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Baby Girl Finds a Home

Baby Girl waited in the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home cattery for more than 20 weeks to find her forever home.  Originally adopted from Sydney Dogs and Cats Home as a three-month-old kitten, Baby Girl unfortunately found herself back at the Home due to a change in her adopter’s circumstances.

Baby Girl had been living a quiet apartment life in an adult household as the only cat for just over two years.  Not surprisingly finding herself as an adult back in our cattery was a bit overwhelming for her.  However, thanks to the patience and care of our wonderful team of volunteers and staff Baby Girl gradually came out of her shell a little bit each day.  Eventually this shy girl would even pop down from the top shelf of her pod to greet and get a pat from whoever came in to visit her.

Finally, just the right human came along to offer Baby Girl her perfect home.  Baby Girl is one of the 181 felines we have been able to rehome during our January and February adoption drives.

Sadly even in March we still have kittens and cats arriving each day.  If you are interested in adopting one of these precious pets please go to the Adopt Page of our website to see who’s still looking for a human to call their own.  If you are unable to adopt please consider a donation to assist us with the costs associated with desexing so many cats and kittens.

A Tale of Hope

Hope arrived at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home just before Christmas and the team was immediately concerned for her wellbeing. She was afraid and suffering with severe weeping eyes and patches of raw itchy skin on her body. Pain relief was promptly provided to alleviate her misery.

Taking an extra gentle approach the team soon had this scared girl coming out of her shell and giving them kisses. Having no microchip, we were unable to locate Hope’s owner and no one came forward to reclaim this beautiful but neglected girl. It was estimated that Hope was approximately 6 years old, and the team turned their attention to getting this girl fit and healthy, ready to find her new loving family.

 

Our Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Christine Cole diagnosed Hope with bilateral entropion, a painful condition in which eyelids are inverted, causing the eyelashes to constantly rub and scratch the eyeball.

This condition required surgery to alleviate Hope’s discomfort and prevent it from permanently damaging her eyes. Hope also needed in-depth investigation to properly diagnose her skin condition as well as a major dental clean and desexing surgery.

With the generous support of our community we were able to raise just over $5,000 to help cover the cost of Hope’s much needed veterinary care.

We are now pleased to report that Hope’s surgery was a success, her skin condition is resolving and the best news of all – Hope has found a new loving forever home!

Bo Bounces Back

Bo arrived at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home early in the new year.  A beautiful older Labrador, Bo walked well on lead, knew a few tricks and had obviously been someone’s much loved pet.  Sadly, Bo was not microchipped and no one came forward to reclaim him.

So after 7 days Bo was transferred into the care of Sydney Dogs and Cats Home.  It had been obvious from the moment Bo entered the home that he had a large mass protruding from his left hock.

Our Chief Vet Officer Dr Christine Cole took a biopsy of the mass and sent it off to pathology for diagnosis.  The results revealed that Bo had a Mast Cell Tumour, the most common skin tumour found in dogs.  The team immediately set about liaising with our third-party off-site vet clinic to organised a suitable time and access to a surgical theatre in order to surgically remove the tumour from Bo’s leg.

Sadly when Dr Cole began operating on the tumour she found that the mass had infiltrated the surrounding tissue and tendons.  There was no way to remove the tumour leaving sufficient margin of healthy non-cancerous tissue.

An otherwise healthy and active dog, the team decided the best treatment option for Bo was to remove his left hind leg, ensuring the cancer was completely removed.  Once again access to the third-party vet clinic was organised and the surgery booked in.  The operation went smoothly, Bo being an ideal surgical candidate.

Post – op Bo was brought back to the shelter for observation and within less than 24 hours he was up and negotiating his way around the admin office.  As no one, despite his beautiful demeanour and handsome good looks, has expressed interest in adopting Bo he will now go into foster care while the surgical site continues to heal.

The team estimates Bo is approximately 9 years young and should have a good five years ahead of him.  He’s such a great dog and would make someone a wonderful companion.  Please contact Sydney Dogs and Cats Home if you think you could provide Bo with the care and loving home he so justly deserves.

Fund our life-saving clinic to help pets like Bo

Bo’s case is just another example of the team having to juggle schedules to fit into the available time slots at an offsite vet clinic.  We are currently seeking donations to fund the build of our own vet clinic which will be integrated into our new Home in Kurnell.  So far we have raised $80,000 to cover the cost of the essential, life-saving equipment that will be needed.  We are still seeking to raise and additional $120,000 to cover the cost of the complete build and fit out.

Django’s Perfect Match

Bondi Behaviourist’s Ian Shivers recently adopted Django from Sydney Dogs and Cats Home and has this wonderful advice for people looking to welcome a new dog into their lives….

When choosing a dog, as hard as it is we should select the dog for our homes with our heads rather than our hearts.

When I was looking for my boy I set out what I was looking for by being honest with myself about my situation.

While I love big dogs, I wanted a dog that was small, because I rent and that can make things easier in the future if I move home.

I live with a cat and so he had to be cat friendly.

I love to exercise, but when I thought about it… this is my alone time and so I didn’t actually need a high energy dog because I exercise for me rather than my dog.

I also prefer taking my dogs to places to relax with them such as quiet walks, picnics, cafes and pubs rather than dog parks so again not a highly active dog.

I work with dogs every day of my life, so I didn’t want a project. This meant choosing a dog that was good with children, adults and other animals.

And finally although I work from home sometimes, he does have to be left alone and so a dog that is comfortable with this was important so that I didn’t stress him out when I leave.

The other things I wanted with my heart was a male dog, a scruffy dog and one that was a bit older so that I could take on a dog that perhaps others might not.

I weighed up my options and waited patiently, there were many dogs that I could have taken home but didn’t quite fit the bill. Little Django came in and since then it’s been plain sailing, he’s a legend of a dog who has done nothing but bring happiness to my life and the only credit I can take is that I was honest with myself and waited patiently for the right one, he did the rest by just being him.

Everyone is different and lives different lives, some people will want the exact opposite from me and that’s perfect. Getting a dog requires commitment no matter what and even the best thought out plans go off track but if we all take the time to assess our situations and be patient when choosing then it is likely fewer dogs would end up in the shelters.

Thank you to Sydney Dogs and Cats Home for being patient with me when helping find Django as well!

And thank you Ian for providing Django with such a great home.  Bondi Behaviourist works across Sydney, with dog behaviour issues and the training of pet dogs.  Their aim is to create a closer bond between people and their dogs, helping rebuild any parts of the relationship that may have broken down.  Learn more about about Bondi Behaviourist and there services here.

 

 

 

Senior Pet Project Update: Bluey’s Happily Ever After

At 15 years of age, Bluey found himself lost and homeless.  He was picked up as a stray and brought into Sydney Dogs and Cats Home.  When no one came forward to reclaim this senior gentleman the team set about finding Bluey a forever home where he could enjoy his twilight years.

Given his advanced age and arthritic condition we were concerned that it might take some time to find that one-in-a-million person willing to take this boy into their home and heart.  Although the entire team had quickly fallen in love with this affectionate old soul, we knew it was best for Bluey to be placed into foster care while we searched for his ideal retirement home.

Thankfully we had a couple of foster carers ready to provide Bluey with a temporary home.  Amy and Mish, who had previously fostered a high-energy young, active dog for us realised with their full-time work schedules their lifestyle would be better suit an older, less active dog.   So Amy and Mish took Bluey into foster care.

In less than a week, Bluey also enchant Mish and Amy who made the decision to adopt him.  They realised they could give Bluey the home, comfort and support he needed in his final years.  “We’ve had to adapt our lives very little and in return we have a loving, loyal, complete goofball as a companion,” said Amy. “Coming home after a long shift and having a very happy, excited Mr Bluey waiting to greet me is the best stress reliver ever,” she continued.

Amy also has some very good advice for people looking to adopt, “Don’t focus on the breed, gender, colour or age of a dog.  Focus on a dog that will fit your existing lifestyle and you’ll end up with a loving companion you deserve and who deserves you.”

Bluey has blossomed in the care of Mish and Amy, growing healthier and stronger in his new home.  He’s gone from only taking very short 5-10 minute walks to playing and running at the beach for 1-2 hours.  He’s also learned to play catch.

If you are interested in adopting a senior pet or even providing temporary foster care to a senior that may come into the Home please contact the team on info@sydneydogsandcatshome.org or call 9587 9611.

Life and Love with Lorenzo

In the past two months we’ve welcomed nearly 300 cats and kittens at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, including several who tested positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) during the routine health check that we provide.

FIV is a viral disease that affects the immune system of cats. It makes them more susceptible to illness, but with proper care FIV cats can lead long, healthy, loving lives.

FIV is not transferable to humans or other species (e.g. dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, etc). It is commonly spread through deep bite wounds, which would typically occur during aggressive fights between cats over territorial disputes. The virus is also transmitted via seminal fluid and in the womb of an FIV-positive mother.

As the virus only lives within the infected feline it is unlikely to spread to a non-FIV cat. However our team recommends that FIV cats be rehomed as an ‘only cat’ or with other FIV positive felines as even domesticated cats can have spats resulting in bites which could transmit the disease.

FIV cats also need to be indoor-only cats. With a compromised immune system keeping them indoors reduces the risk of them contracting a disease or infection from other cats, parasites, fleas or ticks. Cats with FIV also require a diet that excludes raw meats because of the risk of parasites.

Currently there is no cure for the disease, but it is easily manageable through treatment, diet and care. Cats with FIV are living happy and healthy lives, bringing much joy to their owners.

Our current resident Lorenzo has FIV and has been patiently waiting in foster care 137 days to find his forever home. If you think you could offer one of our lovely FIV friends a home please contact the team at info@sydneydogsandcatshome.org

Restoring Rusty to Health

With the holiday season, a time of giving and sharing soon upon us, we wanted to thank our community for their ongoing  support and to share a touching story of a special dog named Rusty who, thanks to our community, we were able to provide the care and treatment he desperately needed.

So far this calendar year Sydney Dogs and Cats Home has welcomed more than 2,000 of Sydney’s lost, abandoned, injured and neglected pets through our doors.  Our team, sadly, is often confronted with animals that are malnourished or unwell. Many are infested with parasites such as fleas or mange mites. Some have untreated tumours and cancers. Serious dental problems are commonplace. Many have coats which are matted and overgrown.

One recent case that needed our help is current resident Rusty, a three-year-old Shar Pei who arrived in mid-September.  Rusty had been found wandering the streets alone and with severe and obvious eye problems causing squinting and weeping of both eyes. He was diagnosed with bilateral entropian.

This painful breed-related condition in which eyelids are inverted, causes the eyelashes to constantly rub and scratch the eyeball. Rusty’s entropian was so severe that it had left permanent scarring on the cornea, he was in constant pain and his vision was seriously impacted. This condition requires early correction and is ideally corrected in puppyhood.

With no owner coming forward, Rusty was transferred into our care and our vet team, led by Chief Veterinarian Christine Cole, set about with a surgery to correct Rusty’s condition and alleviate his suffering.  As with all our surgeries, Rusty was taken to an offsite vet clinic, as we have no facility to perform surgeries at our current location.

Examination of Rusty’s eyes under general anaesthesia revealed that scarring to his right eye from years of chronic irritation was irreversible, and that he had barely any vision left in this eye. The decision was taken to remove this painful and useless eye.

Thankfully, his left eye was able to be saved, and corrective surgery was done to restore comfort and function to the eyelids of this eye and protect his vision. Rusty was transferred back to Sydney Dogs and Cats Home to recover.

Rusty’s troubles were not over however. Although he had bounced back initially after surgery he was put on sick report after refusing food and vomiting. These were concerning signs taken very seriously. Another trip to the vet hospital was necessary to investigate these new concerns and it was just as well that we didn’t hesitate.  Our vet team worked on Rusty for three hours in what turned out to be a life-saving procedure.

Rusty had been suffering from a twisted bowel and part of his intestinal track had died. Dr Cole removed twenty centimeters of necrotic intestine and then stitched the healthy intestine back together. Once again Rusty was transferred back to Sydney Dogs and Cats Home to be vigilantly monitored.

Thankfully Rusty recovered uneventfully from this, his second procedure, and within 24 hours he was eating vigorously and up and about.  We know that the care that we are able to provide neglected pets like Rusty is only possible because of your generous support of the community.

As we prepare to build our new Home in Kurnell, we have the opportunity to establish a fully equipped and functioning onsite vet clinic, which will enable us to perform most medical and surgical procedures on site, more efficiently and without the need to transfer animals back and forth.

Having an onsite veterinarian facility in Kurnell will enable us to continue to transform and save the lives of the thousands of animals coming into our care like Rusty, but we desperately need funds for the build.

It is with this in mind, that we ask if you would support us this holiday season by making a donation. We are looking to raise $200,000 by the calendar year’s end to help fund the build. Please donate now to help us make this dream come true.

Rusty has recovered fully and is now available for adoption. In the meantime, we will continue to look after this beautiful boy until he finds his permanent new home.

From Rusty, all the team and residents past, present and future at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, we wish you and yours a happy holiday season.

Build the Home

In 2015 Sydney Dogs and Cats Home received the news that we would have to vacate our current Carlton location. While the news was devastating it created a wonderful opportunity.  The opportunity for us to look to the future and build what will be a world-class combined animal shelter and community facility servicing the Greater Sydney Area.

With the site secured on a vacant parcel of land in Kurnell, we have turned our attention to the build.  Following months of research and consultation, the preliminary plans for our new Home have been developed.  We have met with the Sutherland Shire Council, and hope to be submitting a Development Application in the near future.

Our new Home will sit on 9,720 square metres; that’s nearly 8 times the size of our current site in Carlton.  It will have capacity to house 64-90 dogs, depending on size, and 120 cats.  We will have purpose-built areas to accommodate the pocket pets – like the rabbits, birds and ferrets that frequently come into the Home.  And we will have an area reserved for the farm animals such as the goats and sheep that sometimes arrive on our doorstep.
There will also be 3 exercise and challenger yards to be utilised by the shelter residents.

Having access to more physical space means we have the opportunity to expand our community programs, enabling us to support even more people in need, who benefit from working with shelter pets.  We will also have an onsite café, community centre and garden.

It’s been a long journey to get us to this point, but we still have a lot of work ahead.  To build our new Home in Kurnell we will need to raise $6.4 million. At the moment, with the community’s generous support, we have received over $1.5 million in donations specifically for the build.

However we need $4.9 million to fund the gap. We need your contribution to help us create what will be a world-class animal shelter and community centre for the Greater Sydney Area.  Please dig deep and donate today.

We hope that you will continue to follow us on this journey.  Your involvement, commitment and support is one of the key factors that helps differentiate Sydney Dogs and Cats Home from other shelters, making it such a special place for all pets and people.

Dorothy Transformed from Mange to Marvellous

This calendar year we’ve welcomed more than 2,000 of Sydney’s lost and abandoned animals into our care.  Sadly, not every animal that arrives on the doorstep of Sydney Dogs and Cats Home is in the best of health.

This month the team was particularly challenged when the council ranger brought Dorothy into the Home after she’d been abandoned at a veterinary practice.

Dorothy had a serious case of demodectic mange and a terrible skin infection.  She was also extremely underweight.  She had lost almost her entire coat of fur and nearly every centimetre of her body was red raw, inflamed and covered in scabs, and there was a strong odour emanating from her infected skin.

Our Animal Care Manager and certified veterinarian Renae Jackson said, “I’ve never seen such an extreme case of mange in a dog in the Sydney area.”

“What’s really heartbreaking is that Dorothy’s condition has not occurred overnight but has worsened over weeks or even months.  Since she is only six months old, this means that much of her life has been spent suffering from this itchy and painful condition.”

Despite this rough start to life the team saw from the very first moments that Dorothy was a very happy, friendly girl with a loveable demeanour.

They immediately set out to get this girl settled and comfortable giving her pain-relief medication and antibiotics to treat her infection.  Dorothy was also given Simparica to kill the millions of mites that were covering her weakened body and the root cause of the mange.

A protocol of antibacterial baths followed by treatment with a soothing conditioning lotion every second day was put in place and followed diligently.  Dorothy was also put on a diet of Hill’s Science puppy food to ensure she was getting the nutrients a growing puppy needs and to help her gain weight. 

Dorothy has been in our care for a few weeks and we can see a significant improvement in her condition.  We are confident that Dorothy will make a full recovery and quickly find herself a new loving home.

Thanks to the generosity of individuals, like you, we are able to provide the care and treatment that the lost and neglected pets, like Dorothy need, restoring them to health and ultimately a new loving home.

With the holidays being our busiest time of year, it is now when we need your help, more than ever. Your support today will go a long way to funding our vital work and helping the thousands of animals who we will welcome into our care in the future.  Please donate to help support pets like Dorothy.

From all of us here at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, we thank you for your support and wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.

Serpico – Three Years, Five Homes

We first welcomed Serpico into Sydney Dogs and Cats Home in 2016. Due to his approachable nature and willingness to accept kisses, the team was certain Serpico had a home. However this little darling was not microchipped and we were unable to find his original owner. Serpico had lost his way and was now looking for a new home. Over the next few years we would welcome Serpico back three more times.

Serpico’s initial stay with us was just a few weeks before we were able to rehome him. He enjoyed a couple of years in this, his second home, but his adoptive owner moved overseas, leaving Serpico in the care of a friend and ultimately his third home. The friend was not able to look after Serpico long term and surrendered him back into our care in July of this year.

Serpico second visit to Sydney Dogs and Cats Home lasted a month before we transferred him to our adoption partner Petstock Zetland. Just 10 days later Serpico was adopted by a new mum, who had another friend for him, at what would be his fourth home.

Sadly, Serpico’s stay in this home was just over a month. Serpico and his new friend, an older cat, did not warm to each other and would often fight creating a stressful home environment for everyone. So once again, we opened up our doors and our hearts to Serpico, welcoming him back a third time.

Serpico’s story, however does not end here without a happy ending. Serpico was only with us for a few more weeks before he was rehomed via our adoption partner Petstock Kingsford. Serpico is now in his fifth and what we believe will be his final home. He’s got a new name, Byron and his own Instagram account – @byron.cat. – where you can see this beautiful boy being spoiled and pampered on a daily basis. We are quietly confident that Byron has now truly found his forever home.

At Sydney Dogs and Cats Home we don’t put a time limit on any adoptable animal. We can only do this because of the generous support of the community who donate regularly to enable us to care for the thousands of lost, neglected and abandoned pets who come through our doors each year. In operation for more than 72 years, Sydney Dogs and Cats Home is currently Sydney’s only registered charity impound facility. Please support our work and the animals that we transform and rehome by signing up to become a regular giver here.