Meet The Team And Their Fur-ever Friends: Siobhan, Moose & Scout

You hear plenty about the animals here at SDCH, but while they get all the limelight, there’s an amazing crew of staff and volunteers working tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the place running.

Of course, with over 3300 animals coming through our doors every year, there’s a high chance of a team member falling head over heels for one of them.

We thought we’d start introducing you to the people of SDCH who decided to bring their work home with them…for good!

Siobhan Jones has been working on reception at SDCH for 10 months and has adopted two pets from our Home. Not long before starting work at SDCH, Siobhan was fostering Moose the cat. She was, what we call a “foster fail”, with Siobhan signing adoption papers to make Moose a permanent member of the household. A few months later, Scout the puppy also joined the family.

Tell us about what you love about working for SDCH.

I really enjoy being a part of the whole process an animal goes through. I was previously working more on the veterinary side of things and at first, making the transition was hard. But getting to see the animals’ transition – coming in scared, some unwanted or with health issues, to then going home as well adjusted, social and healthy animals, definitely makes my job one of a kind!

Tell us about who you adopted from SDCH.

Scout is a 9 month old Kelpie X and Moose is a Domestic Short-haired and is just over a year old. I’ve had Moose since she was a teeny tiny kitten and Scout is our most recent addition and we’ve had her for just over 6 months.

What made you decide to adopt them?

Moose is a foster fail! Her love of food and biting people’s ankles really captured my heart. I originally brought her back to the shelter to be adopted and the next day, I desperately messaged my colleague to let me adopt her!
Scout was a post-holiday baby. I was not looking to adopt another animal, but I returned to the shelter for my first shift back, saw her in the little kennel and fell in love instantly. I had to go through the whole process like everyone else and wait to hear back about my application. Luckily, we were the right family! 

What are Moose and Scout like at home?

My two fur babies are the very best of friends. They play with each other and Scout cleans Moose (hates every minute). Moose has major cat-titude. She knows what she wants and when she wants it, but also has a very affectionate and loving side. She stands on the furniture and reaches her front legs up to be picked up and cuddled!
Scout is most definitely the biggest character in the household and follows you everywhere, licking your feet and staring at you with her big brown eyes.

 What is their favourite toy or activity?

Moose doesn’t have a favourite toy but has a favourite past time of chasing flies. Scout is a lover of anything stuffed! Teddy bears, pillows, lounge cushions and carpet, all the cheap stuff.

What kind of impact have they made on your life?

Gosh where to start! When you get your first pet, you don’t think you could possibly love anything more, and then we got another and your life is never boring again. Our pets have definitely made us a more active and outdoorsy couple, always trying to ensure they get enough attention and exercise!

What would you say to someone considering bringing a pet in to their life and why do you think adopting is the way to go?

Be prepared to fall hard and fast in love. I couldn’t imagine starting my day without cuddles and kisses from my girls and knowing that I gave a home to animal that would have otherwise been left on the street or unloved. It makes the teething, toilet training, socialising and worrying all worth it, 100 times over.

Senior Pet Project

Big, small, young or old – at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, we do not discriminate, which is why we are introducing our Senior Pet Project to shed light on the benefits of owning a senior companion.

Before the surgery….

Current resident, Zeek is a Rottweiler X who we estimate to be about 14 years old. He came in as a stray from the Fairfield Council area and arrived with a large lump on his chest and feeling a bit sorry for himself. The lump was removed by our Shelter Vet, Christine Cole, and ever since the surgery, Zeek’s personality has been shining through and we’ve discovered he’s a dog who acts much younger than his years.

His story doesn’t end there though, as he is now available for adoption and looking for a loving home where he can spend his golden years.

Zeek is one of many senior animals coming through our doors and while they are just as deserving of a forever family, they can often be overlooked for a younger pet.

Recovered and ready to find a forever home.

There can be the misconception that older animals are no longer interested in playing and only sit and lie around, however we have found that so many of them, while they do enjoy their relaxation time, will still have plenty of energy and enthusiasm for walks and playtime – they often don’t know their own age!

Adopting an older companion can also be beneficial in that their new owners won’t necessarily need to go through the training which is required when adopting a puppy, as many are already toilet trained with basic training skills.

Like Zeek, a number of these senior animals arrive requiring veterinary assistance. As Sydney’s only charity pound, we rely on donations to help us provide the medical attention they require, so that we can give them that second chance at life, even if it is just for a few more precious years.

Please help us give the best possible care for these beautiful old souls by making a donation today.

Give Your Pooch A Safe and Happy New Year’s Eve

It’s almost time to celebrate the arrival of a new year, but before you pop open the bubbly, take a moment to think about how your furry family members will be spending new year’s eve.

The bursts of bright light and loud noise in the sky made by fireworks can spook even the bravest of dogs, so even if your pooch doesn’t scare easily, it is best to take precautions to ensure your dog remains happy and safe during the celebrations.

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Keep your dog indoors, or if that is not possible, provide them with safe and secure shelter.
  • Give them access to a safe haven, whether it be a crate or a cosy room with familiar smells.
  • Remove any potentially dangerous objects, e.g., electrical cords, glass items, furniture which could be knocked over.
  • Make sure all doors and gates are closed and secure.
  • If your dog is already used to music being played or the TV being on, considering leaving them on while you’re out to provide a familiar environment and a  distraction from the noise outside.
  • Stay at home – if you haven’t already got plans to go out and party, why not welcome in the new year at home with your pooch? If they are frightened when the fireworks get started, you can be there to help distract and comfort them.
  • If you already know your dog gets spooked easily, have a chat with your vet about the best options for them and if medication is necessary.

As always, make sure your dog is microchipped and the registered details are up to date in the event that they do run off from home. We also advise that you put a collar on your dog with a tag with your contact details.

We hope you and your furry loved ones have a safe and happy new year!

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.

Relly’s Reunion

After going to visit 200 Corellas, Tracy had just about given up finding her beloved pet, Relly.

“It was heartbreaking,” says Tracy, “My hopes were raised every time I received a tip off about a Corella at a rescue centre, so the let down when I arrived to find it was not Relly was just horrible.”

In February 2014, Tracy popped out to pick her children up from school. Relly had been a bit cheeky to the kids earlier in the day, so Tracy made the decision to leave her at home. Sadly, she came back to find someone had deliberately broken the padlock to the aviary and had stolen Relly.

Tracy was devastated and began doing everything she could to look for Relly, putting up posters, contacting rescue centres and vet clinics, and following up every lead she received.

Courtesy of Evelyn – Parrot Alert

Although Tracy loved the other birds and pets she had during the time Relly was gone, she did not feel that same inseparable bond. “Relly has a special way of getting on and off my arm – she crawls up and down my side, rather than fly. She’s only ever done that with me”, says Tracy.

3 years on, Tracy received a call from Evelyn, a local rescue volunteer, to say there was a Corella which had been handed in to the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home. It had come in from Mortdale Greencross Vets after being found by a Georges River Council ranger.

Unsure if she could handle any more heartache, Tracy thought twice about visiting SDCH. She arrived preparing herself for disappointment, however when the Corella said, “Hello” and crawled up on to Tracy in that all too familiar manner, it was no mistaking that this was Tracy’s treasured Relly.

It’s all still sinking in for Tracy. “It’s unbelievable.  It is the most surreal experience to have her home and I keep wondering if it is really is Relly. There’s no doubt though as she flew straight to her favourite corner lounge in the house and has been throwing about pegs and making lots of noise as she has always done to make sure she’s the centre of attention.”

We never get tired of reunions at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home and it’s thanks to our supporters that we are able to continue to bring families and their beloved pets back together. Make a donation today to help us keep these stories coming!


Toby’s Miracle Return

Even after 18 months away from home, it’s like Toby never left. In fact, he’s keeping a close eye on owner, Caroline, to make sure they never get separated again. “If I move, he is my shadow.”

Toby, the 4 year old Cavalier, went missing from his home last year, when thieves broke in to the house. His bed and his food had gone indicating that Toby had been stolen.

The time since has been harrowing for Caroline. “I was grief stricken. I put posters everywhere, called all shelters and animal hospitals with no luck – it was like he just disappeared.”

Caroline bought Toby as a young pup two years after the tragic passing of her first husband and young daughter, finding comfort in his constant friendship. “He was my only companion. I taught him commands and he had the best of life with me everywhere we went.”

Despite time passing and the chances of locating Toby growing thin, Caroline never gave up hope that he may show up one day at a vet hospital, or even back at her front door. “I got married and changed my name, but I kept all his toys and his collar – I never forgot him.”

Last week, Toby was found in the Fairfield City Council area and handed in to Wakeley Vet Clinic before being brought to Sydney Dogs and Cats Home. Thanks to Caroline being a responsible pet owner and ensuring Toby was microchipped, SDCH staff were able to locate her quickly and give her the good news.

“After a year and a half it happened,” Caroline said, “I thought I was dreaming!”

Toby has quickly settled back in to life with Caroline and is being spoilt rotten. He’s been taken to the pet spa; has a new bed, clothes and plenty of new toys to enjoy along with his old ones.

Meanwhile, Caroline is still pinching herself. “I am overwhelmed with emotion to have my baby home. Thank you so much for all the team and volunteers for reuniting us with our beloved boy. If it weren’t for centres like yours, I would not have my baby back. To have the miracle of Toby returning to my life is surreal. I wish for more happy stories for all of those people who have lost their beloved pets.”

These special stories happen thanks to our generous supporters. Help Sydney Dogs and Cats Home bring more joy to families and their furry friends by making a donation today.


LAST week, Australia celebrated National Volunteer Week, the perfect opportunity for everyone at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home to reflect on the incredible work we see people do every day.

Our community of volunteers are the threads that bind the rich tapestries of our country and for anyone who got to witness the army of volunteers at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, you get a sense of how we feel about our own dedicated troupe.

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