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Tiger, A First for Our New Vet Clinic

Tiger, a 9-year-old stray is one of the recent residents of Sydney Dogs and Cats Home to benefit from our new South Strathfield facility, our very own vet clinic.

Picked up and brought into the home, it was immediately apparent to the team that Tiger was not in the best of health and would have been in extreme discomfort. Tiger was suffering from severe dental disease and would require surgery for extraction of many of his teeth.

However, even more concerning was the fact that he presented with his right ear full of pus. Tiger was put under general anaesthesia, and his ear flushed. What became apparent was that Tiger had a mass in his ear. A biopsy was taken and sent off to the pathologist for further investigation.

Thankfully the mass was diagnosed as a benign polyp, but surgery was necessary to remove the growth. Although it was benign, the mass located in Tiger’s middle ear if left untreated could become larger and obstruct the normal flow of secretions through the ears, causing constant pain, damaging the nerve structures and causing a secondary infection.

The surgery Tiger required was called a ventral bulla osteotomy. It is the removal of the polyp from the middle ear along with the middle ear lining, to minimise the risk of recurrence.

Fortunately for Tiger and our team, specialist small animal veterinary surgeon Dr Mark Newman of Sydney Veterinary Emergency & Specialists volunteered his time. Dr Newman performed this successful, skilled surgery and taught our new vet, Dr Michelle Smith, how to conduct such a procedure.

Following the surgery, Tiger was placed into a foster care home to recover before conducting a second surgery to treat his dental disease, which resulted in the extraction of a few teeth.

Back in a temporary foster care home, Tiger a friendly, smoochy older gentleman is now looking for his forever home. If you are interested in adopting Tiger make sure to read his profile.

South Strathfield Vet Clinic

The South Strathfield Vet Clinic is currently not open to the public. The clinic is being utilised to perform the necessary veterinary treatment and surgeries for our shelter residents in preparedness for their forever homes. Previously Sydney Dogs and Cats Home and our furry residents were dependent upon the availability of a third party veterinary practice to gain access to equipment and operating facilities to perform the required vet surgeries.

Zorro’s a Fighter

Three-year-old Zorro arrived at the Home in mid-June.  Although he was microchipped and desexed, we were sadly unable to find this sweet boy's owner, and no one came forward to claim him.

While in care, the team observed that Zorro was exhibiting signs of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). This beautiful, smoochy boy was having difficulty urinating. He would pass frequent small amounts of urine, which were tainted with blood.

FLUTD is a painful and uncomfortable condition. It can also be life-threatening requiring emergency veterinary intervention if the urinary tract becomes blocked.

Thankfully Zorro was safe with us.  Our veterinary team put together a treatment plan for Zorro, which included a special diet of Hills Prescription Diet c/d Urinary Care, pain relief, anti-inflammatory tablets as well as muscle relaxants.  A secondary plan that including blood and urine cultures, X-rays and potential surgery, was also developed should Zorro not respond to the preliminary treatment.  Fortunately, Zorro responded to the initial protocol set up by the vet team and a more invasive investigation/surgery was not required.

And the best news of all our handsome, swashbuckling feline after spending eight weeks in our care and under careful observation is now in his very own forever home -  fairy tale ending for our Zorro.

Super Caturday Success

We found loving homes for 20 cats in a single day thanks to our Super Caturday Adoption Event which was held last month. Partnering with PETstock Rockdale we were able to rehome 10 cats from their location as well as clear our cattery of all but one cat – Lettie.

Lettie, we are pleased to report, has now found her forever home too after being in our care for more than seven months! As we head into kitten season being able to empty the cattery is a welcomed event as we will need the space and more in the coming months.

Bottle babies have already started to arrive at the Home and our Foster Care Coordinator Sabrina has created a Bottle Baby Brigade in anticipation of what is to come this kitten season. The Bottle Baby Brigade will be looking after the neonatal kittens – new born to four weeks old – that find their way to us.

Neonatal kittens require rigorous and intensive care. This includes feeding every two hours around the clock as well as stimulating them with a warm moist ball of cotton after each feed to help them eliminate waste. If you would like to join the Bottle Baby Brigade for this exhausting but highly rewarding task or if you are interested in becoming a kitten or cat foster carer please contact Sabrina on

Benefits of Adopting an Adult Cat

Everyone loves a kitten, a cute cuddly little ball of fluff, however adopting a kitten may not be the best choice for you or your family.  Kittens have tonnes of energy and raising a kitten may not suit a busy, time-poor person or family.  As we spend the week focusing on all things cats – with our LOVE CATS campaign, we want to highlight the advantages of adopting an adult cat.  Some of these benefits include:

  • Adult cats require less supervision than kittens and are less likely to destroy your home if you are not around to supervise them.
  • Their personalities are fully developed so you know what you are getting.
  • Adult cats are more likely to be litter trained.
  • Most adult cats have come from a home so they may be accustomed to children or other pets (NB: they may initially be shy, but they have experience interacting with humans and are likely to be friendly).
  • Adult cats are better with children as they don’t have the very sharp teeth and claws of a kitten, and they will be more gentle-natured in their play and interaction.
  • Older cats still like to play in-between their naps.
  • Adult cats still need love and attention and are affectionate and loyal companions.

So if you are thinking of adopting a kitten please also consider the advantages of adopting an adult cat.

Before You Pack Your Bags

Imagine coming back from holiday to find that your beloved family pet has gone missing. There are messages on your phone from the local shelter and a notice in your letterbox explaining that your pet is in their care and if you don’t reclaim your pet within two weeks it will become available for adoption by someone else. You call the shelter immediately, but it is too late! Your pet – in their care for 20 days – has been rehomed.

If another 24 hours had passed this would have been the reality faced by Fonzy’s family.  Fonzy’s family had been on the overseas holiday of a lifetime, only to return and find their precious pooch missing.  Fonzy had been entrusted into the care of a family-friend.  Somehow Fonzy ended up wandering the streets and was picked up by a council ranger who brought him to Sydney Dogs and Cats Home when he was unable to reach Fonzy’s owner.  The pet-minder who lost Fonzy, didn’t tell the family he’d gone missing and didn’t know how to find Fonzy.

Fonzy’s story, unfortunately, is not a unique or isolated case.  The following week we had another occurrence of an owner leaving a dog in the care of a friend while they went overseas for three days.  The dog went missing on day number one and the minder didn’t tell the owner.  Thankfully this dog was picked-up, unharmed and brought into Sydney Dogs and Cats Home. We were able to reunite this dog with his owner during the two-week hold period.

These two instances both had positive outcomes for the pets and the owners.  However, this may not always be the case. To help safeguard your pets should you leave them in someone else’s care, we have developed the following precautionary checklist:

  1. Make sure your pet is microchipped and the contact details are current; updating your details is free and can be done at your council or online at
  2. Add the carer – or a trusted friend who isn’t on holiday with you – as a ‘secondary contact’ on the microchip; this can also be done at your council or online via and there is no cost.
  3. Ensure your animal has a collar with a tag with your contact details and that of the temporary minder; do it yourself don’t rely on the carer to add their details.
  4. Leave the carer with the number of your local impound facility as well as contact details of your local vet; you can find contact details of your local impound facility from your council or via a google search.

Additional advice for people leaving their dog in someone else’s care:

  • double-check the carer’s fencing to ensure it is secure with no means to escape;
  • brief the carer to leave the dog’s collar on at all times;
  • advise the carer to only ever walk your dog on lead – even at the off-leash dog park; and
  • ask the carer to stick to your routine as closely as possible (e.g. feeding timing, walking, etc.).

Tips for people leaving their cat in someone else’s care:

  • never let the cat out whilst it is being minded by someone else, even if  it is in your own home; and
  • ask the carer to stick to your cat’s routine (e.g. feeding, toys, litterbox cleaning, etc.) as much as possible.

Accidents can happen and if you reside in one of the eight council areas (i.e. Bayside, Fairfield, Georges River, Inner West, North Sydney, Randwick, Waverley, Woollahra) service by Sydney Dogs and Cats Home please go to the lost page of our website if your pet is missing.  Nothing can ruin a post-holiday high faster than finding out your pet is lost.  We hope the above can help safeguard that from happening or at least ensure that if it does you and your pet are reunited.



Gopher’s Journey from Ringworm to Rehomed

In late March, Gopher was brought into Sydney Dogs and Cats Home as a stray.  The beautiful one-year-old Staffy X was covered in ringworm lesions.  They were on his face, head, legs and even his paws.

Ringworm is a contagious fungal infection that causes hair loss, skin ulceration and itchiness.  Not only can ringworm spread from one dog to another but it can also spread from dog to human.

So poor Gopher had to spend his first weeks at the Home completely quarantined and isolated.  Gopher couldn’t go out on walks because of the risk he would spread the fungal infection to the other dogs living in and around the shelter.  Also the team members who interacted with Gopher had to be covered from head to toe in disposable protective clothing to ensure they didn’t becoming infected or pass on the fungal infection to the other animals in our care.

The team put together a treatment plan for Gopher which addressed not only his ringworm infection but also a way to keep this young boy entertained and happy whilst in isolation.  For the first two weeks Gopher’s lesions were treated twice daily with the application of an anti-fungal cream. Gopher was also given a weekly bath with an anti-fungal shampoo over the quarantine period. To keep Gopher occupied while his skin slowly healed and his coat grew back, the team provided this big boofhead with lots of enrichment games, toys and treats to keep him busy.

Finally, after five weeks, Gopher was given the all clear.  Our volunteer photographer Peter from Tame & Wild Studios captured some amazing images of Gopher which went up on our website.  And in no time at all a wonderful human came forward to adopt Gopher and give him the forever home he deserves.

Eight Reasons to Adopt Two Kittens

Thinking about adopting a kitten?  Maybe you should consider adopting two!  Turns out cats may not always be the solitary creatures we believe them to be and there are many good reasons to adopt two kittens together rather than one.  Some of the benefits of adopting two kittens include:

1. Healthy mind, healthy body! Kittens that are raised in pairs exercise with each other, with the same play styles and develop better social skills. It’s proven that cats who have had their siblings as playmates are much more adaptable when they are older.

2. Peace of mind! Two kittens keep each other busy and out of mischief, and you can rest easy that they are safely bouncing off each other (and not the TV!).

3.  Never lonely! Nothing can compare to having another kitten for company when you’re out at work.

4. Learning life lessons! Kittens can play rough with nails and teethies! With a sibling play partner, they are taught how to play gently with people and save their playfulness for their sibling.

5. Fun, Fun and more Fun! Kittens romp, leap, wrestle, clean each other and then curl up next to each other to snooze. Hours of entertainment to watch!

6. Boredom breeds insanity (with kittens anyway!) Out of boredom kittens start entertaining themselves – chewing plants, exploring electrical cords and sockets, climbing legs. Two kittens prevent boredom!!

7. Avoid being “preyed” on at night! Kittens are most active at night and a good night sleep is valuable – the last thing you want is your toes to be attacked! With two kittens, their night stalking and hunting will happen between the two of them!

8.  Older cats are past their play years! Older cats don’t really want a toddler under their feet! Two kittens bouncing off each other will let the older cat do their own thing (and enjoy their twilight years in style).

So if you are thinking of adopting a kitten consider the advantages that come with adopting two…or three.

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!