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Read heartwarming tales about wagging tails and warmed hearts.

Make A Friend For Cats In Need These Holidays

Two 10 week old rescue kittens, Chester and Mia are doing a very important job for Sydney Dogs and Cats Home (SDCH). They are road testing the latest cat toys to hit the charity pound since SDCH’s call out to the community to make origami mice for the felines in their care.

It’s a far cry from where they were a month ago when they were spotted running towards a busy highway in Kogarah, hungry and crying out for mum’s milk.
Since being rescued, the pair has been receiving round the clock care through SDCH’s foster care program and will soon be made available for adoption to find their forever home.

In the meantime, the origami mice are keeping them occupied. “Toys play an important role in a kitten’s development,” says SDCH’s Animal Care Manager, Renae Jackson, “They are a great form of enrichment which keep cats active and maintain their mental and physical health.”

And the reason for the origami? “We need disposable toys for disease control as sadly there is an extremely contagious and deadly virus, known as Feline Panleukopenia Virus (FPV) out there which is affecting cats across the country,” says Ms Jackson, “so we’ve needed to take strong measures to ensure our residents are safe.”

Sydney Dogs and Cats Home sees 3000 lost and abandoned animals enter its doors each year. Relying on the generosity of donors, the Home works to provide the best possible care for the animals during their stay before reuniting them with their owners, or rehoming them to loving families.

They never place a time limit on any animal awaiting adoption, and at this time of year, the small 71 year old shelter can get very busy. The summer months, known as “kitten season” see an increase in the number of cats coming in to the SDCH, which is why this simple, yet effective call out for origami mice is so vital.

After a solid session of play, the paper toys have received a purr of approval from Chester and Mia. “The more origami mice being sent in to the Home, the merrier the cats,” says Ms Jackson, “It’s also a great option for reusing all that Christmas wrapping!”

Want to get creative to help the cats of SDCH? Join the LoveCats Gang today.


Paw-Some Party Raises Thousands For Lost And Abandoned Pets

There was not a dry eye in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton on Saturday night as 350 people watched the transformation of Melody from a neglected, malnourished stray at the doors of Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, to a healthy and bright pooch living in a loving home with her adopted family.

The 12 year old Pointer was the star of a video shown to guests of Sydney Dogs and Cats Home (SDCH)’s black tie Annual Fundraising Gala which saw close to $100K raised for the charity pound.

“We’re absolutely thrilled with the result of the evening”, says Stuart Paine, General Manager of Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, “Not only was the Gala a success in terms of funds raised, but a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our ongoing achievements and to recognise and acknowledge the support shown to us by the community.”

Melody’s story is just one of many with the Home opening its doors to around 3000 animals each year. The vital work done by SDCH not only includes responsibly reuniting and rehoming lost and abandoned pets, but also providing services to the community such as visits to aged care facilities and support through experiences for people living with mental illness and disabilities.

The Home believes that true love takes time, never placing time limits on any animal awaiting adoption and working to make each animal’s stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible is vital.

The entertainment for the Gala started with guests being wowed upon arrival by The BlackTies magicians while The Australian Army Band kept up the party atmosphere along with engaging and energetic host, SDCH Ambassador, Sam Mac from Channel 7’s Sunrise. Special guest performer, J. R. Reyne, was a hit, with guests moving straight to the dance floor and singing along.

Live and silent auctions, as well as a lucky dip, raffle and lucky door prize arranged with the support of sponsors and organisations donating their services to help SDCH meet their fundraising goals.

Such generosity is what SDCH relies on to keep their doors open to help animals like Melody and, as they believe that true love can take time, they never place time limits on any animal awaiting adoption. The support of the community means the Home can work to make each animal’s stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible to give them the best possible outlook for their second chance at life.

“We really appreciate the support shown”, says Mr Paine, “It is wonderful and humbling to see so many people dig deep to help put us in a great place to move forward with our plans to expand our work.”

For animal lovers who were unable to make it to the Gala and who would like to support SDCH care for lost and abandoned pets, they can make a donation via the charity’s website:

Over $9,000 Raised For Lost and Abandoned Animals

Lilly is looking for love. The tabby and white feline enjoys the company of people and has been waiting patiently at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home (SDCH) for the perfect person to take her home.

She has fought through some medical issues with the support of staff and volunteers at SDCH, and after 12 weeks at the shelter and becoming one of their long-standing residents, she may have finally found her forever family.

Lilly has been adopted on a trial basis, which is an option offered by SDCH to allow both the animals and their potential new families time to know if they’re making the right decision. It is part of the charity pound’s belief that “true love can take time”, which is also why they do not place any time limits on animals awaiting adoption.

Lilly is just one of many unique individuals taken in by the Home in Carlton, and thanks to the generous support of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, PetO and their customers, a total of $9,120 has been raised to help SDCH and the 3000+ animals which head in through their doors each year.

Over the course of two weeks, $5 from every Hill’s Science Diet product sold at PetO stores was donated to Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, with dedicated fundraising events raising further funds and awareness of SDCH’s work and their need for community support.

“We cannot thank Hill’s and PetO enough for their amazing work to raise over $9,000 for our Home, which completely surpassed the original goal of $7,000,” says Amanda Stokes, Head of Fundraising and Partnerships at SDCH,

Photo by Tali Gordon Photography

“We believe in giving the animals which come in to our care a second chance at life and this kind of support means that we have access to the resources we need to help these animals be successfully reunited or rehomed.”

It is this dedication to the care for the animals at SDCH, which has kept PetO committed to continue their long association of Sydney Dogs and Cats Home.

“We chose to work with SDCH as their values are aligned with that of our organization,” says Nick Greenhalgh, Owner and Director at PetO, “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.”

Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s mission is to help enrich and lengthen the special relationship between people and pets.

“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 home much faster,” says Hill’s Customer Development Manager, Samantha Schooley. “In turn, SDCH can focus efforts on their valuable animal welfare and community work.”

This has been evident in Lilly’s case, with Hill’s Science Diet helping bring her to optimal health and ready to take on this exciting new stage of her journey.

Photo by Tali Gordon Photography

“We rely on the generosity of the community through donations which directly contribute to providing animals like Lilly the treatment, comfort and enrichment they require during their stay at the Home and to assist with their transition to life outside the shelter,” says Ms Stokes, “With donor support, SDCH is able to continue the vital work we do to help the lost and abandoned animals of Sydney.”

If you would like to join Hill’s and PetO in showing support for our Home, please donate here.

Purr-fect Night To Support Animals In Need

Melody, a once homeless and severely malnourished 12 year old Pointer dog, is relying on someone to win a holiday to Samoa.

A luxurious 5 night resort getaway is just one of the many exciting prizes on offer at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home’s Annual Fundraising Gala on the night of the 18th November.

The black tie dinner, which will be held at the Grand Ballroom of Sydney’s Hilton, is to celebrate Sydney Dogs and Cats Home (SDCH)’s achievements over the past year and to raise funds to continue their vital work in reuniting and rehoming Sydney’s lost and abandoned pets while providing meaningful experiences for those in our community who need it most.

Fortunately for Melody, donations to Sydney’s only charity pound have supported her journey back to a healthy weight and, having received special love and attention with one of the Home’s foster carers, she has now settled in at her forever home.

However Melody is only one of over 3300 animals entering SDCH’s doors this year alone, and with the shelter never placing time limits on any animal awaiting adoption, the support to maintain operations and make each animal’s stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible is vital.

Now SDCH are asking people to “powder their noses and preen their coats” and dig deep on their special night of nights.

“Last year’s 70th Anniversary Gala was a huge success with 320 guests attending with a net result of over $90,000 raised,” says Wendy Langley, President of the SDCH Committee of Management. “These wonderful results would not have been possible without the overwhelming support we received on the night.”

Planning for the event is well under way with The Australian Army Band and The Black Tie Magicians set to entertain guests, along with a, yet to be announced, special guest.

Live and silent auctions, as well as a raffle and a lucky door prize, have been arranged with the support of sponsors and organisations donating their services to help SDCH meet their fundraising goals.

Sydney Dogs and Cats Home Ambassador, Sam Mac from Channel 7’s Sunrise is proud to be once again hosting the evening for the second year, “Every time I have hosted an event for Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, whether it be for 30 people or 400 people, it’s always a great crowd as everyone has that common thread of caring for animals and wanting to support a great cause, and while we are dealing with what can be a serious topic, it’s a fun night as everyone has such a positive attitude.”

SDCH are hoping significant funds will be raised to support the continuation of their animal welfare programs, as well as their pivotal community services, including aged care initiatives, disability care programs, school and higher education assistance and community service programs.

“Our last Gala allowed us to feel very positive and excited about our bright future,” says Ms Langley, “We are hoping this year’s dinner will create the same atmosphere and deliver even bigger results.”

Sydney Dogs and Cats Home Annual Fundraising Gala
Saturday 18th November
6:30pm – 11:30pm
Grand Ballroom, The Hilton, Sydney
Tickets: $195 pp; $1950 per table of ten

For more information and tickets:

Event partners include Benny and the Pets, Les Nereides, Seabreeze Resort Samoa, 4C Recruitment, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Kwik Kopy Bondi Junction, Premium Beverages, Signature Wines, The Black Ties Magicians, Carlsberg, Coopers, Hudson McHugh, Jamala Wildlife Lodge, The Ken Done Gallery, MM Photos, Parker’s, Precipice Films, Givergy, Eden Corporate Travel, For The People, Paradise Fiji & Select Touring.

Pet Food Buys Support For Lost and Abandoned Animals

PetO and Hill’s Pet Nutrition are encouraging pet owners to top up their furry friends’ food supplies over the next two weeks to support fundraising for Sydney Dogs and Cats Home (SDCH) and to promote the importance of good nutrition for their beloved animals.

Disney, a three year old Shar Pei arrived at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home as a malnourished stray with multiple health issues, including mange and an incredibly painful eye condition.

With the vet team performing a delicate operation to correct his eye condition, the rest of staff and volunteers at SDCH worked solidly for weeks to bring Disney up to a healthy weight using Hill’s Science Diet to which his body responded positively.

“The support from Hill’s has been vital to the work we do here at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home,” says Amanda Stokes, Head of Fundraising and Partnerships. “We do not place time limits on any animal awaiting adoption as we believe true love takes time.”

For Disney, his second chance came from the love and support of the staff and volunteers at SDCH. As his health improved, his joyful personality came through and he was later adopted by one of the volunteers who had worked so hard to care for him.

It is this dedication to the care for the animals at SDCH, which has kept PetO committed to continue their long association of Sydney Dogs and Cats Home.

“We chose to work with SDCH as their values are aligned with that of our organization,” says Nick Greenhalgh, Owner and Director at PetO, “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.”

Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s mission is to help enrich and lengthen the special relationship between people and pets. “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 home much faster,” says Hill’s Customer Development Manager, Samantha Schooley. “In turn, SDCH can focus efforts on their valuable animal welfare and community work.”

Between 19th September and 3rdOctober, $5 from every Hill’s product sold at participating PetO stores will be donated directly to SDCH. It is hoped that the fundraising initiative will bring in $7000 for Sydney’s only charity pound responsibly reuniting and rehoming lost and abandoned pets.

“We rely on the generosity of the community through donations”, says Ms Stokes, “The support of PetO, Hill’s and their customers will contribute to enhancing our resources and the vital work that we do to help the lost and abandoned animals of Sydney.”

While PetO are encouraging the sale of Hill’s pet goodies, two-legged family members can also treat themselves with a BBQ lunch at each participating store over the weekend of 23rd and 24th September. SDCH volunteers will be located at each of the stores to greet customers and collect donations.

To find your nearest Pet-O store, visit

Wanted: Foster Carers

Do you want to be a pet owner, yet are unable to make the long term and financial commitment that goes along with the responsibility of bringing home a furry friend?

Sydney Dogs and Cats Home’s Foster Care Program is a key project which provides people with the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful aspects of having a pet on a temporary basis, whilst providing animals a loving short-term home.

Foster carers are called upon when an animal at SDCH is in need of extra care and attention due to their age or health related issues.

With the warmer months approaching, it is coming up to prime cat breeding season, so SDCH is expecting to see an influx of kittens and young cats being brought in to the shelter. In order to maintain space for other animals coming in to the shelter and to support the health and wellbeing of the kittens, SDCH is calling out for responsible foster carers to come on board.

Grace Ireland became a foster carer after her own cat of 17 years passed away. “I couldn’t commit to adopting a new cat so soon, so fostering was a perfect option!”

Grace did worry, at first, about becoming too attached, however she realised that her support as a foster carer would be making a wonderful contribution to making sure animals were in a loving home and that they were receiving “plenty of cuddles”.

Grace has since fostered 8 kittens, “It’s been such a delight meeting each of their individual personalities.” Grace says that each cat reacts differently to being in a new environment when they first arrive, with some making themselves right at home, while others are a little more timid. Yet, by the end of their time in her care, they’re much more confident. “Seeing how social and cuddly those cats are after just a couple weeks in a loving home brings such a sense of accomplishment.”

SDCH is also looking for foster carers with spacious homes to take in large dogs in order to provide the pooches with the additional space they require for plenty of exercise and enrichment.

Ashleigh Dare has been a foster carer of dogs for approximately two years and has found the experience to be one of the most rewarding decisions she and her family have made.

“It satisfies the void, the ever-present need to cuddle and snuggle puppers, but it is in no way all about that. It takes more than oodles of cuddles, but time, patience, and sometimes a strong stomach! We’ve fostered shy puppies, sick puppies, healthy puppies, and tiny puppies with huge personalities (Wilbur, I’m talking about you!), and have been able to give each and every puppy exactly what they need to grow and break out of their shells, and this counts for seniors pups too!”

Ashleigh has also found that the love and support from her own dogs plays a part in caring for foster dogs. “It can be heartbreaking to learn the rough cards that some of these fluff babies have been dealt at the start of their life, when they should be shown love and attention, but that is where you as a foster carer steps in. You take on the role of their caretaker when they so desperately need it. It also helps that our own dogs have acted as mother/big-brother figures and helped to teach them important doggy manners, like when they nibble just a bit too hard!”

And while both Grace and Ashleigh do find saying goodbye difficult and quite emotional at times, they wouldn’t change a thing.

“There’s no greater feeling than hearing your foster kitty has been adopted from SDCH,” says Grace. “I had the pleasure of meeting the family who adopted my previous foster twin kittens and they were so lovely and thrilled to have the kittens in their family. It absolutely melted my heart, and it makes you realise how much you’re helping the cats out during that transition period.”

Ashleigh says, “Unless you have fallen head over heels in love with your foster and decide to keep them, it can be difficult to give them back. However, it is a comfort knowing that they are going to be loved just as much by another family, and you have helped prepare them for that. Foster caring is a warming, fulfilling, and rewarding experience. If you find that you have a little bit of space in your home and a bit of spare time on your hands, opening your heart and your home to an animal that needs it will be one of the best things you ever decide to do (p.s., it has definitely become a bit of an addiction!)”

If you would like to join the Foster Care Program, please find further details and application forms here.

Published 19 September 2017

Relly’s Reunion

After going to visit 200 Corellas, Tracy had just about given up finding her beloved pet, Relly.

“It was heartbreaking,” says Tracy, “My hopes were raised every time I received a tip off about a Corella at a rescue centre, so the let down when I arrived to find it was not Relly was just horrible.”

In February 2014, Tracy popped out to pick her children up from school. Relly had been a bit cheeky to the kids earlier in the day, so Tracy made the decision to leave her at home. Sadly, she came back to find someone had deliberately broken the padlock to the aviary and had stolen Relly.

Tracy was devastated and began doing everything she could to look for Relly, putting up posters, contacting rescue centres and vet clinics, and following up every lead she received.

Courtesy of Evelyn – Parrot Alert

Although Tracy loved the other birds and pets she had during the time Relly was gone, she did not feel that same inseparable bond. “Relly has a special way of getting on and off my arm – she crawls up and down my side, rather than fly. She’s only ever done that with me”, says Tracy.

3 years on, Tracy received a call from Evelyn, a local rescue volunteer, to say there was a Corella which had been handed in to the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home. It had come in from Mortdale Greencross Vets after being found by a Georges River Council ranger.

Unsure if she could handle any more heartache, Tracy thought twice about visiting SDCH. She arrived preparing herself for disappointment, however when the Corella said, “Hello” and crawled up on to Tracy in that all too familiar manner, it was no mistaking that this was Tracy’s treasured Relly.

It’s all still sinking in for Tracy. “It’s unbelievable.  It is the most surreal experience to have her home and I keep wondering if it is really is Relly. There’s no doubt though as she flew straight to her favourite corner lounge in the house and has been throwing about pegs and making lots of noise as she has always done to make sure she’s the centre of attention.”

We never get tired of reunions at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home and it’s thanks to our supporters that we are able to continue to bring families and their beloved pets back together. Make a donation today to help us keep these stories coming!


Matchmaking for Maestro


True love may take time, but it is always worth the wait!

Maestro, one of our longest-standing residents, has finally found his forever home! The big, loveable pooch, now named Boss, is settling in with his new family and is getting on very well with his new fur sibling, Bruiser.

Maestro had become a firm favourite amongst staff and volunteers at SDCH, so it was a little sad for us to say goodbye, however nothing could beat seeing him head off to a loving home where he belongs.

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He’s dashingly handsome with big, brooding deep brown eyes – how could you resist him?

That’s what staff and volunteers at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home are wondering about their current longest-standing resident, Maestro.

Arriving at the Home in May, the 3 year old Bull Mastiff cross is available for adoption, yet is having some trouble finding his forever family. “He is like a goofy puppy in big dog’s clothing and he sometimes doesn’t realise his own size and strength, so he needs owners who have experience with large dogs and are keen to work with him. Maestro has already shown improvement in his manners as he is so eager to please and to become a great family companion” says Caroline Hamilton, Animal Care Manager. “He has spent some time away on a trial adoption. While it did not work out for the potential owners, it gave us a great ‘at home’ report card, which we can add to Maestro’s behaviour assessment and personality profile.”

Maestro was found lost at a park in Mortdale and while his microchip was able to be scanned for its unique 16-digit number, it was not registered against any details in Australia. Despite looking through countless lost and found logs, contacting a number of veterinary clinics, and a social media push, Sydney Dogs and Cats Home was unable to locate Maestro’s family, so they began the search for his new forever home.

Based in Carlton since 1946, Sydney Dogs and Cats Home is Sydney’s only charity pound and receives over 3300 lost and abandoned animals each year. Servicing 8 council areas across the city, they have reunited and rehomed 192 animals in the last month alone. The average wait time for an animal to be adopted is 17 days and the shelter relies on donations from the community to ensure an animal’s stay is as enjoyable as possible.

As no time limits are placed on any animal awaiting adoption at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, Maestro has become a familiar face after being there for almost 4 months. The team have also picked up on a few quirks, which could hint towards the kind of person with whom Maestro would like to go home…or at least his preferred mode of transport. “We’ve noticed, during his walks, that if Maestro sees a ute, he will get excited and try to jump up on the back”, says Ms Hamilton, “so he might enjoy the tradie life where he can join you as work mate – we’ll even find him a vest!”

In the meantime, he will continue to be lovingly cared for by staff and volunteers. “He’s become a real favourite amongst the team here”, says Ms Hamilton, “Everyone is lamenting the fact that they can’t be the one to take Maestro home, whether it’s because they’ve already got too many furry family members or their couch just isn’t big enough for a 40kg lap dog.”

Anyone who thinks this loveable pooch could fit right in at their home, can view his profile or call Sydney Dogs and Cats Home on 9587 9611.

Check out this beautiful video of Maestro.

Toby’s Miracle Return

Even after 18 months away from home, it’s like Toby never left. In fact, he’s keeping a close eye on owner, Caroline, to make sure they never get separated again. “If I move, he is my shadow.”

Toby, the 4 year old Cavalier, went missing from his home last year, when thieves broke in to the house. His bed and his food had gone indicating that Toby had been stolen.

The time since has been harrowing for Caroline. “I was grief stricken. I put posters everywhere, called all shelters and animal hospitals with no luck – it was like he just disappeared.”

Caroline bought Toby as a young pup two years after the tragic passing of her first husband and young daughter, finding comfort in his constant friendship. “He was my only companion. I taught him commands and he had the best of life with me everywhere we went.”

Despite time passing and the chances of locating Toby growing thin, Caroline never gave up hope that he may show up one day at a vet hospital, or even back at her front door. “I got married and changed my name, but I kept all his toys and his collar – I never forgot him.”

Last week, Toby was found in the Fairfield City Council area and handed in to Wakeley Vet Clinic before being brought to Sydney Dogs and Cats Home. Thanks to Caroline being a responsible pet owner and ensuring Toby was microchipped, SDCH staff were able to locate her quickly and give her the good news.

“After a year and a half it happened,” Caroline said, “I thought I was dreaming!”

Toby has quickly settled back in to life with Caroline and is being spoilt rotten. He’s been taken to the pet spa; has a new bed, clothes and plenty of new toys to enjoy along with his old ones.

Meanwhile, Caroline is still pinching herself. “I am overwhelmed with emotion to have my baby home. Thank you so much for all the team and volunteers for reuniting us with our beloved boy. If it weren’t for centres like yours, I would not have my baby back. To have the miracle of Toby returning to my life is surreal. I wish for more happy stories for all of those people who have lost their beloved pets.”

These special stories happen thanks to our generous supporters. Help Sydney Dogs and Cats Home bring more joy to families and their furry friends by making a donation today.


LAST week, Australia celebrated National Volunteer Week, the perfect opportunity for everyone at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home to reflect on the incredible work we see people do every day.

Our community of volunteers are the threads that bind the rich tapestries of our country and for anyone who got to witness the army of volunteers at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, you get a sense of how we feel about our own dedicated troupe.

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