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Read heartwarming tales about wagging tails and warmed hearts.

Chuck’s Changing Fortunes

Brought in as a stray, Chuck first arrived on the doorstep of Sydney Dogs and Cats Home in May 2017. A lovely Kelpie Cross, Chuck wasn’t microchipped and no one came to claim him.

With the exception of his teeth, this 10 year old gentleman was in good health. After performing much needed dental work resulting in the extraction of some teeth, Chuck was ready to be rehomed.

However, it soon became apparent that Chuck wasn’t coping well in the shelter. He was anxious and fairly distressed and we knew we had to take action. Thanks to our wonderful network of volunteers a temporary foster home was found for Chuck, enabling him to have some time out of the shelter.

Fortunately for Chuck it didn’t take long upon his return to SDCH to be adopted. But after only four months in his new home, Chuck’s circumstances changed. His new owner had to move into an aged care facility and couldn’t bring Chuck along.

Chuck once again found himself at SDCH. Knowing that the shelter was too stressful for Chuck, we placed him into a foster home with Caroline, a first-time foster carer. Chuck spent two months in his foster home before Alexis spotted him on the SDCH website.

A meet up with Chuck, Caroline and Alexis was organised to see if Alexis and Chuck would be a suitable match. Based on the photos below, we think Chuck and Alexis are a perfect match. So our beautiful old boy, almost a year on from first entering the Home, has landed himself a wonderful new forever home and human.

Transforming Lizzy

Young mum Lizzy was found and brought into Sydney Dogs and Cats Home with her two kittens.  While they were all now safe, Lizzy had a skin allergy resulting in excessive itching and licking as well as hair loss.  The SDCH vet team quickly identified that Lizzy was suffering from a food allergy.

Food hypersensitivity can occur in both cats and dogs, and it can appear at any age or at any time.  The exact cause of food allergies is not yet know but is likely to be triggered by a change in the animal’s immune system.  This results in certain ingredients become perceived as foreign by the pet’s immune system and triggering an immune response.  This response can result in the typical symptoms such as itching, licking and chewing, and diarrhoea may also occur.

To minimise the stress on Lizzy’s compromised immune system, she and her kittens were place into a foster home which would be less stressful for them all.  Lizzy was also put on a specialist diet,  Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d, to try and eliminate the adverse food reaction.

It took several weeks, but Lizzy’s condition cleared up and her hair grew back.  And we are happy to report that Lizzy and her kittens have all been adopted.  In fact, Lizzy has found her new home with her wonderful foster carer.

SDCH Volunteer Wins Local Award

Volunteers play an integral role in all aspects of Sydney Dogs and Cats Home’s day-to-day operations.  Whether it is helping out in the kennels or cattery, providing administrative support, fundraising, being a foster carer or participating in our events, Sydney Dogs and Cats Home wouldn’t exist without their support.  And we are so pleased that our own Peggy Christodoulides has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to the Home.  Peggy was recently presented with a 2018 Banks Volunteer Award.

Peggy has been volunteering at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home since October 2016 and contributes so much to the smooth running of our shelter operations.  A quiet achiever, Peggy is well-known and well-like by the entire team of staff and volunteers.  Peggy is extremely dedicated and is frequently spotted at the shelter doing copious amount of laundry to ensure the animals in care have clean, dry bedding.  She’s also been known to coerce her friends and family into helping out with the laundry and washing of food bowls. Sydney Dogs and Cats Home wants to say congratulations and a big thank you to Peggy and all our volunteers.

 

The Hon. David Coleman MP and the Hon. Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs present Sydney Dogs and Cats Home volunteer Peggy Christodoulides with the 2018 Banks Volunteer Award.

Patience and Perseverance Payday

Some animals need a little more time and assistance to find their forever homes.  This was true of Charlie, the Labradoodle.  Not even a year old, Charlie arrived at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home in September 2017.  Over the course of the next six months Charlie was rehomed and subsequently returned to SDCH a few times.

Understanding that Charlie would need a bit of extra training to overcome behavioural and anxiety issues that had emerged, SDCH staff member and volunteer Sue decided to make Charlie her first foster doggie.

Sue recalls, “it took Charlie about three weeks to settle and for me to be able to observe what would trigger Charlie to run for the tea towels, hand towels, socks or any small item he could potentially eat”.  You see, in addition to suffering from anxiety, Charlie had Pica.  Pica is a condition where an animal craves and subsequently eats non-food items such as dirt, fabric, plastic, etc.

Sue worked diligently with Charlie for more than two months so that he stopped eating things he shouldn’t.  She was able to teach him to be a much calmer dog who would not mouth nor run around in circles when people came over for a visit.

Charlie’s rehabilitation involved provision of a structured routine including vigorous daily exercise and walks and reinforcement of acceptable behaviours to help build his manners.  Charlie, under supervision, was also exposed to various stimuli – different dogs, family and friends including kids as well as trips to the beach and cafes.

Along the way there were hiccups, including a memorable emergency trip to the vet after Charlie swallowed a dressing gown cord before Sue could take it away from him.  However all the hardwork and time that Sue, Charlie and the SDCH team invested paid off.

In February of this year, a lovely couple Peter and Michelle expressed interest in adopting Charlie…it seemed like a perfect match.  The couple had experience working with behaviourally challenged dogs and already had a Labradoodle named Chad that needed a mate.  And a doggie mate was just what Charlie needed to help him with his long-term emotional stability and to help him burn all his excess energy.

Charlie won the hearts of Peter and Michelle, and is now living the life going to the beach in Newcastle, playing with Chad, and exploring his new home, a 50-acre property near Mudgee.

Charlie is the perfect example of why SDCH doesn’t place a time limit on any adoptable animal.  It may take a little more time and a little more work, but animals like Charlie are worth it and make our work rewarding.

A big thank you to Sue and everyone at SDCH who played a part in Charlie’s journey to his forever home, and to Peter and Michelle for opening up their home to Charlie.

Pet Food Brings Shelter and Love

Pamela was an underweight stray, needing attention, love and a home. The three year old Australian Kelpie cross found the support she needed at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home with staff and volunteers giving her professional care and healthy meals of Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s Science Diet. Pamela now has a second chance at life and is waiting to be adopted by her forever family.

The tan-coloured pooch is one of the many animals of SDCH which Hill’s Pet Nutrition has been helping feed since becoming their major food sponsor in 2013. Together with SDCH supporter, PetO, Hill’s are launching ‘Food, Shelter, Love’ – an initiative to raise vital funds for the not for profit shelter.

From 13th February to 25th February, $5 from every bag or tray of Hill’s Science Diet dog or cat food sold at PetO stores or at the shelter will be donated directly to SDCH. The funds raised will be an incredible support to Sydney’s only charity pound which takes in over 3300 lost and abandoned pets each year.

A similar initiative last year raised over $9,000 for the Home and this year, Hill’s and PetO are hoping to top that by reaching $10,000.

“We cannot thank Hill’s and PetO enough for their amazing work to support our Home,” says Amanda Stokes, Head of Fundraising and Partnerships at SDCH, “We believe in giving the animals which come in to our Home the best possible care during their stay and this kind of support means that we have access to the resources we need to help these animals and support them in successfully being reunited or rehomed.”

As part of ‘Food, Shelter, Love’, Hill’s will be packing up the BBQs and heading to PetO stores across Sydney on Saturday 17th February for a day of sausage sizzles, with all money raised contributing to their $10K goal.

“Our many years of partnering with Sydney Dogs and Cats Home has enabled them access to the benefits of great tasting nutrition allowing the animals to find their forever homes much faster,” says Hill’s Customer Development Manager, Samantha Schooley. “In turn, SDCH can focus efforts on their valuable animal welfare and community work.”

“We are impressed by the energy and care with which they conduct their operations, as well as their integrity in managing the responsible adoption of animals,” says Nick Greenhalgh, Owner and Director at PetO, “We chose to work with SDCH as their values are aligned with that of our organization,”

SDCH never places a time limit on any animals awaiting adoption and the organisation relies on donations to care for animals like Pamela and assist them with their transition from strays to adoptable pets ready to find their new homes.

PetO and Hill’s encourage pet owners to top up their furry companions’ food supplies during the two week period to support their fundraising efforts and of course, treat themselves at the sausage sizzles for a good cause.

Sausage sizzles will be held at all Sydney PetO stores from 10am – 3pm on Saturday 17th February. SDCH volunteers will be there on the day to chat about their shelter and collect donations.

Find your local PetO store here.

Preventative Health Care At SDCH Secured By Zoetis

SDCH is pleased to announce their new partnership with global animal health company, Zoetis.

Zoetis is committed to producing high quality and vital health care treatments for animals including preventative medicines like vaccine and parasite treatments, Revolution® and Simparica®.  The partnership will see Zoetis supply all the preventative health care needs for Sydney’s lost and abandoned pets entering the shelter during 2018. The donation of supplies is valued at over $200,000 and will make a significant impact on the shelter’s work to provide animals with a second chance.

Shelter Vet, Christine Cole says, “This incredible support will make a huge difference to the lives of the animals in our care, and also means the funds raised throughout the year for our charity pound can be redirected to other vital aspects of our work.”

Each animal in SDCH care will be protected against fleas, heartworm and other nasties with Revolution® to ensure parasites are not a discomfort or a detriment to the animal’s health.

Mister when he arrived at SDCH.

Mister arrived at SDCH in October 2017 as a stray from the Bayside Council area. The large white Domestic Medium Hair cat came through our doors in a poor condition with a number of health issues. As well as providing Mister with the veterinary care he needed, Christine administered the regular treatment plan of Zoetis vaccines and flea and heartworm treatment, Revolution®.  Mister was soon healthy enough to be ready for adoption and is now living the life of luxury with a loving forever family.

The partnership with Zoetis will ensure that every one of the animals coming in through SDCH’s doors, just like Mister, will be supported on a healthy journey to finding new homes.

Mister with his forever family.

 

Head here to win a 6 month supply of Zoetis preventative health care treatment for your dog and cats!

Cats Paw-ing In This Kitten Season

School holidays with two young boys has meant a lot of loud rough and tumble, but having a cat around the home has brought out the boys’ nurturing side and delivers calm and quiet moments.

It’s one of the benefits Lucy Paton has found after the family adopted two kittens from Sydney Dogs and Cats Home.

Mrs Paton has also discovered that it’s not just the boys who benefit from spending time with the kittens. “As a mother of two and running my own business, I’m always on the go,” she said, “but the cats make me stop and take time out.”

While the holiday period winds down and kids go back to school for the new year, “kitten season”, which occurs during the warmer months, continues for Sydney Dogs and Cats Home (SDCH) with an ongoing influx of cats and kittens arriving at their doors.

Mrs Paton, her husband and their two boys, Ty (8) and Sonny (6) welcomed their two tabbies, Charlie and Chilli, into their home just as kitten season began. After a tradition of asking for a new cuddly toy each birthday, 6 year old Sonny decided he wanted something real to cuddle, so the family started researching pet options.

They decided cats would suit their lifestyle and their unit home, and after seeing a story about the rescue of an abandoned kitten, the Paton family decided adopting a rescue kitten was exactly what they were after.

Sydney Dogs and Cats Home is expecting to take in over 850 cats and kittens in during the season and have so far adopted and fostered out close to 120 felines, with another 20 lost cats being reunited with their owners.

As not everyone is able to help out by adopting or fostering a cat, SDCH launched LoveCats, an initiative in which anyone can get involved to help out the Home during kitten season.

Since December, SDCH has been asking supporters to send in origami mice which will be given to the cats and kittens as toys during their stay. Toys are essential enrichment to help maintain an animal’s mental and physical wellbeing.

The Home does not place time limits on any animal awaiting adoption, so the time a cat will stay at the shelter can vary, which is why SDCH do all they can to ensure all their animals remain comfortable and are given the best possible care while they wait for a loving family like the Patons.

Help the cats of SDCH by adopting or fostering this kitten season or head to our LoveCats page to make an origami mouse for a kitten in need of playtime!

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!