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Adoption fee discount to ease pressure on animal shelters

The City of Sydney is reducing the adoption fees for pets being housed in its animal shelter, in a bid to reduce pressure on the animal care facility.

From 15 to 26 April, adoption fees will be cut from $263 to $131.50 for cats and from $399 to $199.50 for dogs.

Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore AO said she hoped the reduced fees would help some of the city’s four legged residents find a new home.

“We know that shelters and rehoming organisations are currently in crisis across Sydney. The cost of living, housing affordability and rental restrictions means the number of animals being surrendered has increased dramatically,” the Lord Mayor said.
“We know how important pets are to people’s lives and wellbeing. We’re hoping that by reducing these fees, we can both reduce the cost of pet ownership and help to ease pressure on our shelter.”
Since 2009 lost and abandoned pets in the City of Sydney area have been looked after at the Sutherland Animal Shelter, in partnership with Sutherland Shire Council.

“We’re very proud our animals are looked after at Sutherland Animal Shelter,” the Lord Mayor said.

Adoptable Siren (6 months)
Photo: Sutherland Animal Shelter
“The facility provides a high level of care for animals and aims to rehome or rehabilitate each of its residents, with one of the lowest euthanasia rates in the country.

“However, it is also at capacity. The number of City of Sydney pets being kept in our shelter has almost doubled in the last two years, up from 44 dogs and 37 cats in 2021 to 84 dogs and 63 cats in 2023.

“For decades we have fought to improve the welfare of companion animals. Our new reduced adoption costs are part of a suite of initiatives the City of Sydney is running to support residents who own pets.”

The City of Sydney runs several programs to help support pet owners. These include annual pet days where social housing residents can access free pet health checks, vaccinations, microchipping, flea and worming treatments, as well as subsidised desexing.

We also encourage people to register their pets online and offer subsidised desexing and free microchipping for pensioners and eligible people on low incomes.

The discount adoption scheme is part of a broader program run by the Sutherland Animal Shelter

The animal shelter is having an open day on Tuesday 16th April 2024, from 10am-2pm.

Address: Sutherland Shire Animal Shelter, 8 Production Road, Taren Point, NSW 2229

Phone: 02 9710 0401

To find out more contact shelter staff at

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has updated its Global Vaccination Guidelines, which set out the latest scientific thinking on the vaccination of dogs and cats globally. 

The Guidelines have been produced by the WSAVA’s Vaccination Guidelines Group (VGG), and are now available for free download from the WSAVA website, following peer-review by the Journal of Small Animal Practice, the WSAVA’s official scientific journal.

The new version includes a range of updates and additional content including:

✔️ revised definition of ‘core’ vaccines:

Core vaccines for cats in all parts of the world are those that protect against feline parvovirus (FPV), feline calicivirus (FCV) and feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV). 

In many parts of the world, feline leukaemia virus (FeLV)-related diseases are endemic. In these places, FeLV vaccines should be considered core for young cats (<1 year of age) and for adult cats with outdoor access or that live with other cats that have outdoor access.

Core vaccines for dogs in all parts of the world are those that protect against canine distemper virus (CDV), canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV) and canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV). 
Vaccines should not be given needlessly. Core vaccines should not be given any more frequently than necessary in adult animals. 
There is an abundance of peer-reviewed, published evidence showing that the duration of immunity (DOI) provided by most, modern, modified live virus (MLV) core vaccines is many years.

Selected non-core vaccines may be recommended after careful consideration of each pet’s lifestyle and local prevalence of vaccine-manageable diseases.

The VGG strongly encourages veterinarians to educate their clients about the value of regular health checks (usually annual, sometimes more often) as opposed to speaking of “vaccination consultations.” The annual health check is much more than just a vaccination consultation, although it will often include administration of selected vaccines that need to be administered annually. The DOI provided by most non-core vaccines is about 1 year.”  [1]

✔️ A new section covering maternal antibody (MDA)

✔️ Updated sections on current and emerging topics in canine and feline clinical vaccinology and on the use of vaccines in shelters and sanctuaries.

The VGG has also produced sets of Regional Vaccination Guidelines for veterinarians in Asia and Latin America and is currently undertaking a four-year project to boost understanding of infectious disease across Sub-Saharan Africa and to advise veterinarians on optimal vaccination practice. 

As part of this project, it will conduct a review of infectious disease prevalence and current vaccination practice in the region and will provide continuing education on vaccination. In 2026, it will publish a full set of Regional Vaccination Guidelines for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Setting global standards for companion animal veterinary care is one of the WSAVA’s key goals. The VGG is a team of experts from around the world, working to provide evidence-based scientific advice to the global veterinary profession on the vaccination of dogs and cats. It comprises Dr Mary Marcondes from Brazil (Chair), Dr Richard Squires (Australia), Dr Cynda Crawford (US) and Dr Nathaniel Whitley (UK).

Dr Mary Marcondes,
Chair of WSAVA’s Vaccination Guidelines Group
Commenting on the launch of the new Global Vaccination Guidelines, Dr Marcondes said: 

“We’re thrilled to announce the publication of the 2024 WSAVA Global Vaccination Guidelines. They are the culmination of several years’ work by the VGG and provide the very latest thinking on vaccination practice for dogs and cats. 

“We hope that the scientific evidence embedded within the Guidelines will ensure that they are a valuable and practical resource for veterinarians worldwide and that they will contribute to the welfare of companion animals globally.”

She added: “We are very grateful for the support of the VGG’s long-term partner MSD Animal Health, which enables us to carry out our important work.”

Dr David Sutton, Global Technical Director at MSD Animal Health, said: “Evidence-based scientific vaccination guidelines are essential to ensure optimum vaccine practice for dogs and cats. We are proud to support the work of the WSAVA’s Vaccination Guidelines Group and these important new Guidelines which will help prevent the spread of infectious disease and further the wellbeing of small companion animals.”

MSD Animal Health has been the Sole Partner of the VGG since its inception in 2006 and has recently become a Diamond Partner of the WSAVA.

[1] 2024 guidelines for the vaccination of dogs and cats – compiled by the Vaccination Guidelines Group (VGG) of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, accessed 10/04/24.
About the World Small Animal Veterinary Association

The WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 116 member associations and works to enhance standards of clinical care for companion animals. Its core activities include the development of WSAVA Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including pain management, nutrition and vaccination, together with lobbying on issues affecting companion animal care worldwide.

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Petstock Foundation thanks Aussies for adopting pets in need during National Pet Adoption Month

The Petstock Foundation celebrates the 961 pets who found their forever home across the country during National Pet Adoption Month (NPAM) in March 2024, an increase on last year’s adoption results. 

NPAM is an initiative that helps find loving homes for rescue pets in need of adoption or fostering: whether it’s a cat, dog, guinea pig, or even a bird.
“We want to thank the incredible pet parents who opened their hearts and their homes to rescue animals this month.” says Jessica CurtisPetstock Foundation Strategic Manager.
Each year, we’re inspired by the generosity of Australians who take action during National Pet Adoption Month, and find a pet in need to love. Pets provide us with companionship, emotional support and are seen as family, and we believe pets and people truly are better together. 

Even if you weren’t able to adopt or foster during March, we still encourage those looking for a pet to reach out to their local Petstock store or rescue group for more information, or donate to the Petstock Foundation to support rescue groups across Australia.”

This year, out of the 961 pets that were adopted, 823 of those were cats followed by 19 dogs, 42 rabbits, 39 guinea pigs and 5 birds. Victoria and Tasmania saw the highest number of adoptions with 241 pets finding their forever home followed by 146 in Queensland, 148 in South Australia, 138 in Western Australia and 109 in New South Wales & ACT.

The decision to adopt can come from the most unlikely sources and Liam House knows this best. Already owning one cat and sparked during Petstock’s 2022 National Pet Adoption Month, Liam and his partner contemplated adding to their family and upon browsing rescue websites, they stumbled upon Zym and Rayla, a bonded pair facing adoption challenges. 

Despite their peculiar haircuts, the emotional connection with this pair was undeniable, "Zym and Rayla became an integral part of our family from the moment we brought them home. Their affectionate behaviour during our first meeting assured us that they were the ones."

Zym and Rayla seamlessly integrated into Liam's daily routines, bringing joy and a reassuring presence. Liam emphasised, "The transformative impact they've had on my life within those initial minutes, despite their unconventional appearance which they have grown out of, solidifies the decision to adopt as invaluable and rewarding, creating a home filled with warmth and companionship." 

Adopting Zym and Rayla wasn't just a choice: it was an enriching journey that transformed a house into a home, filled with the love and laughter that only rescued pets can bring.

Over the past 10 years, the Petstock Foundation's National Pet Adoption Month has helped find loving homes for close to 41,000 rescue pets across Australia and New Zealand, but there are still more animals in need of homes. 

There are currently over 9,300 pets at shelters, rescue groups, pounds and vets across Australia awaiting adoption [1], and with the rising costs of everyday expenses, sadly it is predicted that this number will continue to rise.

Visit to find out more.

[1], accessed 7 December 2023

About the Petstock Foundation

The Petstock Foundation is a registered charity that exists to empower a better future for pets and people. Since its inception in 2007, The Foundation has raised more than $10 million to date and has found homes for close to 41,000 rescue pets. Petstock Foundation is contributed to by the fundraising initiatives of the Petstock Group, donations by business partners and team members as they come together for the pets that inspire them. 100% of funds raised go towards The Foundation to support its charitable partners and projects with all operating costs covered by the business.

About National Pet Adoption Month

The Petstock Foundation is encouraging Australians to support rescue pets this National Pet Adoption Month, the 10th year of the initiative. Unfortunately, thousands of pets enter the rescue cycle each year through no fault of their own. This National Pet Adoption Month, we want people to open their hearts to a pet in need, and in turn experience the positive impact a pet can bring to their everyday life. Pets and people: we’re better together.

Wagalot Brands is so proud of our dog treats and incredibly excited to now be able to share the joy with our feline companions. 

Our Mix & Zap Kitty Cat Cake has just been released and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from cat lovers” said Alice Needham – co-founder of Wagalot Brands – an Australian manufacturer of (until now) dog treats!

“The journey to create this kit has taken many years, as all we had ever heard is how fussy cats are! We didn’t give up though and now cats Australia-wide can have their birthdays celebrated in style. 

The kits even come with a platter to serve it on – just write in their name for those Instagram pics. “

It’s so simple to make in the microwave or oven and the kit has everything you need for the paw-fect birthday celebration.

This tuna flavoured cake mix and decorating kit is purr-fect for celebrating your cat’s next birthday!

RRP: $17.99Available at Petbarn stores and online or ask for it at your favourite pet store. 

MEDIA RELEASE, 4th April 2024

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CANA calls for desexing, adoption and support amid surge in surrender of unwanted cats

National animal welfare charity Companion Animal Network Australia (Australia CAN or CANA) is advocating for desexing, adoption and support amid a surge in surrenders of kitten and cats that are ‘no longer wanted’.

“We are seeing a large spike in cats and kittens being relinquished to our member shelters around the country, intensifying the stress they are already experiencing,” said Trish Ennis, CEO of Australia CAN.

“The increase in the numbers of unwanted kittens is a result of cats breeding all year round due to warmer weather. We are urging people to desex their pets, consider adoption and support animal welfare charities so they can continue to help save lives.”

Australia CAN members that rescue cats and companion animals are Sydney Dogs and Cats Home (NSW), Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ), Animal Welfare League South Australia (AWL SA), Saving Animals From Euthanasia (SAFE) Inc (WA) and Lort Smith Animal Hospital (VIC). (Member Dogs’ Homes of Tasmania only rescues dogs.)

According to data consolidated from the five members of Australia CAN for YTD February 2024, there’s already a 48% increase in cat and kitten surrenders nationally compared to the same time period last year.

In February 2024 alone, 42% of cats surrendered to the five members were due to “no longer being wanted” – with 84% relating to kittens. Other reasons for surrender that month include financial (11.7%), owner medical (10%), renting issues (8%) and change in circumstances (6%).

AWLQ is currently over capacity with cat surrenders and only accepting cats and kittens on a case-by-case basis.

In NSW, Sydney Dogs and Cats Home (SDCH) received 220 kittens between December 2023 and February 2024 – averaging 17 kittens per week, said Melissa Penn, Managing Director of SDCH.

“Did you know female cats are able to have around 180 kittens in their life, and they can start reproducing from as young as 4 months old? Cat populations get out of control very quickly, and without enough homes wanting to take them, they end up in shelters – if they are lucky!” she said.

In WA, SAFE Inc Founder Sue Hedley OAM said it’s devastating for veterinarians, council rangers, SAFE and other animal rescue services to have to euthanise friendly cats.

“As a society, this toll is heavier now than it was when I founded SAFE 21 years ago,” she said. “If we all take proactive measures, like being vigilant with homeless cats and kittens ensuring they reach rescue services for desexing and rehoming, it is bound to yield a positive impact. SAFE Inc
is committed to assisting in the desexing of owned female cats as part of our collective effort to tackle the issue of overpopulation.”

Desexing and adoption help save lives

The number of cats and kittens ending up in shelters sends a strong message about the importance of desexing, explained Ms Ennis.

“Unwanted litters places significant strain on rescue organisations and shelters, many of which are already operating at full capacity and unable to accommodate all animals in need,” she said.
“The most effective method to curb the overpopulation of stray cats (and dogs) is through desexing.”

If you’re a pet owner, low cost desexing may be available through the National Desexing Network, a proud initiative of AWLQ. For more information, visit

Pet adoption also directly helps animal welfare charities by freeing up space to accommodate more animals in need.

“Adopting a pet is also a highly ethical alternative to purchasing one from a pet store or breeder,” said Ms Ennis. “It is a great way to improve the life of the pet, and owners get to experience the proven benefits of caring for an animal in need.”

With the theme ‘Sweeter than any-bunny,’ AWLQ is making it more affordable to adopt a pet, with heavily discounted prices for adult cats (and dogs) in a mission to rehome as many animals as possible during the Easter holiday period.

“Our priority is to find loving homes for all our current adult cats (and dogs) in order to continue our promise to take on other animals requiring our help,” said Caroline Esera, AWLQ Marketing and Communications Manager. “We encourage people to consider adopting a sweet forever feline.

Because when you adopt a shelter cat, you’re actually saving two lives: the pet you adopt and the next homeless animal you help make room for.”

If you are unable to adopt a pet, consider fostering to provide temporary care for shelter cats (and dogs). Contact your nearest Australia CAN member for more information.

The impact of supporting animal welfare

Animal lovers can also support animal welfare organisations by volunteering, donating or leaving a gift in their will or trust. 

Workplace Giving is also a great way for companies to support the animal welfare charities their employees care about.

“Together Australia CAN members have more than 300 years of combined experience in caring for animals in need! Our members provide rescue, shelter, rehoming, foster care, health and enrichment to more than 50,000 animals every year!” said Ms Ennis,

“Supporting animal welfare organisations aid in the implementation of spay and neuter programs, education initiatives and advocacy efforts at reducing the suffering of animals and promoting responsible pet ownership.”

Animal lovers can support the direct-care of Australia CAN member agencies by donating via

MEDIA RELEASE, 4th April 2024

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Meet UTSÅDD: the new IKEA collection that aims to brighten up the home life of cats, dogs and pet-loving humans

IKEA is launching UTSÅDD, a lively pet collection developed with input from veterinarians, pet product experts, and an exigent panel of cats and dogs, to ensure the relevance of each product. 

The playful collection of 29 products is based on research on the daily life, behaviours and preferences of cats and dogs at home, and focuses on four different activities: eat, sleep, play and hide.

With UTSÅDD, IKEA seeks to simplify and brighten up life at home with pets by bringing joyful products that are easy to clean, resistant to everyday use and seamlessly blend into any home. UTSÅDD will be available in Australia beginning April 2024.

Cats and dogs are an essential part of the life at home of many people. More and more families choose to welcome four-legged, furry members and, like their human relatives, they have needs to be met. 

IKEA set out to develop a playful collection that considered the needs and wants of cats and dogs and their families, all while prioritising safety. After a two-year journey and obtaining sign-off from a panel of cats and dogs, UTSÅDD is finally ready to make its debut in pet-loving homes across the world.

“At IKEA, we believe that pets are family. Our goal was to develop a collection of products that our cats and dogs love and that their human parents can feel good about and truly enjoy having as part of their home,” says Julia Rosenberg, Product Design Developer at IKEA of Sweden AB.

UTSÅDD was developed around the four most common activities that cats and dogs carry out around the home – eat, sleep, play and hide. The collection is designed to make these activities enjoyable and easy to manage for both pets and humans.

  • Colourful food bowls and a double-sided anti-slip placemat help minimise mess during mealtime. The bowls are ceramic and, therefore, heavier and less likely to move around, and the placemat helps keep them in place. They also come in multiple sizes and are dishwasher- and refrigerator-safe.
  • A soft blanket and cushy beds help provide comfort and reduce anxiety during snooze time while blending seamlessly into the home. They come in different options, materials and sizes, are machine-washable and some are water repellent.
  • Allen key- and bone-shaped toys invite hours of fetching, chewing, and searching for treats. The toys, which are made from natural rubber and fabric, were carefully designed to be durable and robust, yet gentle on teeth and gums.
  • A modern tent and a rattan-made house make hiding deliciously cosy for cats, and a style-approved addition to any space. UTSÅDD also includes an updated version of the LURVIG range that blends nicely into the KALLAX shelving unit.

Prioritising Pet Safety

Pet safety was considered and prioritised at all stages of the development of UTSÅDD, and from as many aspects as possible.

“We formulated protocols and risk assessments based on our research, evaluations of previous pet collections, and input from our partner veterinarians and pet product experts. Our protocols include periodic chemical, mechanical and physical safety tests on all UTSÅDD products,” says Julia Rosenberg.

Additionally, all UTSÅDD products carry a label with symbols that aim to provide clear and user-friendly safety messages. These messages state, for example, that the owner should always be present when the pet is using the product, or that a product should be thrown away if it breaks. “We urge customers to read and become familiar with the safety label on UTSÅDD products,” concludes Julia Rosenberg.

The UTSÅDD collection will be available in Australia starting April 2024.

For more information or to view the entire UTSÅDD range, you can visit the IKEA website.