Ballarat family adopts puppy stranded at Grampians lookout

NEW FAMILY ADDITION: Liam and Emerson O'Gorman cannot stop smiling since the arrival of their new pet, Bailey, which was found wandering aimlessly around a Halls Gap lookout two weeks ago.
NEW FAMILY ADDITION: Liam and Emerson O'Gorman cannot stop smiling since the arrival of their new pet, Bailey, which was found wandering aimlessly around a Halls Gap lookout two weeks ago.

When a Ballarat family visited Reeds Lookout, they expected to see stunning views of Victoria Valley and not a puppy wandering dangerously close to the mountain’s edges.  

Jacinda O’Gorman said the family of four went to Halls Gap two weeks ago for a holiday. During one of their days sightseeing they decided to walk up to Reeds Lookout in the Grampians, 15 metres above ground level.

“It was far too windy that day, so we drove up instead and when we got there we found a puppy Beagle wandering around without its owner,” Ms O’Gorman said. 

“We spoke to other people at the lookout and they said the puppy had been there for the last few hours.”

Ms O’Gorman said they sat with the lost Beagle waiting for its owner.

But no one arrived to claim the dog. 

“It followed the kids around for 20 minutes,” Ms O’Gorman said. 

“We knew we had to do something, we could not just leave it there at the lookout.”

The concerned family reported the dog to an officer inside a nearby fire watch tower. 

The Northern Grampians Shire Council was then contacted to retrieve the dog. 

We knew we had to do something, we could not just leave it there.

Jacinda O'Gorman

The O’Gorman family then returned to Ballarat, but continued to follow up with the council to check if anybody had claimed the dog. 

“We kept following up to see if anyone had claimed it,” Ms O’Gorman said. 

“But no one did and so we were contacted and asked if we would like to adopt the dog.”

Ms O’Gorman drove up to Stawell on Friday to bring the dog to its new home. She said the children were thrilled when she returned home to Ballarat with a new addition to the family. 

“The kids were so excited – the whole two weeks they kept questioning me if anyone had claimed the dog yet,” she said. 

Northern Grampians Shire Council emergency management officer Kelly Boladeras said it was pleasing to see the dog find a new home in such unexpected circumstances. 

"We're always pleased to see an animal find a new home, and our Local Laws team takes pride in our rate of success in either reuniting animals with their owners or finding them a new home," she said. 

"In this case, Jacinda and her family and their new pet found one another.

“We were extremely pleased to see her go to a home where she's sure to get the love and care that she deserves."