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Before You Pack Your Bags

Imagine coming back from holiday to find that your beloved family pet has gone missing. There are messages on your phone from the local shelter and a notice in your letterbox explaining that your pet is in their care and if you don’t reclaim your pet within two weeks it will become available for adoption by someone else. You call the shelter immediately, but it is too late! Your pet – in their care for 20 days – has been rehomed.

If another 24 hours had passed this would have been the reality faced by Fonzy’s family.  Fonzy’s family had been on the overseas holiday of a lifetime, only to return and find their precious pooch missing.  Fonzy had been entrusted into the care of a family-friend.  Somehow Fonzy ended up wandering the streets and was picked up by a council ranger who brought him to Sydney Dogs and Cats Home when he was unable to reach Fonzy’s owner.  The pet-minder who lost Fonzy, didn’t tell the family he’d gone missing and didn’t know how to find Fonzy.

Fonzy’s story, unfortunately, is not a unique or isolated case.  The following week we had another occurrence of an owner leaving a dog in the care of a friend while they went overseas for three days.  The dog went missing on day number one and the minder didn’t tell the owner.  Thankfully this dog was picked-up, unharmed and brought into Sydney Dogs and Cats Home. We were able to reunite this dog with his owner during the two-week hold period.

These two instances both had positive outcomes for the pets and the owners.  However, this may not always be the case. To help safeguard your pets should you leave them in someone else’s care, we have developed the following precautionary checklist:

  1. Make sure your pet is microchipped and the contact details are current; updating your details is free and can be done at your council or online at
  2. Add the carer – or a trusted friend who isn’t on holiday with you – as a ‘secondary contact’ on the microchip; this can also be done at your council or online via and there is no cost.
  3. Ensure your animal has a collar with a tag with your contact details and that of the temporary minder; do it yourself don’t rely on the carer to add their details.
  4. Leave the carer with the number of your local impound facility as well as contact details of your local vet; you can find contact details of your local impound facility from your council or via a google search.

Additional advice for people leaving their dog in someone else’s care:

  • double-check the carer’s fencing to ensure it is secure with no means to escape;
  • brief the carer to leave the dog’s collar on at all times;
  • advise the carer to only ever walk your dog on lead – even at the off-leash dog park; and
  • ask the carer to stick to your routine as closely as possible (e.g. feeding timing, walking, etc.).

Tips for people leaving their cat in someone else’s care:

  • never let the cat out whilst it is being minded by someone else, even if  it is in your own home; and
  • ask the carer to stick to your cat’s routine (e.g. feeding, toys, litterbox cleaning, etc.) as much as possible.

Accidents can happen and if you reside in one of the eight council areas (i.e. Bayside, Fairfield, Georges River, Inner West, North Sydney, Randwick, Waverley, Woollahra) service by Sydney Dogs and Cats Home please go to the lost page of our website if your pet is missing.  Nothing can ruin a post-holiday high faster than finding out your pet is lost.  We hope the above can help safeguard that from happening or at least ensure that if it does you and your pet are reunited.



Gopher’s Journey from Ringworm to Rehomed

In late March, Gopher was brought into Sydney Dogs and Cats Home as a stray.  The beautiful one-year-old Staffy X was covered in ringworm lesions.  They were on his face, head, legs and even his paws.

Ringworm is a contagious fungal infection that causes hair loss, skin ulceration and itchiness.  Not only can ringworm spread from one dog to another but it can also spread from dog to human.

So poor Gopher had to spend his first weeks at the Home completely quarantined and isolated.  Gopher couldn’t go out on walks because of the risk he would spread the fungal infection to the other dogs living in and around the shelter.  Also the team members who interacted with Gopher had to be covered from head to toe in disposable protective clothing to ensure they didn’t becoming infected or pass on the fungal infection to the other animals in our care.

The team put together a treatment plan for Gopher which addressed not only his ringworm infection but also a way to keep this young boy entertained and happy whilst in isolation.  For the first two weeks Gopher’s lesions were treated twice daily with the application of an anti-fungal cream. Gopher was also given a weekly bath with an anti-fungal shampoo over the quarantine period. To keep Gopher occupied while his skin slowly healed and his coat grew back, the team provided this big boofhead with lots of enrichment games, toys and treats to keep him busy.

Finally, after five weeks, Gopher was given the all clear.  Our volunteer photographer Peter from Tame & Wild Studios captured some amazing images of Gopher which went up on our website.  And in no time at all a wonderful human came forward to adopt Gopher and give him the forever home he deserves.

Team Cat Leader Holly Shares Her Story

Loving cats and dogs equally, Holly is proud to be leader of fundraising group Team Cat in the upcoming City2Surf. “I love all the different personalities of cats,” Holly said, “from too-cool-for-school cats to loving little darlings like Gracie.”

Holly has been a supporter of Sydney Dogs and Cats Home for several years.  It was back in 2015 while helping out behind reception that Holly fell in love with and adopted Gracie, the office Cat.

“With a full-time job involving lots of travel and living in an apartment, a cat is the perfect companion for my living situation. Gracie is just awesome – she has enriched my life no end.  Such a loving and affectionate little lady.”

Holly has run the City2Surf three times and this will be her second time running for Sydney Dogs and Cats Home.  “It’s such a special event, with such a good vibe to it.  Raising money for the Home really enhances the experience on the day, and it is really satisfying to see your fundraising bank increase; it gives you such purpose.”

Holly continues, “I chose to run for the Home as I believe it’s a wonderful and essential service for lost and abandoned animals – I can’t imagine a cause more worthy!  It is also great to know that my funds raised will contribute to the new shelter.  Feedback from those who sponsored me also echoed what a great cause it is, and who doesn’t love helping animals!?”

To sponsor Holly or to join one of the running teams click here.

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