Second Chance for Shelter Animals

Warragamba Panorama

Second Chance for Shelter Animals

Posted on: 02.11.2018

It has been a great year for the furry residents of the Wollondilly Animal Shelter, with many of them finding their forever homes and even going on to new careers as Pet Therapy Dogs.

One of these success stories, Pumpkin, arrived at the shelter as a stray suffering from skin allergies and was adopted after four months at the shelter.
Her new owner Phillipe said, “Pumpkin is doing really well. Her skin has cleared up and she now has a shiny full coat.”

Phoenix (renamed JJ) is a three legged dog who also came to the shelter as a stray, but now lives happily with his new family in Victoria. They report that his training is going well and he has fitted in perfectly, particularly enjoying his visits to the dog park.

Three year old Bull Arab, Scarlett spent over three months at the shelter but despite her lovable personality was overlooked due to a medical condition.

She was fostered and later adopted by Vanessa, one of the volunteers at the shelter, and was able to have the operation she needed with support from Forgotten Souls Rescue Group.

A gentle natured dog who loves people and other animals, Scarlett often visits the shelter to help with temperament testing and socialising of the other dogs.

Scarlett is also a PAWS Pet Therapy dog and attends Mary Broomsbank School every Monday, which she loves.
Fiona the Bull Arab was a favourite with staff and volunteers due to her gentle, placid temperament, but didn’t receive much interest from potential dog owners.
Animal Shelter attendant Laurie Ashton believed that there was something special about Fiona and decided to adopt her.

“She loves everyone she meets is always up for a pat and a cuddle,” said Laurie.
Fiona brought so much happiness into Laurie’s life she wanted to share it, so she signed Fiona up for the PAWS pet therapy training, from which she has now graduated. Laurie and Fiona will soon be starting their pet therapy visits to either aged care facilities, hospitals or children with special needs in their schools.

Another happily rehomed dog is Bella the Kelpie cross, who was dumped at a local truck stop severely underweight and malnourished.

She was quite timid when she arrived at the shelter due to lack of human contact. Since her adoption she has become very confident, friendly and affectionate and is now a healthy weight with improved posture and stance.
It’s not just the dogs who are finding homes. Domino (now Django) the cat was surrendered to the shelter at 14 years of age with a hearing impairment. He now lives in Sydney with his new family, including Dakota the Cocker Spaniel.

His owner Gordon said, “Django is an amazingly chilled cat around Dakota. Django is settling in well and becoming more confident each day. He has become a part of the family.”
According to Laurie Ashton, volunteers are an integral part of the shelter and help make it a happy environment for the animals.

She said, “We currently have 20 active volunteers who are a huge part of the shelter. We can’t thank them enough for the work they do.”

“We value their commitment, dedication and passion for the animals. They arrive every weekend, rain hail or shine to walk and socialise the dogs and spend time with the cats.”

One of the volunteers noted that, “Shelter animals are not broken animals. They are in the shelter through no fault of their own. Please visit the shelter to adopt your next cat or dog. They need you to care!”
In the 17/18 financial year over 90% of dogs and 66% of cats impounded at the Wollondilly Animal Shelter were released or rehomed, with only dogs and cats that were assessed as unsuitable for rehoming or feral cats not able to be rehomed.