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MARCH 19, 2020

2020 Cat and Dog Lovers Shows rescheduled

Following recent instruction from the Australian Federal Government regarding the evolving COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation and advising against non-essential, organised public outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people and indoor gatherings of more than 100 people for up to six months, Event Management International (EMI) have rescheduled all 2020 events.


• 2020 Melbourne Dog Lovers Show: rescheduled to Friday 27 until Sunday 29 November 2020
• 2020 Melbourne Cat Lovers Show: rescheduled to Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 May 2021
• 2020 Sydney Dog Lovers Show: rescheduled to Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 August 2021

EMI CEO, Jason Humphris, said “In light of the recent Government announcement we have had no choice but to reschedule all our events to safeguard their long-term future.”

“Naturally, we are incredibly disappointed because these events play such an important role in supporting the dog and cat loving communities but we are confident that these new dates allow us to continue presenting these world class festivals in the safest environment possible for all people and pets.”

“Like so many other businesses in the event and pet industries, we are determined to weather this current situation and return with an even more impressive event as the Show provides a highly valuable marketing platform for the pet sector and educational resource for dog and cat owners across the country.”

“Given the extra time we now have to prepare, the company is in a strong position to present an even more exciting festival line-up for visitors when we next open the doors.”
“In light of the hardships the community is facing, we ask people to consider the health and wellbeing of their pets and to please support their local rescue groups as they will need all the support possible right now,” concluded Humphris.

Tickets purchased for all 2020 Shows will be valid for the rescheduled dates. All current ticket holders have been contacted via email to explain the re-issuing process as well as the option to obtain a full refund if they would prefer to do. EMI encourages ticketholders to attend the re-scheduled dates as it will help stakeholders, breed clubs, rescue groups, and the event through a very difficult time.

Event Management International are now developing a range of digital, data and social media-based advertising packages for businesses so they can still reach the extensive Dog and Cat Lovers Show audiences in other virtual ways this year. Organisers are committed to providing a range of new marketing opportunities that will provide a much-needed sales boost to struggling retailers during this period of social distancing.

MARCH 13, 2020
Cautious Pet Owners Avoiding Clinic, Calling Vets Home

Coronavirus-cautious Australian pet owners keen to avoid taking their fur babies into vet waiting rooms are boosting demand for mobile veterinary services.

National app-based mobile vet booking service Pawssum Vets said it was experiencing a 200 percent spike in requests for home consultations on the back of fears about the virus.

Demand was rising across all states but was higher in Melbourne and Sydney, said Pawssum Vets co-founder Guy Sharabi.

Many people are telling us they don’t want to take their pets out of the house, that they’re worried about the chance of exposing their pets and themselves to the coronavirus, so are calling the vet to their homes instead,” said Mr Sharabi.

“Even though the World Health Organization is stating there is no evidence that companion animals such as dogs or cats can become sick with the new coronavirus, it certainly appears some pet owners are self quarantining in their homes as much as they can.

“This consumer ‘stay at home’ or ‘nesting’ phenomenon is likely to increase demand for other order-in services like Uber EatsNetflix and Amazon Prime.”

Pawssum vet Dr Kirsten Aberle said information from the World Organisation for Animal Health and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, the preeminent bodies associated with animal health, revealed no evidence that dogs or cats played a role in the spread of COVID-19.

“We do not have to fear that our pets will get sick from COVID-19, nor do we have to fear that they will give it to us,” said Dr Aberle.

“One dog has tested positive to COVID-19 after close contact with its infected owner, however the dog is not sick and transmission back to people has not been established. Our current knowledge is that COVID-19 is a human only disease.

“This new coronavirus infection is thought to have originated from Horseshoe Bat populations and the spread of it is due to human to human transmission only.
“Other coronaviruses exist in our pet populations, but they are not COVID-19; they are completely different viruses that do not cause COVID-19 disease.”

Pawssum Vets provides personalised health care to pets in the comfort of their home by highly-skilled local vets. On-demand veterinarians are available 365 days a year with extended operating hours.

Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world with the nation home to an estimated 5.1 million dogs and 3.8 million cats, and owners spending more than $13 billion a year on their fur babies**

FEBRUARY 13, 2020
Pet Insurance Australia announces its biggest promotion to date: 25% off Pet Insurance for the life of your pet.

Until 23rd March 2020, any Pet Insurance Australia policy purchased will receive an impressive 25% off premiums - for the LIFE of your pet*” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “This offer is open to dog and cat owners nationwide.”

With many new pet parents looking for pet insurance there’s no better time to get your beloved bundle of fur covered.

Pet Insurance Australia has never offered this type of saving before and is really a once in a lifetime opportunity for Australian pet lovers to make some sensational savings on their pet insurance premiums.”

As long as there is no break, or change in cover, the 25% discount applies for the LIFE of the pet and is calculated as one-quarter of the annual premiums spread evenly over each policy period and deducted from each premium instalment. The discount will be factored into the premium displayed on your Certificate of Insurance each year.

“At Pet Insurance Australia, we understand that the decision to insure your pet can be a difficult one,” Crighton says. “Most consumers do not appreciate the importance of insurance until the unthinkable occurs.”

This is what has spurred Pet Insurance Australia to come up with this unique opportunity for pet owners - 25% off new policy premiums for the LIFE of the pet.*

“At PIA we want every pet owner to have access to care and treatment for their pets,” Crighton says. “Having pet insurance can give pet owners a helping hand to access these services.”

A pet eating a corn cob can cost $14,000, and high-end cancer treatments can cost $25,000,” Crighton says. “All insured pet owners hope they never have to use it, but a pet insurance policy can help protect your loved ones when the unexpected happens.”

With savings like this, Australians can consider the peace-of-mind that pet insurance can provide knowing their pet has access to cover that can help during times of sickness and injury.

“Every day we see first-hand the real-life effects of having pet insurance and the lives saved,” Crighton says. “Being able to offer such a wonderful promotion to allow more companion animals access to our insurance policies is something PIA is very proud of.”

The average retail/payable premium for PIA was $570 for January 2020 so this could mean a saving of around $142.50 each year, for the lifetime of the pet.
See the savings here!

Pet Insurance Australia Facts

  • Pet insurance is heavily used: 37% of PIA customers claimed last financial year, submitting an average of 5.3 claims.
  • Pet insurance is used more than many other insurances: pet insurance policies make up only around 1% of general insurance customers, but account for 12% of claims processed.
  • Pet insurance pays out: pet insurance has some exclusions, but 81% of PIA claims were accepted and paid out last financial year. In 2019, PIA paid $11.3m million in claims benefits.
  • PIA also utilises the GapOnlyTM service, making it even easier for clients to pay and claim for their eligible veterinary treatments at participating vets.

*Offer is subject to the terms and conditions of the Pet Insurance Australia (PIA) policy. Offer applies to new PIA Pet Insurance policies purchased using the promo code PIA254LIFE before 23/03/2020. Offer does not apply to a continuation of any current or previous pet insurance policies you hold issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd. Discount applies for the life of your pet (as long as there is no break in cover) and is calculated as one quarter of your annual premiums spread evenly over each policy period and deducted from each premium instalment. The discount will be factored into your premium displayed on your Certificate of Insurance each year unless advised otherwise. Please note that your premium will still increase each year in accordance with the policy terms and conditions. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. PIA may vary, amend, extend or withdraw this offer at any time without notice.

This offer is only valid on policies purchased before 23/03/2020 and the discount ceases to apply where there is a break, gap or change in your level of cover.

Any advice provided is general only. Pet Insurance Australia is issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd (AFSL 241436), administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd (AFSL 420183) and promoted by Pet Insurance Australia Pty Ltd (AR no. 326233), an Authorised Representative of PetSure. You should consider the Product Disclosure Statement available at in deciding whether to acquire or continue to hold this insurance.

JANUARY 8, 2020
Vets Beyond Borders providing veterinary volunteers and funding to help wildlife impacted by bushfires.

As the bushfires ravaging many parts of Australia are having wide ranging and devastating impacts on local communities, Australia-based international animal charity Vets Beyond Borders highlights the serious impact of the continuing disaster on animal populations. 

VBB’s Australian Veterinary Emergency Response Team (AVERT) is assisting government authorities with animal evacuations and providing care to animals impacted by the fires. 

“Countless animals, both domesticated species and wildlife, have died – we can not bring them back. However, Australians can and will do all we can to care for survivors, especially sick and injured animals,” said VBB Director Dr Ian Douglas

“Governments in affected states are responding as fast as they can to the crisis and have deployed veterinarians and allied staff to the fire-grounds. VBB is working with this government response and is providing authorities with appropriately experienced veterinary volunteers from AVERT to assist in this work.” 

Many hundreds of vets and vet nurses have registered to volunteer with AVERT, with more offers of assistance pouring in every day, from Australia and overseas. 

“We sincerely thank everyone who has responded to our call for volunteers. The generosity of the veterinary profession is an inspiration” said Dr Douglas. 

VBB assistance for wildlife rescue groups

In addition to the government-coordinated effort, VBB is also offering support to wildlife rescue groups struggling to provide care to wildlife.

“Whilst VBB is already assisting in government responses through provision of AVERT volunteers, we are also positioned provide direct support to organisations that will be inundated with sick and injured wildlife,” said Dr Douglas.

VBB is already assisting Adelaide Koala Rescue in South Australia, providing veterinary volunteers to assist them in their work following recent fires in Adelaide Hills.

“We are now contacting groups in other affected regions, to offer the services of our veterinary volunteers and provide financial support to enable the purchase of veterinary supplies, mainly analgesics (pain killing medications), burns dressings, rehydrating fluids and antibiotics. We are keen to hear from organisations that would like the assistance of VBB,” he said.

Animal rescue groups in need of help are asked to contact Vets Beyond Borders on

Veterinarians, vet nurses and other veterinary personnel willing to join the AVERT team, are asked register interest via

For more information about our programs and how you can help, please visit

National relief for wildlife in need

As bushfires ravage Australia, and an estimated half a billion animals perish, PETstock and its charity PETstock Assist have pledged more than $150,000 to wildlife organisations in affected states.

Donations will be made to Wildlife VictoriaWildlife Information Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) in NSW, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (Wildcare Australia) in QLD and Fauna Rescue SA.

PETstock has experienced the impact of these fires directly, with team members and stores affected on the south coast of NSW and East Gippsland in Victoria.

PETstock CEO Shane Young says he’s humbled by the support and care shown by team members in affected areas and beyond.

“Stores within the affected areas of NSW and Victoria are working with and supporting their local communities to supply food and products to those in immediate need and taking refuge in relief centres,” he says. “Nationwide our team has shown an outpouring of generosity and goodwill to help those affected.

 the direct donation made by PETstock and PETstock Assist we will also be providing channels for the community to support these wildlife organisations as they care for the animals impacted by these devastating fires.”

All donations made to PETstock Assist throughout January will be donated to Bushfire Support through the following wildlife charities: Wildlife Victoria, Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) in NSW, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (Wildcare Australia) in QLD and Fauna Rescue SA.

How you can help

  • Round up your purchase online or in-store – every bit makes a difference
  • Donate to PETstock Assist online or via donation boxes in-store nationally 
  • Wash your dog for a cause – from Monday 6 January to Sunday 12 January all DIY Dog Wash sales will be donated to local partnering charities to provide relief to those communities directly affected. 

About PETstock Assist

PETstock Assist is a registered charity committed to making a long-term difference and positive change in the lives of pets and humans through education, awareness and donations. 100% of donations to PETstock Assist are donated to charities that share its mission.

Since inception, PETstock Assist has microchipped more than 22,000 pets, found homes for more than 12,000 rescue pets, coordinated food drives to the value of $5 million and donated more than $3 million to charities including PetRescue, Guide Dogs, Assistance Dogs, Young Diggers, individual rescue groups and many more.

JANUARY 7, 2020
The Petbarn Foundation delivers $1.2 million to support Australian animals

As bushfires continue to ravage the country, people, companion animals, and wildlife are being displaced and killed. It’s estimated almost half a billion animals have perished, with habitats lost and animals left without access to food. 

Petbarn, City FarmersGreencross VetsAnimal Emergency Centre (AEC), Animal Referral Hospital (ARH) and Veterinary Referral Hospital (VRH), under the Greencross Limited banner, have united with The Petbarn Foundation to help animals at this time of need. Animal welfare organisations are at the forefront of the unrelenting fight for the survival of Australia’s pets and native animals. 

The Petbarn Foundation is providing over $1.2m to several partners via a combination of funds, food and supplies to evacuation centres in emergency sites, and vets volunteering their time. 

Scott Charters, 'The Petbarn Foundation' Chairperson, said: "We are offering support to organisations who are helping pets caught in the disaster, as well as the many animals and wildlife injured in the fires." The Petbarn Foundation is currently providing over $1.2m to worthy charities;

  • $551k donation to the RSPCA, from the Christmas ‘Tree of Hope’ campaign
  • $390k donation to 33 local charities from the ‘Tree of Hope’ campaign 

  • Eight pallets of bird food and supplies have been donated to Native Animal Rescue Group 
  • Over 100 pallets of dog and cat food and supplies have been donated to evacuation centres, pet rescues and farmers 
  • $75k donation to Vets Beyond Borders for vital Vet assistance 
  • $100k Foundation Evacuation/Pound Packs for companion animal assistance to Showgrounds and Pounds in emergency sites 
  • $25k Wildlife Care Package via the Rescue Collective 
  • $50k WIRES donation to support the care of native wildlife 
  • $10k for Dingo Rescue 

We have, and will continue to allow, our resources and skilled vets to assist in a variety of ways.

Greencross Limited CEO George Wahby said caring for animals is ingrained in the company's values. "Like every Australian, we are all saddened by the devastation and destruction caused by the extensive bushfires, and now more than ever, we need to pull together to support the pets and native animals most precious to our beautiful country. Our team have been incredible, as it’s at the core of our values to protect all animals, native and domestic, and that’s why we are so passionate about ensuring we help Australian animals get through this devastating time,” Mr Wahby said. 

Greencross Limited is thankful to their community who have reached out to offer support for pets and wildlife, who have been affected by these devastating bushfires, and asks that customers and clients that would like to pledge their support, do so by donating at any Petbarn store, Greencross Vets clinic, Animal Emergency Centre or any of our specialist hospitals like ARHVRH or online at

Partner Websites

About the Petbarn Foundation:

Founded in 2012, the Petbarn Foundation aims to support pet welfare programs and organisations throughout Australia actively. All Greencross Limited Companies support The Petbarn Foundation and its initiatives.

1 JANUARY 2020
Cat Curfew Introduced by Knox City Council (VIC)

On Wednesday 1 January 2020 Knox City Council will be introducing a 12-month pilot cat curfew, requiring cats to be confined to their owner’s premises between sunset and sunrise everyday.

This will mean that your cat will need to stay in your house, shed, garage, yard, enclosure or similar to ensure it does not leave your property between sunset and sunrise.

For more information, visit

24 DECEMBER 2019

Gus the Cat Enters the annual Scotland Island Dog Swimming Race ...

The Scotland Island Dog Swimming Race takes place every Christmas Eve in Pittwater (north of Sydney). In its 45th year, it is a quirky and quintessentially Australian event: where else but Australia would entrants compete for a prize of dog food and beer?

However, a ‘wild card’ entrant has announced its intention to compete in the forthcoming race and this is raising a few hackles. We can let the cat out of the bag to reveal it’s an 11-month-old Tonkinese named Gus

A little bit of history ...

The Scotland Island dog swimming race has been held every Christmas Eve since 1974, when two Pittwater ferry captains insisted that their respective vessels were faster than the other. This friendly rivalry escalated to a brag that each captain’s dog - one a German Shepherd named Connie, the other a black Kelpie named Diesel - was a faster swimmer than the other, ultimately resulting in a challenge to prove it. 

The rivals decided the best way to settle the score was a doggy-paddle race from Bells Wharf on Scotland Island to Church Point, some 550 metres across Pittwater. 

And so a tradition was born, with 14 entrants in the inaugural year as others joined the friendly rivalry, curious to see if their dog could better Connie and Diesel (Connie beat Diesel, which failed to finish, although she was not the ultimate winner). 

Since then, the event has been modified, with dog owners paddling a range of water craft in front of their pets to entice them forward, significantly safer than the propeller-driven dinghies of yesteryear. 

Entry fee consists of a long-necked beer bottle and a large tin of dog meat, which are pooled and then divvied up between winners of the three respective dog size categories. 

Big water dogs, such as Labradors and other Retrievers, predictably fare best overall (a black Lab named Cooper won five years in succession from 2005-2010), but the prizes are divided between the first three finishers in big and small dog categories. 

A Tonkinese cat is competing in the Scotland Island dog swimming race on Xmas Eve. Photo: Alec Smart
Gus is a Tonkinese, a cross between Siamese and Burmese, that is typically very lively and playful. Named after the Tonkin region of north-east Vietnam, from which they have no historical connection, they are lithe and muscular and not shy of water, like most domestic cat breeds. 

Gus, who enjoys waterborne adventures including kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding and swimming with his owner, Glenn Druery, spends much of his time on – and immersed in - Middle Harbour, Sydney. 

Druery explained how his cat’s introduction to swimming in seawater was the result of a simple miscalculation. 

“Gus’ first swim was an accident. My partner and I were at the wharf where we berth our boat and I was getting into a kayak. Gus was so keen to join me he jumped with such enthusiasm from the wharf that he missed the kayak completely and landed in Sydney Harbour! 

He wasn’t stressed and swam around a bit. I fished him out and hosed him off but he hasn’t shied away from the water and since then it’s been one watery adventure after another! 

He loves the kayak and paddle-board, but I often take him mountain biking where he rests on my shoulders, or across to Manly in a dinghy on shopping trips. He’s relaxed in rainy weather too, the complete opposite of most cats.” 

When it comes to entering a cat in a race against up to 70 dogs, Druery asserts Gus won’t panic. “We’ll be very aware of dogs in the water. Besides, most dogs know to stay away from the swiping range of a cat’s paw. I’ll be swimming right next to Gus, so if there’s any problems he’ll climb straight onto my shoulders. Gus’ safety is foremost, I’m confident he’ll be okay.” 

Nevertheless, others have expressed concerns about what could be seen as a rogue competitor. [...] 
You can read the full story on Australian Dog Lover.

The race is a wonderful social event that brings the community together in festive spirit, arguably more fun than a wet dog shaking itself dry on your grandmother. Although outsiders sometimes question the safety of swimming across open water, those sharp-toothed dorsal-finned opportunists, synonymous with Australian waters, are respectful enough to stay away and not spoil the revelry. 

Credit: story and images by Alex Smart, December 2019

FEBRUARY 15, 2019

Technology Helps Tackle Australia's Veterinarian Shortage
Technology and innovation could be the answer to the record number of Australian veterinarians abandoning the industry, which is prompting fears there won’t be enough vets to take care of the nation’s pets.

A just-released Lincoln Institute survey found that nearly 90 per cent of veterinary business owners and managers reported unprecedented difficulty filling vacancies. Forty one (41) per cent waited longer than six months to fill positions and 18 per cent waited up to two years or more to find new vets to work in their clinics.

Adding to the concern is that demand is rising for Australia’s $4 billion vet industry, which is growing at around three per cent a year, according to an August 2018 IBIS World report*, thanks to higher pet insurance uptake, growing awareness of animal health issues, and the increasing availability of advanced surgical and diagnostic procedures for animals.

A working paper with recommendations is due in March as an industry steering group look into the issues but some parts of the industry are worried pet owners could struggle to find a vet if the situation isn’t addressed.

National mobile veterinarian booking service Pawssum – which utilises app-based technology to send vets to the homes of pet owners – believes it’s helping to address the vet shortage by attracting experienced vets back into the industry.

“As a separate Lincoln survey showed, vets have been leaving the industry in droves – and many more are planning to leave – primarily due to poor work conditions, low remuneration, long hours and stress,” said Pawssum CEO Dr Jon Berkowitz.

“However, there is some good news; our service is helping vets return to the job they love – treating animals – because they can sign up to work with us as a mobile vet and work as little or as much as they want.

“They can choose when they want to work, what type of work they want to do and they don’t have to worry about invoicing clients or marketing or providing their own insurance – we take care of it all, which is helping vets choose to come back into the industry.” 

Melbourne-based vet Dr Tim White is one of more than 130 vets in the Pawssum community, joining the platform last year after a decade in the industry.

“It was an easy choice to start with Pawssum; not only is it convenient for pet owners but it is convenient for vets,” said Dr White.

“I can choose when I’m available and what cases I see, allowing me the flexibility to balance my work and family life and I find the house visits great for the pets and the clients are usually more relaxed as well.” 

Dr Berkowitz said pet owners who in the past had to visit the surgery and wait, or pay a substantial call out fee, now have another option available. 

“Many people are too time-poor to sit in a vet clinic and also many dogs and cats are anxious about heading to the clinic, making at-home visits very much in demand. If the pet needs further tests or surgery, we can refer them to one of our partner clinics,” he said.

Pawssum now operates in Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra and has begun branching further out into locations such as Bendigo.
For more details, please visit

FEBRUARY 12, 2019

Greencross Vets Introduces New Operating Model ...
Greencross Vets are excited to announce a number of updates to the service offering for 2019, allowing for increased flexibility and convenience for both animals and their owners to include Telemedicine, Mobile Vet Services, Team Based Consulting and Extended Hours. These new introductions form part of the commitment that Greencross holds, to ensure clients can access care for their pets where, when and how they want to. 

Using innovative technology, Telemedicine offers the customer ease and ensures that the pets health is the number one priority. Chief Veterinary Officer, Rachel Chay comments “This will provide an expanded level of care to our patients particularly those with chronic or ongoing medical conditions. It also gives peace of mind to our clients who wish to ensure their pet has the best level of care but find it challenging to visit us regularly in clinic.”
This first to market service is available to existing Greencross customers and allows for a less stressful experience for the animal rather than travelling to the vet; perfect for those in remote locations the consultations are conducted by a qualified Greencross Vet. 

Complementing the Telemedicine offering the Mobile vet service allows animals to be treated in a familiar environment with no travel involved. “Along with the other services being added this provides a gold standard veterinary care service in the convenience of your own home. For many pets, particularly cats, a simple trip to the vet is a very stressful event. 

In some cases, with this level of stress clients may delay or not seek veterinary assistance for fear of causing this stress to their beloved pets! Likewise, for some of our valuable clients it is difficult to come into our clinics. So again, it is all about providing convenient veterinary services to our clients and improving the care their pets receive” Chay said.

On the contrary to the at home services Greencross is leveraging individual’s specialities with Team based consulting; this offering is being rolled out to provide a collaborative approach to medicine and health care, whilst leveraging individual’s specialities to care for your pet whilst increasing the standard of care. With increased standards of care, communication and teamwork nurse’s involvement is also bought into practice. Rachel Chay says “Increasing the touchpoints of our entire team of veterinary professionals with the clients, strengthens the communication. It is a very efficient way of working without decreasing the time our clients have to talk through their pet’s health concerns”.

Finally, allowing for added flexibility and convenience extended Vet Hours co-located stores (Petbarn and Greencross vets) will align their hours to trade for the same amount of time, which will allow pet owners accessibility to the full range of services.

About Greencross Vets:

Greencross Vets are a local network of well-equipped veterinary practices across Australia. Although Greencross Vets is part of a national organisation all practices are run and managed by a local team of dedicated pet care professionals who are passionate about pets. For more information visit

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