Tracy McQuarrie is the Founder of Dogtown SA. In 2009 after a visit to Best Friends Animal Society, Tracy brought the knowledge she gained back with her to South Africa and in three short months, closed down her existing post production company, and set up a small animal rescue. She fondly named her shelter after her inspiration, Dogtown South Africa. Dogtown SA now cares for 128 animals with a staff of 28, focusing on rehabilitation, behavior, training, and assistance for members of the public’s animals.
Tracy founded BarkingMad’s National Network, a central portal for the public and rescue groups to rehome their animals and find assistance and support. The Network currently has 56 animal rescue groups and shelter collaborators. Realizing return to owner rates of lost dogs and cats was low, BarkingMad developed an app to help people have a better chance of reunification with their pets, provide locations for nearby assistance, and highlight animals up for adoption.
Tracy is a leader with the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT) which provides training to the public and offers free workshops to shelter staff on dog training and behavior. They are also working on a local shelter staff certificate which is a hands-on workshop to improve the skills and knowledge of shelter staff.
Tracy created the BarkingMad National Shelter staff internship programme to provide shelters with sponsored qualified staff. After the Interns have successfully completed an extensive 6 months training program at DogtownSA and IMDT, they will be placed in a participating shelter for 6 months.
Tracy dedicates her time researching and physically visiting animal rescue centers throughout South Africa, gathering much needed data and statistics of how many animals are entering and leaving animal rescues. The research is to gather data to see what the needs are for animal rescues and how we can gather international and local expertise to assist each other.