Pet Food Buys Support For Lost and Abandoned Animals

PetO and Hill’s Pet Nutrition are encouraging pet owners to top up their furry friends’ food supplies over the next two weeks to support fundraising for Sydney Dogs and Cats Home (SDCH) and to promote the importance of good nutrition for their beloved animals.

Disney, a three year old Shar Pei arrived at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home as a malnourished stray with multiple health issues, including mange and an incredibly painful eye condition.

With the vet team performing a delicate operation to correct his eye condition, the rest of staff and volunteers at SDCH worked solidly for weeks to bring Disney up to a healthy weight using Hill’s Science Diet to which his body responded positively.

“The support from Hill’s has been vital to the work we do here at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home,” says Amanda Stokes, Head of Fundraising and Partnerships. “We do not place time limits on any animal awaiting adoption as we believe true love takes time.”

For Disney, his second chance came from the love and support of the staff and volunteers at SDCH. As his health improved, his joyful personality came through and he was later adopted by one of the volunteers who had worked so hard to care for him.

It is this dedication to the care for the animals at SDCH, which has kept PetO committed to continue their long association of Sydney Dogs and Cats Home.

“We chose to work with SDCH as their values are aligned with that of our organization,” says Nick Greenhalgh, Owner and Director at PetO, “We are impressed by the energy and care with which they conduct their operations, as well as their integrity in managing the responsible adoption of animals.”

Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s mission is to help enrich and lengthen the special relationship between people and pets. “Our many years of partnering with Sydney Dogs and Cats Home has enabled them access to the benefits of great tasting nutrition allowing the animals to find their forever home much faster,” says Hill’s Customer Development Manager, Samantha Schooley. “In turn, SDCH can focus efforts on their valuable animal welfare and community work.”

Between 19th September and 3rdOctober, $5 from every Hill’s product sold at participating PetO stores will be donated directly to SDCH. It is hoped that the fundraising initiative will bring in $7000 for Sydney’s only charity pound responsibly reuniting and rehoming lost and abandoned pets.

“We rely on the generosity of the community through donations”, says Ms Stokes, “The support of PetO, Hill’s and their customers will contribute to enhancing our resources and the vital work that we do to help the lost and abandoned animals of Sydney.”

While PetO are encouraging the sale of Hill’s pet goodies, two-legged family members can also treat themselves with a BBQ lunch at each participating store over the weekend of 23rd and 24th September. SDCH volunteers will be located at each of the stores to greet customers and collect donations.

To find your nearest Pet-O store, visit http://peto.com.au/store-locator-contact-us/

Wanted: Foster Carers

Do you want to be a pet owner, yet are unable to make the long term and financial commitment that goes along with the responsibility of bringing home a furry friend?

Sydney Dogs and Cats Home’s Foster Care Program is a key project which provides people with the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful aspects of having a pet on a temporary basis, whilst providing animals a loving short-term home.

Foster carers are called upon when an animal at SDCH is in need of extra care and attention due to their age or health related issues.

With the warmer months approaching, it is coming up to prime cat breeding season, so SDCH is expecting to see an influx of kittens and young cats being brought in to the shelter. In order to maintain space for other animals coming in to the shelter and to support the health and wellbeing of the kittens, SDCH is calling out for responsible foster carers to come on board.

Grace Ireland became a foster carer after her own cat of 17 years passed away. “I couldn’t commit to adopting a new cat so soon, so fostering was a perfect option!”

Grace did worry, at first, about becoming too attached, however she realised that her support as a foster carer would be making a wonderful contribution to making sure animals were in a loving home and that they were receiving “plenty of cuddles”.

Grace has since fostered 8 kittens, “It’s been such a delight meeting each of their individual personalities.” Grace says that each cat reacts differently to being in a new environment when they first arrive, with some making themselves right at home, while others are a little more timid. Yet, by the end of their time in her care, they’re much more confident. “Seeing how social and cuddly those cats are after just a couple weeks in a loving home brings such a sense of accomplishment.”

SDCH is also looking for foster carers with spacious homes to take in large dogs in order to provide the pooches with the additional space they require for plenty of exercise and enrichment.

Ashleigh Dare has been a foster carer of dogs for approximately two years and has found the experience to be one of the most rewarding decisions she and her family have made.

“It satisfies the void, the ever-present need to cuddle and snuggle puppers, but it is in no way all about that. It takes more than oodles of cuddles, but time, patience, and sometimes a strong stomach! We’ve fostered shy puppies, sick puppies, healthy puppies, and tiny puppies with huge personalities (Wilbur, I’m talking about you!), and have been able to give each and every puppy exactly what they need to grow and break out of their shells, and this counts for seniors pups too!”

Ashleigh has also found that the love and support from her own dogs plays a part in caring for foster dogs. “It can be heartbreaking to learn the rough cards that some of these fluff babies have been dealt at the start of their life, when they should be shown love and attention, but that is where you as a foster carer steps in. You take on the role of their caretaker when they so desperately need it. It also helps that our own dogs have acted as mother/big-brother figures and helped to teach them important doggy manners, like when they nibble just a bit too hard!”

And while both Grace and Ashleigh do find saying goodbye difficult and quite emotional at times, they wouldn’t change a thing.

“There’s no greater feeling than hearing your foster kitty has been adopted from SDCH,” says Grace. “I had the pleasure of meeting the family who adopted my previous foster twin kittens and they were so lovely and thrilled to have the kittens in their family. It absolutely melted my heart, and it makes you realise how much you’re helping the cats out during that transition period.”

Ashleigh says, “Unless you have fallen head over heels in love with your foster and decide to keep them, it can be difficult to give them back. However, it is a comfort knowing that they are going to be loved just as much by another family, and you have helped prepare them for that. Foster caring is a warming, fulfilling, and rewarding experience. If you find that you have a little bit of space in your home and a bit of spare time on your hands, opening your heart and your home to an animal that needs it will be one of the best things you ever decide to do (p.s., it has definitely become a bit of an addiction!)”

If you would like to join the Foster Care Program, please find further details and application forms here.