South East Queensland, but the rest of the state and indeed the country looking at adopting our animals or any other shelter animals and giving them a second chance at life.”

While thousands of people will visit adoption shelter websites and facilities a month, the idea of adopting a dog over the internet is an obscene idea, but for Louise it was right.

 “Given how far away we are from major cities, shelter websites have made it easier to find a dog and adopt rather than get them from a pet store,” Louise said.

 “People find their brides or start relationships on the internet, so why can’t you get your pets?”

 For Louise however, she will not be adopting any more shelter animals for a while, instead enjoying exploring the outback and its rivers with her family and its newest members.