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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 $399 to $199.50 for dogs and from $263 to $131.50 for cats.

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.

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


“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 animalshelter@ssc.nsw.gov.au.



SCHMACKOS™ introduces new 'Sausage Sizzle STIX' at Bunnings, allowing pet parents to treat their pets to an authentic Aussie tradition.


SCHMACKOS™, the beloved brand renowned for its irresistible pet treats, proudly unveils its newest creation ‘SCHMACKOS™ Sausage Sizzle STIX’, inspired by the iconic Aussie tradition of a sausage sizzle.

SCHMACKOS™ Sausage Sizzle STIX will be part of Mars Petcare’s existing pet range at Bunnings which includes PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS® and OPTIMUM®.

Australian-made by Mars Petcare Australia in Bathurst, SCHMACKOS™ Sausage Sizzle STIX offer dogs a savoury delight made with real meat and free from artificial flavours.

This innovative treat promises a delicious taste experience and allows every member of the family, including our furry friends, to delight in the shared experience of a sausage sizzle.

Anthony Dean, Marketing Director at Mars Petcare Australia says, “As one third of all dog feeding occasions are treat related, we clearly love to treat our dogs and we naturally want the best for them. At Mars Petcare, we are proud to offer a range of treats crafted with real Australian ingredients.”

“We know there is increasing popularity in the dog care and treat category and it's important for us to create new offerings where enjoyment can be shared with our furry companions.”




Price & Where to Buy:

SCHMACKOS™ Sausage Sizzle treats are now available at Bunnings stores nationwide (excluding WA***) and online for $22 per 1kg bag.

About Mars Petcare

Mars is a global leader in pet care and in Australia we proudly manufacture a range of products in Bathurst and Wodonga, including PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, DINE®, OPTIMUM™ and SCHMACKOS™, with a proud team of more than 600 Associates in Australia helping pets, their owners and pet professionals.

Source: Mars Pet Nutrition Usage & Attitudes diary study Australia, 2021, n=1926 Source: Circana, Grocery Scan Sales Australia, 2018-2023, 5 Year CAGR.

*** Due to trading restrictions in WA, SCHMACKOS™ Sausage Sizzle treats will only be available in Bunnings Armadale and Bunbury stores.

MEDIA RELEASE, 15th April 2024


Over 950 pets found their forever home in March 2024 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), 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 dog, cat, 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 www.petstock.com.au/adopt to find out more.

[1] www.petrescue.com.au, 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.

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State of Homelessness Project shines a light on challenges facing pets today


Pet owners living in food insecure households are resorting to self-sacrifice to protect the welfare of their pets, with 24% skipping meals so their pets can eat.

According to a report published today by Foodbank Australia to mark National Pet Day (April 11), food insecure households value their pets to such an extent that they don't want to let them go hungry. 

Despite continued cost of living pressures, surrendering pets is an absolute last resort with 14% of pet owners in food insecure households reported giving up a pet during the previous 12 months. As low as this is, it is still twice the national average for Australian households (7%).

The report, supported by Mars Petcare Australia, a long-standing donor to Foodbank, reveals that half (56%) of food insecure households in the past 12 months own a pet, higher than the Australian average (48%).






According to survey respondents, pets play a crucial role in their lives. They offer companionship, emotional support, increased social interaction and a sense of security and purpose – all of which can be otherwise challenging for those doing it tough.

“Many families facing food insecurity struggle to provide proper nutrition for themselves, let alone their pets, which can lead to significant health and wellbeing consequences for pet owners as well as their pets,” said CEO of Foodbank Australia, Brianna Casey

“We have heard previously that parents skip meals in order to ensure their children can eat, but we are now hearing this sacrifice extends to the welfare of pets, who are very much-loved family members.” 




Commenting on the report findings, General Manager of Mars Petcare Australia, Craig Sargeant said: “We know the valuable role pets play in Australian households, particularly households in need, and we are proud to support Foodbank in highlighting the struggle that pet parents in food insecure households are facing. This includes continuing our donation program with Foodbank focused on keeping pets healthy and remaining in loving homes.

Last year, Mars Petcare Australia donated more than 148,000 kilograms of pet food to Foodbank to help the many households in needs and it’s something we will build on even more this year, to help pet parents in food insecure households and the pets that mean so much to them.”

In 2023, Foodbank provided over 430,000 kilograms of pet food, valued at over $6 million.

The research also reveals that only 9% of pet owners from food insecure households are aware that pet food is available as a part of food relief services.

“This figure is staggering and shouldn’t be happening. We want people to know if they are doing it tough, if they have pets, we can help them and their pets. Head to the Find Food button on our website to find a service near you that can assist,” said Ms Casey.

For more information, please visit www.foodbank.org.au




About the research

The report presents a subset of findings from the Foodbank Hunger Report 2023 research which was conducted between 12 and 31 July 2023, through an online survey of 4,342 Australians aged 18 years or older. The sample was nationally representative by age, gender and location (capital city / rest of state) in each major state.

All 4,342 Australians answered up to 18 questions in the United States Department of Agriculture Household Food Security Survey Module (HFSSM) for measurement of the prevalence of household food security over the 12 months ending July 2023.

A total of 1,514 respondents (36%) were identified through the HFSSM as being from moderately and severely food insecure households. This group continued to answer a deep dive module about their experience living with food insecurity over the last 12 months including a series of questions relating to pet ownership.


About Foodbank

At Foodbank we believe everyone should have access to good food. There are Australians going without every day and we are working hard to change that.
In Australia we work with 2,844 frontline charities and 3,379 school breakfast programs to get the equivalent of 92 million meals out to those who could use a hand.

About Mars Petcare

Mars Petcare is a family-owned company that has been making Australia pet food favourites including PEDIGREE, WHISKAS, MY DOG, ADVANCE and SCHMACKOS since 1967. Factories in Wodonga, Bathurst, and Wacol feed around half of all Australian pets from our portfolio of grocery and specialist brands for cats, dogs, and birds. Mars Petcare fights for a better world for pets making healthy, safe, nutritious food and advocating for the positive benefits that having a pet can have on individuals and communities.
As part of Mars Petcare Australia’s ongoing support of Foodbank Australia to assist Australians experiencing food insecurity, Mars Petcare Associates will be donating their time on National Pet Day to make essential pet food hampers.

Prepare for a journey of emotion and connection with the new season of Take Me Home

Following the overwhelming success of its debut season, Take Me Home returns for its second season this Friday 12th April, 2024 at 7.30pm on Channel 9, 9Gem and 9Now.

Set amidst the rugged landscape of the Outback mining towns of the Pilbara, Take Me Home promises to deliver more touching stories of resilience, hope, and unconditional love as it follows the journeys of lost, forgotten, and unwanted animals finding their way from the backstreets to their new backyards.

Centred on the emotionally captivating world of everyday animal adoptions, Take Me Home shines a spotlight on WA foster care and adoption organisation SAFE (Saving Animals from Euthanasia).

In the season premiere, viewers will meet Sue, Elichia and new recruit Marie, as together with the rangers and volunteer foster carers they work through the day and night to ensure every animal gets a second chance at being cared for and loved.

Take Me Home is full of heart-warming stories, touching moments, and unforgettable connections between pets and their new families. From the initial meet-and-greet to the tear-jerking adoption ceremonies, viewers will be captivated by the life-changing experiences that unfold as each episode showcases the joy and fulfilment that comes from giving these deserving pets a second chance at life.

Take Me Home is a local series made for the 9Network by Projucer, celebrating the wonderful connection between humans and their faithful companions.




Take Me Home Australia - Viewing Times:
  • Perth: Friday, April 12, at 7.30pm on Channel 9 and 9Now
  • Melbourne: Friday, April 12, at 7.30pm on Channel 9 and 9Now 
  • Adelaide: Friday, April 12, at 7.30pm on Channel 9 and 9Now
  • Queensland: Friday, April 12, at 7.30pm on 9GEM and 9Now
  • Sydney: Friday, April 12, at 7.30pm on 9GEM and 9Now

For more information, visit takemehomeaustralia.com.au

Did you enjoy Take Me Home Season 1? If you’d like to help SAFE Inc continue their life saving work, you can donate now at https://safe.org.au/donate


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:

✔️ A revised definition of ‘core’ vaccines:

“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). 

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). 

Leptospirosis in dogs is another life-threatening, zoonotic disease that is widely distributed around the world. In countries or regions where canine leptospirosis is endemic, where implicated serogroups are known and where suitable vaccines are available, vaccination of all dogs against leptospirosis is highly recommended and the vaccines should be considered core in those places. 

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 (<1year of age) and for adult cats with outdoor access or that live with other cats that have outdoor access.
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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Sunday’s National Adoption Day (NAD) event in Sydney will be the largest public show of available Greyhounds for adoption since Greyhounds As Pets NSW (GAP) was founded in 2008.

A record 50 Greyhounds and 30 GAP staff have been booked for the annual drawcard – to be held at The Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park between 10am and 4pm – as part of the Dogs in The Park NSW event.

Greyhound Fancy Dress category for Best In Show is also back on Sunday 14th April so you can enter your majestic hounds in categories such as Fancy Dress, Best Male, Best Female, and Cutest Puppy!

Fifty Greyhounds of all shapes and sizes, each with their specific traits highlighted to allow for a perfectly matched home, will be available for their transition to pet life.

Thirty expert staff from GAP will be present, each available to answer questions from potential adopters and anyone curious about the joys of having Greyhounds as pets.

Meet Speedy, who will attend
the Moore Park event
National Adoption Day in Sydney is always a massive event and all indications are this year will be no different,” GAP’s Director of Rehoming and Adoption Programs Jamie Palmer said.

“We will have 50 dogs attending and will again offer the special fee of $75 (instead of $250) which includes desexing, vaccinations, post adoption support from the GAP experts, and a lead and collar.

“But more importantly you get one of our amazing dogs and for people who don’t know, Greyhounds are the most empathetic and gentle souls by nature who love people.

“They love being with people, going for a walk, out on an adventure or simply lounging around sleeping. They are so easy to instantly fall in love with as those attending on April 14 will see.”

While GAP continues to successfully rehome Greyhounds through adoption events each year, the team is dedicated to expanding new rehoming pathways that achieve the ultimate goal for Greyhound Racing NSW: to transition every retired athlete into pet life.

New pathways have recently included the Aussie Mates rehoming program in the Unites States of America and the ground-breaking PTSD program where retired racing Greyhounds have been trained as companion animals with stunning success for front-line workers such as police.

Throughout each year the GAP teams conduct more than 100 activations and adoption events across the State, but National Adoption Day each April has always been one of the most successful avenues for people looking for a Greyhound as a pet.

“I think one of the reasons behind the success of the day is that we centralise all the Greyhounds, we have a large amount of staff there to give you all the information you need, and the event is a real family day with other activities at the venue,” Jamie Palmer said.
“There is also the opportunity for people to bring their own pet down and see if those pets are a good fit with one of the Greyhounds.”
“We have already had a lot of enquiries and I’d encourage anyone interested to hop on to our website and if you find your match, you can apply right now so that you don’t miss out on the day.”




Visitors will also be able to experience dog shows, educational pieces from respected dog trainers dealing with dog behaviour, kids’ face painting, market stalls, and the event is also run in conjunction with the opening day of the Kidz Fest event in the venue’s Showring.

What: National Greyhound Adoption Day 2024

When: Sunday, 14th April 2024, from 10:00am - 4:00pm

Where: Moore Park Entertainment Quarter, Sydney, NSW

Other adoption events will be held in Bathurst (Friday 12th & Saturday 13th April) and Casino (Sunday 14th April).

Full details of all National Adoption Day Events can be found at www.gapnsw.com.au

Visitors to the site can also see all the GAP Greyhounds, register for the day and get an event Dogologue via email, featuring all the greyhounds who will be at the event, and also have the opportunity to beat the NAD rush, and apply to adopt their next family member immediately.

MEDIA RELEASE, 9th April 2024

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The Royal Veterinary College helps shape international agreement on what constitutes naturally healthy body shapes for dogs

The International Collaborative on Extreme Conformations in Dogs (ICEC Dogs) has published a position paper, heavily informed by research from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), that helps owners to recognise good innate health in dogs. 

The international agreement is the first of its kind and provides a guide for animal caregivers, and the wider public, to identify healthy natural physical characteristics in dogs and to predict and assess potential health and welfare based on body shape. This will help anyone who cares about dogs to understand how likely a dog is to suffer from negative impacts resulting from an extreme conformation.

Innate health is a concept that has been developed following a decade of research at the RVC and refers to a dog’s capacity to enjoy life without limitations from health issues linked to extreme conformations. 






Common examples of these health risks include chronic pain caused by, for example, eye ulcers because of protruding eyes, or physical incapacity, such as being unable to sleep or exercise fully due to breathing difficulties caused by being flat-faced.

Also acting as an informative guide, the new paper identifies examples of extreme conformation that prospective owners can look out for and hopefully avoid when deciding on the type of dog they will acquire. 

These include:

✔️ Flat-faces (brachycephaly)
✔️ Large and protruding eyes
✔️ Shortened, twisted legs
✔️ Facial or body skin folds
✔️ Tailessness
✔️ A clearly overshot or undershot jaw
✔️ A disproportionately broad head and shoulders
✔️ Eyelids turned in or out
✔️ A bulging or domed skull
✔️ A sloped back with an excessively low rear end and excessively flexed hind legs.

Conversely, a dog with good innate health because of its naturally healthy body shape should have the ability to breathe freely and oxygenate effectively; maintain body temperature within a normal physiological range; move freely without effort or discomfort; eat and drink effectively; hear, smell, see, self-groom, eliminate and sleep effectively; communicate effectively with other dogs; and, where applicable, breed without assistance.

Dr Dan O’Neill, Associate Professor for Companion Animal Epidemiology at the RVC and co-founding ICECDogs member, said:

“I have spent the past decade researching and developing the innate health concept at the RVC in London. No owner ever wants an unhealthy dog but the huge popularity of dogs with extreme conformations suggests that many owners have not fully grasped the link between body shape and quality of life for dogs.

“The new ICECDogs position on innate health helps owners understand that extreme conformations are not natural, normal, healthy or desirable for dogs.
Innately healthy body shapes can now become a new normal for dogs that we can all celebrate.”

The RVC and other evidence suggests that many dogs with extreme conformations endure a lifetime of potential or real suffering from poor innate health which can significantly reduce their overall quality of life. The ICECDogs paper has received support from major UK dog welfare groups that are part of the UK’s Brachycephalic Working Group and builds on the RVC’s wide research in this field.

Dr Dan O’Neill, who is also Chair of the UK Brachycephalic Working Group, further added:

“The UK BWG welcomes this international position that consolidates our shared human ethical commitment to avoiding extreme conformation in dogs. The BWG supports all welfare-focused activities that aim to protect the health and welfare of dogs from the adverse impacts of brachycephaly as an extreme conformation in dogs.”

Aiming to raise awareness about what a naturally healthy body shape in dogs looks like, as well as hopefully contributing to a decline in ownership trends of dogs with extreme conformation, the ICECDogs is calling for support from owners, breeders and the general public to improve the welfare of dogs by:

✔️ Not promoting, breeding, selling, or acquiring dogs with extreme conformations
✔️ Carefully considering the issues relating to extreme conformations before taking a final decision on what type of dog to acquire
✔️ Understanding the criteria for good innate health and insisting that every dog must meet these innate canine norms.





Dr Michelle Groleau, ICECDogs member and Director Animal Welfare, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), said:

“The escalation of extreme conformations in animals and the serious harms resulting from them are a priority issue for the CVMA. There is an urgent need for the public to be made aware of the severity of the current situation and to learn how they can contribute to a solution”.

The full ICECDogs paper, can be accessed at: www.icecdogs.com.

More information about the UK’s Brachycephalic Working Group, can be found at: www.ukbwg.org.uk

More information about the RVC’s VetCompass research, can be found at www.rvc.ac.uk/vetcompass/papers-and-data/original-publications


About the Royal Veterinary College

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK's largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a Member Institution of the University of London.
It is one of the few veterinary schools in the world that hold accreditations from the RCVS in the UK (with reciprocal recognition from the AVBC for Australasia, the VCI for Ireland and the SAVC for South Africa), the EAEVE in the EU, and the AVMA in the USA and Canada.

The RVC is ranked as the top veterinary school in the world in the QS World University Rankings by subject, 2023.

· The RVC offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and biological sciences.
· The RVC is a research-led institution, with 88% of its research rated as internationally excellent or world class in the Research Excellence Framework 2021.
· The RVC provides animal owners and the veterinary profession with access to expert veterinary care and advice through its teaching hospitals and first opinion practices in London and Hertfordshire. www.rvc.ac.uk

About ICECDogs:

The International Collective on Extreme Conformations in Dogs (ICECDogs) is a global multi-stakeholder group that works together to minimize welfare issues resulting from extreme conformations in dogs by seeking out and applying evidence-based canine and human approaches.

The current focus of the ICECDogs is to support national/regional multi-stakeholder groups engaged in the issues raised by extreme conformation in dogs, and to act as a leader in the development and dissemination of policy and guidance on minimizing extremes of conformation and promoting moderate, healthy conformation in dogs.

ICECDogs collaborates with (multi-)stakeholder groups in the following countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom.

Further information is available at: www.icecdogs.com

MEDIA RELEASE, 9th April 2024

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New online pet store Swaggle embarks on a mission to deliver pet happiness

Today new online pet store, Swaggle officially embarks on a mission to deliver pet happiness. Swaggle is defined as the exact moment your pet displays happiness through joyful movement and as such, the brand was created to provide a new level of personalisation to help pets live their lives to the fullest.

Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world [1], there are more pets than people in the country (28.9 million to be exact!). According to the 2024 Victorian Pet Census [2], 98% of owners say their pets have positively impacted their lives and as such, Swaggle works to return the favour to our pets.

Australians see pets as part of their family and want to provide the very best for them, however, they are faced with fragmented and overwhelming advice on which products and services are best for their breed.

Swaggle has developed an online shopping experience with their ‘petsonalisation’ offering which allows pet parents to easily find and understand the most relevant products for their pets, no matter what age, breed or life stage.

Swaggle’s petsonalisation engine has ingested data on hundreds of dog and cat breeds which provides powerful and relevant suggestions to support customers all the way through their pet’s life.




How it works:

1. A shoppable pet profile – create a Swaggle Pet Profile for your cat or dog by answering a few simple questions on your pet that endeavours to deeply understand their needs based on where they are in their life cycle. Once established, your pet profile will aid in providing relevant product suggestions for your pet’s age, size and breed.

2. Simple Thumbs Up logic across the site – an easy and trackable way to see which products are suggested for your specific pet and their needs ongoing.

3. Advanced search – select your pet when searching and find tailored product suggestions just for them.

Chad Burke, Head of Swaggle said: “We are so excited to launch Swaggle to the market to provide pet parents with an end-to-end pet personalisation experience. We know our pets have different needs throughout the various stages of life, and our goal is to support pet parents in pre-empting their needs with a speciality range of great value pet products.”

Swaggle is home to 100 categories of products from over 190 brands, including Royal Canin, Advance, Ivory Coat, Black Hawk, Nexguard Spectra, Lifewise and Hill’s Science Diet, catering to dogs, cats, birds, small pets like rabbits and guinea pigs, and fish.

To further support your pet's well-being, Swaggle will offer free online vet advice for all customers who create a pet profile. Pet parents will be able to call a vet nurse immediately or email a vet for a 24-hour response turnaround for free as part of their Swaggle service.

Swaggle also offers pet insurance, which is underwritten and issued by Guild Insurance, alongside 30% off your first Auto-Delivery*, capped at $30.

Whether your pet walks on four legs, two legs, swims or flies, you can find everything you need to help your pet live their best lives at swaggle.com.au.

[1] Australian Medical Association Pets in Australia: A national survey of pets and people, 2022.
[2] Victorian Pet Census 2023 (held in July 2023, it received 37,460 responses).

About Swaggle

Australia's newest and swaggliest online pet store. Swaggle exists to deliver pet happiness to every doorstep with a wide range of Australia's leading brands, personalised product suggestions and free vet advice. Swaggle is a new business, part of the Coles Group, aiming to make you and your pet's life easier, so they can live life to the fullest.

*Max discount $30. Offer available to first time Auto-Delivery customers on eligible products. Offer not available in conjunction with any other coupon codes.

MEDIA RELEASE, 8th April 2024

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