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Urgent Care for Piper After Balcony Fall

Piper the cat was found at the base of a nine-storey apartment building in late February with injuries suggesting she fell from a balcony. When council rangers brought her to the Home, it was clear she needed immediate vet attention.

Physical examinations, blood tests, x-rays and an ultrasound revealed Piper had subcutaneous emphysema (air in her chest and under her skin), bruising along her belly, a graze on her chin and damage to her liver.

Piper required urgent overnight care with a specialist, so we sent her to Sydney Veterinary Emergency and Specialists (SVES) where she was put on IV fluids, pain relief and antibiotics. 

Repeat blood tests and monitoring overnight revealed Piper’s health concerns including her subcutaneous emphysema and liver trauma were temporary and resolved with time and medication. 

While Piper was receiving treatment at SVES, Sydney Dogs & Cats Home Animal Care Manager Dr Renae Jackson was determined to find Piper’s owners. Renae printed some lost posters and plastered them all over the apartment building where Piper was found. Within 24 hours, Piper’s owners contacted the Home to reclaim her and cover the costs of her medical treatment. 

It’s now over two months since Piper’s fall, and we’re pleased to reports she has completely recovered and is getting back to her active self. There’ll be no more balcony adventures for her in the future.

Injuries like those sustained by Piper are one of the many reasons we recommend for apartment cats to be kept inside, away from open balconies. Renae notes, “Cats and open balconies can be a very dangerous mix. Usually, cats who fall from balconies have a fractured jaw, their bladder may burst, their diaphragm may rupture or they may have broken bones. Piper was lucky not to have any of these.

We recommend for all apartment cats to be indoor cats. Cats are very agile and they can slip, be startled or try to chase a passing bird, which can have disastrous consequences on an open balcony. A fully enclosed balcony is great, but if you don’t have one you can still give your cat a great quality of life indoors by providing lots of enrichment like toys, hiding areas, scratching posts and cat trees.” 

Terrified Staffy Finds Confidence in New Home

Stewy was one of the most anxious dogs our animal attendants had ever met. He was terrified of every noise and movement. When people came to see him in his kennel he’d freeze and stare or hide in his crate. He refused to leave the driveway to go for a walk.

It’s not clear what happened in Stewy’s past to make him so anxious, but when he came into our care in October 2020, our team was determined to transform his future.

Our animal attendants worked with Stewy every day to earn his trust, keeping him company in his kennel and giving him treats when he was brave and accepted a pat or came onto the street.

Progress was slow, but over time, Stewy formed bonds with animal attendants and volunteers and started showing his affectionate side, cuddling with them and jumping in excitement when they came to say hello. He started coming into the courtyard every afternoon for playtime and went home with staff on the weekends.

Once Stewy was confident with select people, we introduced him to a friendly dog and discovered he loves canine company. We paired him with other dog residents to play, and occasionally, they would encourage him to go for a walk. 

We saw huge improvements in Stewy, but after three months in our care, it was clear he wasn’t suited to the shelter environment and needed to find a home away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

We contacted Dunroamin Animal Rescue in southern NSW who have previously rehomed some of our dogs who need a country home. They had a space ready for Stewy with one of their foster carers.

SDCH animal attendant Natalie, who had formed a close bond with Stewy, drove him five hours south, where Dunroamin picked him up for his new life. Natalie said, “there were some tears shed!”

Stewy went into a foster home with Dianna where progress was slow. There were sleepless nights, but Dianna never once gave up on Stewy. After hearing about how he responded to other canines, she borrowed a friend’s dog and we’re told that worked a treat on his confidence.

But Stewy’s new doggy friend couldn’t stay forever, so Dunroamin sent one of their dogs into foster with Stewy and he’s thrilled with his new friend.

Not long ago, Dianna adopted Stewy! Stewy may never be a dog who is confident in a busy setting, but with his new understanding and patient owner, we’re confident he’s going to have a very comfortable life! 

Narla Reunited with Family After Nine Months

We had a very heartwarming and unusual adoption in March, where Narla the Staffy (previously Jane) was reunited with her family after being lost for nine months! 

In June last year, Narla was staying with a family friend and their dogs on the Central Coast while her owner Tammie and her husband were relocating to QLD. One day Narla and her canine friends got out and went missing. Her friends made it back home, but Narla couldn’t be found. 

Nine months later, Tammie’s friend was looking to adopt a dog and noticed there was a Staffy with a striking resemblance to Narla on our website, with the same scar across her face. When Tammie saw the picture, she was certain it was her long-lost dog.

Tammie was eager to bring Narla home, so she booked a flight to fly her to QLD. When Narla touched down and was reunited with Tammie and her husband, it was clear she missed her family – her whole body started to wiggle!

Narla has since made herself at home in QLD and is back into the swing of things with her Chihuahua and English Staffy siblings. Tammie said, “it was like they’d never been apart.” She really enjoys her trips to the beach to run in the water and play with her canine companions. After lots of playtime at the Home, she’s also formed a new love of toy balls!