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Perfect Pooch Completes Young Family

A year and a half after Helle and her family adopted Ayla the Pug-x from Sydney Dogs & Cats Home, they decided it was time to add another rescue dog to the family. Helle immediately decided to go to Sydney Dogs & Cats Home since she had such a good experience with Ayla.

Meanwhile, Pablo the French Bulldog had been surrendered to Sydney Dogs & Cats Home due to no fault of his own. It was a rare occurrence to find an almost 2-year-old French Bulldog available for adoption from a shelter. When Helle saw Pablo on the Sydney Dogs & Cats Home website, she applied immediately, thinking her chances were slim since Pablo had become a very popular little man. She thought he was the perfect fit for her family as he was a similar size to Ayla, and she knew French Bulldogs are known for their placid temperament, which would suit her two young daughters.

Helle was invited for a meet and greet with Pablo at the shelter. Pablo loved Helle and her family. After the meet, they were thrilled to be able to take Pablo home. But it wasn’t quite smooth sailing from there. For the first few days, Ayla didn’t welcome Pablo with open arms, as was hoped. Ayla came to Sydney Dogs & Cats Home as a street dog and had a habit of resource guarding. Dogs sometimes guard their resources in order to convince other dogs and humans to stay away from toys, food or a particular place they’ve deemed as their own. Even humans can be resource guarded. Ayla’s past meant she had to constantly resource guard when she lived on the streets, and though she was thought to have left this behaviour behind, Pablo seemed to be a trigger.

Helle made the important decision to reach back out to Sydney Dogs & Cats Home and ask for assistance and a trainer was recommended. Helle really wanted Pablo to be part of the family, so they engaged a trainer, which helped the family recognise and respond to stressful scenarios for Alya. After five days, both dogs started getting along and playing together. The family even noted that Ayla was the one initiating play by bringing toys to Pablo. Helle told us, “Training has been a godsend. I wish everyone had to be forced through that type of thing; it’s been extremely helpful.”

Helle’s two young daughters have loved having Pablo in the family. He has taught them important lessons about responsibility and boundaries. Pablo gets along with kids extremely well. He is happy and friendly, plays with them constantly and even gets a sneaky bite of dog-safe food from them now and then. Pablo is very easy-going around Helle’s young girls, which she said is a teaching point for her daughters to learn that dogs aren’t toys and deserve respect and boundaries. But it appears Pablo enjoys playing so much he keeps coming back for more. “He’s a glutton for punishment and comes back and gets dressed up,” Helle said.

Helle said that adopting from the Home has allowed her family to give dogs in need a fresh start and a new home. She believes the choice to adopt instils in her daughter’s responsibility and compassion for animals in need. “The girls help me with making sure that they have water, and they help feed them in the morning,” she said. “And I think it’s one of those things that’s really, really good for kids to learn at a young age… It’s brought a lot more activity into our lives. If I wanted a third dog, I’d go back to Sydney Dogs and Cats Home in a heartbeat.”

 

Published 14 September 2021

Senior Cat Brings Joy to Elderly Adopter

At Sydney Dogs & Cats Home, not only do we bear witness to the transformative effects of adoption on lost and abandoned pets, but also the ability of pets enrich the lives of people who adopt.

In the midst of the July 2021 Sydney Covid-19 lockdown, while people were isolated in their homes unable to visit friends and family, many sought comfort and companionship in their pets.

This had normally been the case for Stefania, a Sydney-based woman in her 90s who lived independently with her rescue cat. She loved her cat dearly and enjoyed the sense of responsibility and companionship her cat provided. Sadly, just weeks before a stage 3 Greater Sydney lockdown, Stefania’s cat unexpectedly passed away from health complications, leaving Stefania heartbroken and more alone than ever.

After taking some time to grieve, Stefania decided it was time to welcome another rescue into her home. She wanted to give a senior cat a second chance. While many shelters had paused adoptions due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Sydney Dogs & Cats Home adoption process had moved online, so Stefania’s granddaughter put in an application on her behalf for a nine-year-old tabby named Abbi. Abbi was looking for a low-energy household with no other pets where she could be the centre of attention, so Stefania’s application was a perfect match.

Stefania’s family helped her conduct a virtual meet and greet with Abbi and her foster carer, and the decision was made to adopt. Abbi was returned from foster care and one of our Animal Attendants dropped her off at Stefania’s home where she was welcomed with open arms. Stefania’s son David told the Home, “my mum was delighted to meet [Abbi] and felt she looked more beautiful in real life than in the photos. She had a huge smile on her face.”

Abbi settled into her new home within days and has developed a comfortable routine sleeping, exploring, playing and spending time with Stefania. Abbi has a special cat tower next to Stefania’s favourite chair where she goes for company and a pat. They’ve formed a very special bond. As David notes, “she seems to only have eyes for Mum, [but] she is making an effort to like me!”

Abbi has brought a great deal of happiness to Stefania’s life and helped her cope with the Covid-19 lockdown. Stefania calls her family regularly to update them on Abbi’s escapades. David said, “Usually, Mum says she can’t find her anywhere in the house, then suddenly finds her squashed between pillows or in the cupboard sleeping soundly. Mum laughs a lot about what Abbi gets up to… Before Abbi arrived Mum hated lockdown because she had no company. Mum is dealing with lockdown much better now… She doesn’t feel so alone.”

 

Published 9 September 2021

Sweet as a Bowl of Trifle

Don’t be fooled by Trifle – he may look mean and scary, but he is the complete opposite! Trifle came into the Home after a life on the streets, a little worse for wear. He tested positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), a life-long virus that weakens the immune system; was unwell with cat flu; had a large scar on his left eye and had a number of dental concerns. Trifle was in need of a lot of love and affection, which the staff at Sydney Cats & Dogs Home were quick to deliver!

The Animal Care Team determined 6-year-old Trifle would need his canine teeth extracted so he could eat and groom comfortably. After successful treatment for his flu, Trifle went in for dental surgery. The procedure was a success and Trifle is now able to properly enjoy his one true love – food.  After examination of his eye, it appeared Trifle has some previous trauma which lucky hasn’t affected his vision; it just gives him loads of character!

When Trifle first came to the Home, he was fearful of people and other animals such as dogs. Any sudden movements would startle him and he would hide in the comfort of his cat pod. Trifle was placed in a large enclosure in reception where he could get used to people, and his progress was amazing! Over time, he began to approach our staff for pats and soon, he discovered he loves being brushed.  These days, Trifle will come running when he hears a can being opened and will give you one of his strong headbutts!

Because Trifle took his time warming up to new people, is FIV+ and has a cool battle scar on his eye, he looks a bit scary, so it was anticipated he may take some time to find the perfect home. But shortly after his dental surgery, Trifle has found his forever home!

It is because of the ongoing support of our community that cats like Trifle are able to receive the care and support they need and the opportunity to find their forever home. If you want to help cats like Trifle receive a second chance, donate today at https://sydneydogsandcatshome.org/donate/.

 

Updated 15 September 2021