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Senior Pet Project: From Grubby to Glam

Eight-year-old Ron was seriously disheveled when he turned up at our door with a council ranger in April. We could hardly see him under all his thick, matted fur, which was clearly causing him pain. We got straight to work, clipping his coat and revealing a beautiful Maltese beneath. 

Our vet team also did some routine health checks, followed by lots of tests and scans, revealing Ron had been living with a few issues, including mild dental disease, heart problems, high blood pressure and skin irritation. Despite his long list of medical appointments, Ron was really bright and calm during his stay. Our vet team said: “Ron was an excellent patient throughout his vet work and was very well behaved and brave. Even the ultrasonographer fell in love with him, and was tempted to apply to adopt him.“

With a little bit of dental work, pain relief and some medicated shampoo, Ron looked like a new man, ready to kick off his twilight years in a loving home. While he’s not showing any symptoms, he still has a few heart and spine issues that could progress in future, so we knew we’d have to find him a committed owner who would support him for better or worse. His family would also have to help build his confidence, as he tended to unsettle easily.

That’s where Leanne came in. Leanne has been volunteering with us since late last year, and offered to foster Ron while we prepared him for adoption. She didn’t intend to adopt him, but after a while, things changed, and he ended up a permanent pet. Leanne said: “He was such a sweet little boy. I thought I didn’t want a small dog, but then he just won our hearts with his big ears and we didn’t want to let him go… We love him to pieces. He made himself at home straight away and has come out of his shell. He’s an angel. We love him.”

Thanks to the generous support of our community and those that donate to the Senior Pet Project, we are able to provide seniors like Ron, who have often been neglected, with the treatment and care they so justly deserve in their twilight years. If you’d like to contribute, you can donate here.

A Perfect Match

At Sydney Dogs & Cats Home, we think it’s important not only for a pet to go into the right family, but for a family to get the right pet. That’s why when Nikki gave us a call earlier this year looking for a dog with unique criteria, our team of companion animal specialists got to work to find her the perfect pet.

Nikki adopted a terrier called Cap (previously Oz) from the Home in 2018 to help her family with everyday life as an assistance dog. This time, she was looking to get second dog with cuddly and social traits to get trained up as a therapy dog.

Like it did with Cap, it took a little while for the right dog to arrive, but the result was well worth it. A quiet, cuddly Chihuahua-cross puppy Wanda came into our care and we knew she’d be a great fit. 

As a first step, we got in touch with Lisa from Smart Dogz Behaviour Training, one of the behaviouralists we recommend for complex adoption cases. Lisa helped train Cap and was ready to start working with a second dog for Nikki’s family. She had a chat to the family to make sure they were ready to raise a puppy, and they decided to proceed with a foster arrangement.

A few weeks on, Wanda’s a permanent part of Nikki’s family! After working with Lisa and Cap, the pup has learned heaps of commands, including (but not limited to) fetch, chase, toilet time, leave it, toys away, get the phone, dinner time, recall and say goodbye. What a clever girl! 

Wanda’s impressing everyone with her learning abilities, and she’s getting on incredibly well with her new family. Nikki said: “Wanda and Cap get along so well that they whimper and cry when they are apart. They adore each other and even play a dog version of football together… Wanda loves cuddles so she particularly helps the kids when they are in pain or upset.”

We asked Nikki what she’d say to others thinking about adopting a rescue dog, and she said: “Do it – it’s amazing! You’ll save a pet’s life and get the perfect pet. Rescued is the best breed! And talk to Sydney Dogs and Cats Home about getting the right pet for you.”

We couldn’t have said it better! Contact us on 9587 9611 or to get the ball rolling.

Morpheus’ Remarkable Recovery

Morpheus (previously Muffin) the 1-year-old ragdoll arrived at the Home in mid-March looking seriously dishevelled, sporting sniffly nose and major eye infection. He was suffering from a severe melting corneal ulcer in his left eye – the worst our veterinarian Michelle had seen in her 10-year vet career. 

Given the severity of Morpheus’ ulcer, we knew we only had a small chance of saving his eye. We wanted to give him the best possible chance of recovery, so Michelle fostered him to provide round-the-clock care. She brought him to work each day, ensuring he received his treatments, medications and hourly eye drops for 2-weeks straight. She told us: “Not many cats would tolerate this much handling and medicating with sure a sore eye, but thanks to Morpheus’ easy-going nature, we were able to treat him so intensively.”

Against all odds, Morpheus’ corneal ulcer responded to treatment and resolved to reveal a beautiful blue-green eye underneath. While he waited for adoption, Morpheus chilled out at Michelle’s house and dished out cuddles to staff at the Home. Michelle told us: “He is by far the coolest little cat I’ve ever met with a very playful but cuddly and laid-back attitude.” 

On 5 May, after a few adoptions fell through, Morpheus found his forever home with Sue and Geoff. They told us: “Morpheus is such a delightful cat. He lets us know when he uses the kitty litter for a number 2 with his morning meows so we remove it straight away. He follows us everywhere, even if we are showering. He just sits on the bath mat waiting. His favourite place is on top of then piano whilst Geoff practices his daily scales.”

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