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SEPTEMBER 3, 2020

Don't forget Domestic Animals in Drawing Victoria's Covid Roadmap!

Victoria’s roadmap out of Stage 4 lockdown must not ignore the welfare of our domestic animals as well as people, says industry peak body, the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA).

“During the Covid-19 pandemic we’ve seen many people turn to animal companionship to help them get through a very tough time,” said PIAA national president, Barry Codling.

“Just like their owners, pets need to be properly fed, exercised and cared for“This isn’t just about veterinary and feed services, but access to other supplies and services that ensure domestic animals can live happily and healthily, even in the midst of this pandemic.”

Even grooming and walking services are essential for many companion animals,” Mr Codling said.

“For example, if a pet owner is frail and elderly, and can no longer properly groom and exercise her beloved dog, she needs help in caring for that companion animal, just as much as they need help with caring for themselves.

“But in a crisis like this pandemic, these services are too easily under-valued when governments make decisions about what businesses can remain fully or partly open, and which cannot,” Mr Codling said.

With the Victorian government planning to release its roadmap out of the current lockdown on Sunday, including its plan to reopen the state’s economy, Mr Codling said it is highly important to treat domestic and companion animal health and welfare services as essential and not discretionary.

“We call on the Premier, Mr Andrews and the Minister for Jobs, Mr Pakula, to include pet services businesses in their roadmap and economic recovery consultations, and ensure the health and welfare needs of domestic animals, as well as livestock, are fully respected in all future decisions about extending Victoria’s State of Emergency and State of Disaster,” Mr Codling said.

PIAA is also calling for Victoria’s essential and emergency services legislation to be amended after this emergency passes, to ensure that animal welfare is specifically defined as an essential service in any future state of emergency.

“It’s vitally important, in times of grave emergency, that meeting the basic health and welfare needs of Victoria’s domestic and companion animals does not depend on the discretion of ministers and officials, but is unambiguously legislated as a category of essential service,” Mr Codling said.


SEPTEMBER 3, 2020

Pet Insurance Australia – 2020 Mozo’s Pet Insurer of the Year
Pet Insurance Australia is thrilled to announce they have been named Mozo’s 2020 Pet Insurer of the Year.

“We are very proud to be the winners of the prestigious award for the second consecutive year,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “These awards are a great testament for our hardworking, pet-loving team at PIA, and also our clients who can rest assure knowing they have invested in a quality cover for their beloved pet.”

The Mozo Experts Choice Awards for Pet Insurance aim to recognise insurance providers that consistently offer exceptional quality and value products. The Mozo Exceptional Value awards recognise pet insurance that’s among the best-priced, based on a comparison of prices for selected dog and cat scenarios.

The Exceptional Quality awards recognise pet insurance cover that leads the market in the generosity of additional benefits and flexibility of options - irrespective of price. Policies must be among the best-ranked for both dogs and cats, to be awarded.

“Every day, Mozo keeps track of thousands of products in banking, energy and insurance,” Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont said. “We use our knowledge and experience to evaluate products that offer market-leading features and great value to customers. Being named Pet Insurer of the year, like Pet Insurance Australia has, shows that they offer a range of high-quality products to their customers.”

After evaluating a wide range of policy scenarios, Pet Insurance Australia has won Mozo Experts Choice Awards for Exceptional Value Accident and Illness and Exceptional Value for their Comprehensive Pet Insurance.

“To win these awards, insurers need to offer comprehensive products while still being affordable,” Lamont says. “These awards are a true testament to the outstanding products that Pet Insurance Australia offers to its customers. Pet Insurance Australia offers its customers a fantastic range of policies putting them a cut above the rest.”

Pet Insurance Australia offers a range of policies, including Major Medical, Comprehensive, and Pet Essentials and have won various awards over the years for excellence. They pride themselves on being a 100% Australian owned family operated business.

“PIA are also proud to offer the GapOnly service at participating vets,” Crighton says. “Allowing an even easier claim experience for both our clients and vets. The feedback we are constantly receiving on this service is just wonderful. It allows pet parents to concentrate on the health of their pet, during a stressful time, and not paperwork.”

About the Mozo Experts Choice Awards for Pet Insurance 2020

For the full list of winners and Awards methodology, visit: https://mozo.com.au/expertschoice/pet-insurance


AUGUST 19, 2020
The Petbarn Foundation is helping to train 15 Seeing Eye Dogs puppies!

Aussies helps the Petbarn Foundation smash its 2020 Seeing Eye Dogs fundraising appeal.

Thanks to Australia’s generous contribution to the annual Petbarn Foundation's Seeing Eye Dogs Appeal, Petbarn has raised an incredible $775,000.

The figure is a record amount in what is the appeal’s seventh year - surpassing its $500,000 fundraising target by $275,000. Since the appeal first started in 2014, 85 Seeing Eye Dogs have been trained and 85 lives changed for the better.

The money raised means that 15 Seeing Eye Dogs puppies will be able to commence their two-year training process and enable Australians who are blind or have low vision to have greater independence, with the best of companions by their side.

Petbarn Foundation Chairperson, Scott Charters, says, “We’re extremely grateful to everybody that donated what they could to this great cause. We know 2020 has been a challenging year for so many people, yet our customers continue to amaze us with their generosity.

“The money raised will go towards helping Australians who are blind or have low vision retain their independence and mobility. Thanks to our customers across the country, 15 Seeing Eye Dogs puppies will be trained to provide companionship and special assistance to people who need it most.”

Royal Canin, one of the Petbarn Foundation’s key partners, also donated $50,000 towards the fundraiser while Vision Australia’s first-ever “Seeing Eye Dogs Puppy Games” helped raise awareness and donations for the cause too. The Puppy Games saw four pups go tail-to-tail to showcase their skills and the real-life challenges they may face as Seeing Eye Dogs.

Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs General Manager, Graeme Craig, says, “Our partnership with the Petbarn Foundation is integral to raising funds so that even more Seeing Eye Dogs pups can complete the extensive training they require.

“We’re overwhelmed with how much has been raised for this year’s appeal. Through the amazing efforts of Petbarn and City Farmers customers, we can continue to support even more Australians who are blind or have low vision.

“It takes a lot of expertise, time, love, patience and funding to raise these special dogs that will one day provide the gift of independence. For the right person, these highly trained dogs help them move confidently and navigate obstacles with much more reliability and safety.”

For more information on the initiative, please visit: www.petbarn.com.au/seda/


JUNE 15, 2020

RSPCA NSW shelters reopen to the public
RSPCA NSW shelters and care centres across the state are ready to welcome walk-in adoptions effective Monday 15 June 2020.

Opening our doors again to the public brings an end to our successful Adopt from Home program.

Launched in April, the online initiative found homes for 2655 animals in RSPCA NSW shelters and Petbarn Adoption Centres across the state.

“Thank you to everyone who has continued to support us, it has been heart-warming to see the community turn to animal companionship during these challenging times,” said RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman
“We hope this support will continue as we reopen our doors to the public to adopt animals in our care.”

Please visit our website to find the latest opening hours for your nearest RSPCA NSW shelter, care centre and vet clinic, as they may have changed.


All operational changes are made in line with Federal and NSW State Government regulations implemented to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Whilst restrictions have eased, RSPCA NSW encourages the practice of safe social distancing and hygiene measures while visiting our locations. Limits on the number of people allowed inside the shelter at any time will be monitored and varied from shelter to shelter.

Danny the Pointer cross overhearing that prospective adopters can now visit him at the Coffs Harbour Shelter

All animals available for adoption nationally can be found online at www.adoptapet.com.au/.


JUNE 10, 2020

Frontier Pets - On a Mission to End Factory Farming

Frontier Pets, is an Australian company founded 5 years ago by ex Shark Tank contestant, and disruptor of the Australian Factory Farming industry, Diana Scott


Trailblazing a new way forward for the Australian pet food industry and ruffling a few feathers along the way, Frontier Pets have made it their mission to put an end to the 500 million Australian animals currently stuck in the vortex of animal cruelty which is Factory Farming, and they want you and your dog to join them in the battle.

Frontier Pets founder, Diana Scott, is a strong believer in organic and free range produce, however, she saw a gap in the market for ethical food options available for her pets.
Through research Scott came to realise that the Australian pet food industry is essentially propping up the Factory Farming industry in Australia. 

Frontier Pets have produced a range of superior pet products using only high welfare and organic ingredients while also supporting ethical Australian producers. By supporting ethical meat suppliers, and bringing awareness to the unethical and inhumane practices of Factory Farming, Frontier Pets hopes to have these methods shut down once and for all.

“In our desire to produce cost effective meat, we’ve created concentration camps for animals. And the pet food manufacturing industry is supporting this by using the off-cuts of Factory Farmed animals in their pet food. It’s not acceptable and it’s not necessary.” explains Frontier Pets founder, Diana Scott.

With a purpose to provide superior nutrition that doesn’t cost the earth, Frontier Pet food contains all natural, free-range, organic and human-quality ingredients. 
Developed alongside one of Australia’s leading dog nutritionists, Dr Kathy Cornack, Frontier Pets spent two years perfecting the recipe to include all nutrients dogs should be eating based on their natural ecology. 

Processed using a cutting edge freeze-drying technology ensures that colours, flavours, and most importantly, the nutritional content remain intact. Frontier Pet food ensures your dog will be healthier, have more vitality and be more likely to maintain a healthy weight. 

Frontier Pets works closely with organic and free range farmers throughout Australia to source quality cuts of beef, chicken, pork and eggs, to not only create one of the most nutrient rich pet foods on the market, but also to create partnerships and support ethical farming practices across Australia. 

Together, with their growing customer base, Frontier Pets have contributed $1,314,200 towards ethical farming. Founder, Diana Scott explains, “We only purchase produce from free-range meat farmers and organic fruit & veg producers. The partnership works because farmers have a new income stream and we get the very best produce on the market. Australian free-range farmers really care about their animals and they know that we care, so they’re delighted to be working with us”.

Paving the way for the pet food industry, Frontier Pets isn’t focused on competitors, but instead focused on encouraging other pet brands to join them in the fight against ending Factory Farming, and prove that dogs really can really help change the world.

For more information on Frontier Pets please visit frontierpets.com.au


JUNE 9, 2020

No pause for Dr Paws - A vet practice that continues to grow

According to new research, demand for general and advanced veterinary services is forecast to grow steadily over the next five years, driven by the greater uptake of animal insurance and increased willingness on the part of the owner to extend their pets' lives.

Other contributing factors to industry growth include an increase in the pet population, pet humanisation within the growing global urban population and increased awareness of animal welfare needs due to social media. 


Oscar, 7-week old Border Collie
first puppy health check
 
However, growth in the market can also become stagnated by high costs associated with having a veterinary practice that needs to keep up with higher equipment and technology costs.

Adam Russell is the Founder and Managing Director of Veterinary Practice Partners, which provides business support to Dr Paws Veterinary Clinics located throughout suburban and regional New South Wales and Victoria. Adam started the business in 2012 with the first clinic opening in 2013, and over the past seven years has invested in and expanded the business to include eight clinics. The majority of the vet practices are small animal clinics.


“There are a lot of set up costs for a veterinary clinic. It can be anywhere from $500,000 to $600,000 to set up a clinic, and typically it takes two to three years to start becoming profitable. Costs include fit out of the location and equipment purchases, and then staff costs on top of that,” says Adam. “It can be difficult for vets to get clinics up and running due to the cost and there is a lot of risk involved. Typically for the first two years your cash flow is negative and you continue to drain on your resources.”

Adam was able to support the clinics’ growth by extending payment terms with suppliers through the UnLock payment gateway. As a result, cash outflows to suppliers were delayed, enabling Adam to purchase new equipment and further develop his clinics as needed, instead of having to wait for the perfect timing in his cash flow cycle.

During this period of growth, Dr Paws clinics had the opportunity to enter into business with a new supplier on longer payment terms or to continue with the existing supplier on reduced payment terns. The latter could have a significant impact on the businesses cash flow due to shorter payment terms. However, the longstanding and well working relationship with existing suppliers meant that the clinics wanted to continue business with these suppliers. As a result, Adam had to find a way to make their finances work better for business’ growth.

Adam’s interest in Fintech funding, innovative funding alternatives and equity solutions led him to Marketlend, a marketplace lending solution. Subsequently, Adam discovered a new Marketlend product, UnLock. UnLock is an Australian Buy Now Pay Later B2B solution, allowing businesses to pay upfront and get extended payment terms. The method assists business growth and fills in funding gaps where there are delays. An UnLock facility compliments and works in conjunction with any existing banking facilities a business may have, ensuring bank funding is not impacted or business slows down.

The UnLock payment gateway enabled Dr Paws to renegotiate with existing suppliers, including discounts and an early settlement discount. Their UnLock facility also allowed for extended payment terms, greater than the reduced terms imposed by the supplier. The revised payment terms resulted in the business having an extra six figure sum available to purchase stock and equipment.

“Before using UnLock I would’ve needed to change suppliers or have to invest more physical capital into the business directly,” says Adam. “Unlock presented us with an opportunity to meet and exceed the payment terms that wouldn’t have been possible on our own. We were able to have extra cash reserves for multiple clinics because of the difference in timing of those payments. Apart from maintaining our existing supplier network, we can now also work with suppliers that we previously couldn’t consider due to their terms of trade.”

With plans in the future to expand the business and open up more practices, Adam says, “UnLock is an attractive option for veterinarians. It makes good business sense to delay some significant invoices as much as you can by using products like UnLock to help from a cash flow point of view as you’re essentially making your accounts work for you better. This better protects your clinics’ cash flow, which is essential for a small business, and enables a business to maintain good supplier relationships. Cash flow can then be used for other purposes such as new equipment purchases and renovating the clinic, which is really powerful for a small business.”


About UnLock:

UnLock is a product of Marketlend, a Marketplace lending solution, offering working capital solutions for SMEs. UnLock is an Australian Buy Now Pay Later B2B solution. It is a new payment gateway enabling SMEs to boost their purchasing power with more working capital to grow. Suppliers can offer this payment gateway to enable buyers to pay upfront and have extended supplier terms of up to 30, 60 or 90 days.


JUNE 2, 2020

RSPCA NSW on the road with new emergency response infrastructure
Red the dog received vital surgery as part of the organisation's bushfire assistance effort.
RSPCA NSW's new Animal Welfare Response Unit is making its way down the NSW south coast this week to revisit communities affected by the recent bushfire crisis.

Launched in Braidwood on 1 June 2020, the mobile unit is checking in at some of the of the 129 bushfire affected communities RSPCA NSW provided assistance to, including Batemans Bay, Moruya, Cobargo and Eden, before making its way inland to Cooma and Goulburn.

The state-of-the-art mobile command centre, procured from the RSPCA NSW Bushfire Appeal, is part of the organisation's $2.6 million investment in emergency response infrastructure.

The organisation also acquired two animal transport trailers, to carry injured animals, and two community outreach vehicles, which will provide immediate animal welfare assistance and education across the state.

RSPCA NSW staff, including the Inspectorate, will be better equipped to immediately respond to calls for help with the acquisition of emergency communication equipment including satellite phones, disaster PPE such as breathing apparatuses, and other vital equipment.

RSPCA NSW was established 147 years ago to help animals in need and now we are in a strong position to manage future disasters with the rollout of the RSPCA NSW Animal Welfare Response Unit,” RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman said.

“This mobile unit will provide more communities and t
heir animals with immediate care on the ground when they need it the most.”
The new RSPCA NSW Animal Welfare Response Unit
The commitment to invest in future emergency management comes in addition to the $1.3 million RSPCA NSW provided in immediate aid to bushfire-affected communities during the unprecedented bushfire crisis this year.

RSPCA NSW is also committing $2.4 million to a series of robust and long-term partnerships with wildlife organisations to protect and rehabilitate native animals across the state.

For more bushfire relief updates, visit the RSPCA NSW website.


JUNE 2, 2020

Petbarn calling on Aussies to ‘re-fur’ a friend for pet care relief package
The Petbarn Foundation, together with the Animal Rescue Cooperative (ARC), are encouraging Aussies to nominate pet owners to receive an Act of Kindness pet care relief package.

The Act of Kindness initiative has been launched to support those experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19 by providing a month’s worth of food to more than 3,000 pet parents to help them keep their pet dogs and cats healthy and happy.

The initiative is open to anyone that has been financially impacted by COVID-19 and the general public is invited to nominate a pet owner in their community, or themselves, to receive a pet care relief package by visiting: arcsupport.org.au/corona.

George Wahby, Chief Executive Officer at Petbarn and Greencross Vets, said, “With many pet parents experiencing extreme pressure and uncertainty at the moment, it has never been more important to support our animal loving community. Pets have an extremely positive impact on a person’s mental health and wellbeing and are key companions to so many Australians. Act of Kindness is our way of supporting and protecting that special bond.”

With many Australians relying on their furry friends for companionship more than ever, the Act of Kindness initiative will provide a helping-hand to those who need it most.

Scott Charters, Chairperson of the Petbarn Foundation, said, “We’re calling on Aussies to nominate a friend, or a member of their community, who is having a hard time to receive a pet care relief package and make a big difference to their day. We’re also encouraging self-nomination - we want to help as many people as possible with this initiative!”

With everyone’s situation unique, the initiative also gives senders the option to send a pet care relief package anonymously. It is hoped that this option will provide reassurance to those that may otherwise be too afraid to ask for help.

Each pet care relief package will be hand-delivered and includes a bag of premium pet food and other essential items including fleas, ticks and worm treatment, litter, a toy and a treat.

Kelly Eaton, Project Manager at Animal Rescue Cooperative said: “Throughout COVID, we have been partnering with The Petbarn Foundation to help animal rescue centres receive much needed supplies, and now we are helping individuals who need a bit of extra support too. The idea of referring someone you know really helps drive that community spirit of pulling together and supporting one another through these uncertain times.”

The Petbarn Foundation, in coordination with Animal Rescue Cooperative, will distribute packages through a Nationwide Network which operates a triage system to ensure the care packages reach those who need it most.

About The Petbarn Foundation:

Founded in 2012, The Petbarn Foundation has raised over $13.2m to support animal welfare groups and rescue organisations throughout Australia. $700k worth of services, pet food and supplies has been pledged to help people and pets in the community that have been affected by COVID19.

All Greencross Companies support the Petbarn Foundation and its initiatives. For more information, visit: www.petbarn.com.au/foundation

MAY 20, 2020

First Pick-and-Mix Bar for Dogs Concept in NSW arrives at Coles Local Rose Bay
Young woman holds up a Maltese Shih Tzu dog closer to Doggy Treats Bar at Coles Local Rose Bay
The first of Coles’ new look local neighbourhood supermarkets has arrived in Sydney as the doors officially open to Coles Local Rose Bay. 

The store marks a new era for supermarket shopping in Sydney, with never-before-seen features including a pick-and-mix treats bar just for dogs, a macaron, mini gelato and Japanese mochi ice cream parlour, a self-serve coffee and orange juice station, and one of the largest plant-based ranges of any Coles supermarket in New South Wales.

The store’s pick-and-mix selection of tasty doggy treats will be the first in New South Wales, so customers can spoil their pampered pooches with a bespoke blend of canine snacks.

Voted as one of the top 30 food retail stores worldwide to visit in 2020 [1], Coles Local supermarkets offer the community a tailored in-store experience, partnering with local butchers, bakers and cafes to offer a bespoke range of high-quality foods designed to meet the needs of local residents.

Coles conducted wide research into the Rose Bay community, finding they are more than twice as likely to choose premium, high quality products than the average Australian shopper, and overwhelmingly value fresh and healthy solutions at mealtimes. They are also typically aged between 25 – 44 and don’t have kids.

Young woman kneels down to feed a treat to a Maltese Shih Tzu dog at Coles Rose Bay
Image Credit (supplied): Coles / Getty

“This is our first Coles Local supermarket to open in Sydney. The store has been carefully designed with cutting edge sustainability features and local partnerships with neighbourhood bakers, butchers and producers.”

Coles Local Rose Bay will champion sustainability, with team member uniforms made from 65 per cent recycled bottles, trolleys made partly from recycled plastic and free reclaimed customer carry boxes as an alternative to bags. A zero edible food waste policy also means that any unsold food that cannot be donated to food rescue organisation SecondBite will be diverted to green energy generation.

[1] IGD Retail Analysis, 2019

MAY 19, 2020

Giving thanks to the animal shelters and rescue centres across Australia during National Volunteer Week 2020

Older woman holding a senior scruffy rescue dog in her arms photo taken from the back

“We’ve seen a huge number of pets being rescued and fostered in the light of COVID-19,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “This is just a wonderful example of how Australians genuinely care about the welfare of pets, but now is also the time to give thanks; to the countless people who care for our abandoned animals 24/7.”

The highly successful JetPets Companion Animal Rescue Awards is currently underway, for its third year, to help celebrate rescue groups and animal shelters who continue their efforts in saving companion animals.

“This is so particularly important during these challenging times, like COVID-19,” Crighton says. “We encourage all Australians, to get voting and help recognise those in the community who are outstanding in this field.”

Entries are open until midnight July 19, 2020
To enter, visit www.rescueawards.com.au

Every year, approximately 190,000 pets remain unclaimed in Australia’s pounds and shelters, and thousands of volunteers support over 1,000 rescue groups and animal shelters across Australia.

The Rescue Awards 2020 has 10 Categories with one winner for each category. Award categories one through to eight are for industry.
Category 9 is the Advocate® People’s Rescue Story.
Category 10 is the Drontal® Foster Carer Story.

Pet Insurance Australia is proud to be a Gold Sponsor of the awards for the third consecutive year.

Cathy Beer, pet rescue advocate and founder of Pets4Life wanted to ensure that those excelling in all areas of rescue are recognised and celebrated for the amazing work they do. Because of this, the Companion Animal Rescue Awards was born back in 2018, with raving success.
“The Rescue Awards is more important than ever to put the spotlight on the sector,” Cathy Beer, Rescue Awards founder and pet adoption advocate, says.

While it is wonderful that rescue organisations are experiencing incredibly high adoption and fostering rates, these organisations are struggling from the huge impact of COVID-19 following in the wake of the devastating bushfires.

“With so many Australians experiencing the joy that adoption and fostering can bring, now is the time to give back, and give thanks to those who work tirelessly to care and love these animals during all times of the year.”


MAY 6, 2020

Greencross Vets launches at-home video call service, ‘WebVet’

WebVet provides pet parents an affordable, convenient 24/7 vet advice service from the comfort of their home.


Greencross Vets is rolling out a nationwide service, WebVet, which will offer access to Australia’s biggest network of 1000 veterinary professionals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Pet parents who can’t get to a veterinary clinic or need some advice can now connect to a dedicated and qualified team of veterinarians and nurses who will assess their pet via video call and provide advice and 
support.

WebVet is
the latest initiative introduced by Greencross to provide pet parents with peace of mind at a time when many are social distancing and minimising human interaction.

George Wahby, Chief Executive Officer at Petbarn and Greencross Vets, said this new initiative will be a much-needed support network for pet parents across Australia.
“At a time that feels uncertain for so many, we want to ensure that pet parents everywhere feel supported. With the launch of WebVet, one of our highly experienced vets is now just a video call away for when pet parents need advice or have any concerns about their pet’s health.
“By using technology to provide this essential service, we’re able to safeguard our clients, patients and team members by minimising face-to-face interaction, whilst providing always on support at the touch of a button which is useful not just in these current times but also when people may find it hard to get to a clinic” Mr Wahby said.

WebVet is the latest in a number of initiatives Greencross Vets and Petbarn have introduced to make it easier for pet parents to access essential pet care products and services in a secure and safe way. Including a Store to door - Same Day Delivery service, Zero Contact Click and Collect at Petbarn stores, and Minimal Contact Pet Care options at Greencross Vet clinics.

Dr Magdoline Awad, Chief Veterinary Officer for Greencross Vets, said, “Thanks to our national network of General Practice Veterinary clinics, Referral Hospitals and Animal Emergency Centres we are able to provide round-the-clock 24/7 advice to Australia’s pets and provide reassurance to pet owners when they need it most.”

“WebVet ensures that pet owners will be speaking with a qualified veterinarian in a matter of minutes and will be given trusted expert advice and support from the comfort of the home.”

The service is available 24/7 by visiting www.greencrossvets.com.au/webvet/

Video consultations are $39.95 for a standard consultation of 15 to 20 minutes. If pet parents still need to take their pet into a vet after the call, an appointment can be arranged over the phone with their local participating Greencross Vets clinic or at a partner Emergency and Speciality hospital. This online consultation fee is deducted against their vet clinic consultation if undertaken within 48 hours.

For more information visit www.greencrossvets.com.au and www.petbarn.com.au


MAY 5, 2020

Get your groove on and help give pets a second chance at life
On Friday May 8th join the live ‘Home Remedy’ music gig via Zoom and help raise funds for the Second Chance Animal Rescue (SCAR) ‘Safe House for Pets’ Program.

Home Remedy is the brainchild of Manly based creatives, ‘Morgan Burrett’ and ‘Duan & Only’. The two housemates came up with the concept of bringing people together by live video streaming ’live music’ to Facebook, with the option for their followers to be a part of a virtual audience via Zoom.

Musician Duan Kaka said, “With the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on every single one of us, we wanted to bring joy to those who are feeling isolated or anxious during this challenging time through our weekly gig. However, we also wanted to create a platform where we could do something more.

“When we heard about the great work of SCAR and their Safe House for Pets Program in particular, we decided to use this Friday’s performance to help raise funds and awareness about the issue of domestic violence and the impact that is having on both people and pets during these tough times.”

According to SCAR CEO, Marisa Debattista, “With the current social distancing measures in place, this live interaction ultimately gives viewers some sense of social normality during this difficult and abnormal time, while bringing an often unspoken issue into the light and providing a voice and support for those suffering in silence.

With an Australian study showing over 50 per cent of women suffering family violence reported their violent partner had hurt or killed one of their pets** and that over one third of these pet owners had delayed leaving their violent relationship because of concerns for their pet’s welfare, this is something which needs to be addressed as a key issue in society today.

The urgency of this is further highlighted by the reported 75% increase in Google searches about domestic violence in NSW alone since the first recorded COVID-19 cases there and the greater demand for immediate temporary crisis accommodation.*”

As Duan performs songs that would normally be heard at one of his weekly gigs, Morgan orchestrates a multi camera live stream and a coinciding Zoom meeting, that he integrates together to allow viewers to interact freely throughout the segment.

In this Friday’s performance, live from 6pm – 7:15pm, they will be joined online by SCAR CEO Marisa Debattista and Ambassador/Host Channel 10’s Pooches at Play, Lara Shannon, along with other media personalities including Richard Stubbs, Christie Whelan-Browne, Mel Grieg, Ryan Anderson AKA Aussie Dog Guy and others.

People can Zoom in using this direct link from 6pm via Zoom meeting ID: 446 373 6339 to be part of the live video audience and listen in via Facebook Page www.facebook.com/duan.and.only for the best sound experience.

About the Safe House for Pets Program

The Safe House for Pets Program provide temporary care for at risk animals whose owners are facing enormous challenges as victims/survivors of domestic and family violence.

Most human shelters do not provide care for client’s pets and a large number of pet owners refuse to leave without their animals for fear of their animal’s life, so this program assists them by providing temporary shelter for their companion animals and offers practical solutions for pet owners leaving situations of domestic violence.

Donations can be made to the Second Chance Animal Rescue Safe House for Pets fundraising page via their website or directly here

Sources:
* https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/domestic-violence-isolation-and-covid-19
** https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/making-the-link-between-family-violence-and-animal-abuse

APRIL 23, 2020

Rescue Awards back to encourage and inspire rescue when needed most
Open for entries 1 May 2020! 

The Companion Animal Rescue Awards returns for its third year to celebrate and inspire rescue groups and animal shelters to continue their efforts in saving companion animals, particularly during these challenging times. This year, Jetpets is again the Platinum Rescue Hero and Naming Partner.

The Rescue Awards is a national for purpose program managed by Pets4Life, an independent education resource for cat and dog guardians and those thinking of getting a pet. The mission of the Rescue Awards is to celebrate and recognise achievements in the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of companion animals in Australia. It is the platform to showcase excellence and innovation, thereby raising the standards of rescue groups and animals shelters nation-wide.

“The Rescue Awards is more important than ever to put the spotlight on the sector. While rescue organisations are experiencing some of the highest ever adoption rates - PetRescue website has seen more than 12,000 pets adopted in just six weeks – these organisations are also struggling from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic following the bushfires," said Rescue Awards founder and pet adoption advocate Cathy Beer.


Every year, approximately 190,000 pets remain unclaimed in Australia’s pounds and shelters, and thousands of volunteers support over 1,000 rescue groups and animal shelters across Australia¹. The Rescue Awards recognises the dedication of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to help rescue pets find homes.

“Our past winners and finalists say the recognition by the Rescue Awards gives their staff and volunteers the motivation to ‘keep calm and carry on’ rehoming surrendered and abandoned pets every day in a challenging environment,” said Cathy. 


In 2020, the Rescue Awards is building on the success of 2019 when over 1,000 entries were received. Cathy reveals exciting changes to this year’s program in her video message, including a new Ambassador plus new Judges, Categories and Supporters. She also thanks animal lovers across the country for helping to make a difference by adopting or fostering a pet.

Cathy is very excited to announce two new Categories.
She said, “The ‘Refuel Digital Technology Award’ is for rehoming organisations. The use of digital technology has enabled rescue groups and shelters to continue their great work despite natural disasters and the current pandemic lockdown. The Drontal® Foster Carer Story is for thousands of volunteer foster carers around the country looking after companion animals until they find a new home.”

Jetpets Managing Director Sandy Matheson said, “For the third consecutive year, Jetpets is proud to be the Platinum Rescue Hero and Naming Partner. In wanting to support and recognise the remarkable work being done by so many individuals and rescue groups throughout Australia, we are thrilled to come on board again as the Platinum Partner for the Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards. I’m looking forward to being involved and ultimately congratulating the winners of the various award categories.”

Ambassador

The Rescue Awards 2020 is thrilled to announce a new Ambassador, Lara Shannon, Certified Dog Trainer, Animal Welfare Advocate and Host of Channel 10’s Pooches at Play. Lara shares her enthusiasm for the Rescue Awards in her video message.

Rescue Award Categories

The Rescue Awards 2020 has 10 Categories with one winner for each category.

Award categories 1 – 8 are for industry. Category 9, the 'Advocate® People’s Rescue Story’ is for Aussie pet guardians who have adopted a pet and category 10 is the ‘Drontal® Foster Carer Story’ for foster carers of companion animals waiting for their forever home.

“Pet adoption changes lives for the better,” said Cathy. “This year we’re looking for 1,000 heart-warming stories from pet adopters and 500 inspiring stories from foster carers about how their adopted/foster pet has transformed and changed their human’s life.”

Judges

The Rescue Awards is thrilled to announce 20 judges who bring expertise in companion animal welfare, rescue and sheltering, veterinarians, compassion fatigue, digital technology and animal behaviour.
The Rescue Awards wishes to thank the judges for donating their time and expertise.

1. Tim Vasudeva, Director of Corporate Affairs at Animals Australia
2. Dr Alison Shen, Veterinarian and Co-star in the TV series Bondi Vet Coast to Coast*
3. Nell Thompson, Coordinator for Getting 2 Zero
4. Emeritus Professor Jacquie Rand, Executive Director & Chief Scientist, Australian Pet Welfare Foundation*
5. Vickie Davy, Co-Founder & joint CEO of PetRescue
6. Dr Anthony Bennett, Veterinarian, Equine Dentist & Royal Easter Show panelist
7. Dr Jo Righetti, PhD Animal Behaviourist, Pet Problems Solved*
8. Dr Vanessa Rolf, Compassion Fatigue Therapist*
9. Brooke Rankmore, CEO at Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities*
10. Sandy Matheson, Founder & Managing Director of Jetpets
11. Dr Anne Fawcett, Animal Welfare Veterinarian
12. Dr Michael O’Donoghue, Small Animal Veterinarian and Co-Founder of ‘People and Pets’
13. Anne Boxhall, Animal Welfare Advocate with 28 years’ experience in sheltering and rescue
14. Ryan Jones, Founder and CEO of Refuel Creative*
15. Brittany Bloomer, International TV Presenter and Founder of charity Pound Paws*
16. Annette Hughes, Publisher of Where Pets Are Found*
17. Elliot Chapman, Customer Success Manager, HubSpot*
18. Tara O’Connell, Pet Diaries App Creator*
19. Dan White, Senior Brand Manager, Bayer Animal Health (categories 9 and 10)
20. Cathy Beer, Founder of Pets4Life (categories 9 and 10)
* New judges in 2020.

Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards 2020 Categories 

1. Outstanding Rescue Group
2. Outstanding New Rescue Group
3. Outstanding Animal Shelter
4. Outstanding Council Animal Shelter
5. Innovation in Rescue
6. Community Education and Outreach Program
7. Volunteer of the Year
8. Refuel Digital Technology Award (new)
9. Advocate® People’s Rescue Story
10. Drontal® Foster Carer Story (new)

Open for Entries

Enter online from 1 May to close midnight on 19 July 2020.
To enter, visit www.rescueawards.com.au and follow the links.

Watch a short video to find out what our judges and past winners have to say about the Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards.

For updates on the Rescue Awards program, please visit www.rescueawards.com.au, sign up to the e-newsletter or follow the Rescue Awards on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #jetpetsrescueawards2020 - Photo Credit (top): Jo Lyons Photography.


MEDIA RELEASE, 23rd April 2020


APRIL 12, 2020
Eddie is only one of thousands of puppies that die from Parvo in Northern NSW each year ...
Parvo warning for Northern NSW as deadly outbreaks hit

A national charity is calling on Northern NSW residents to urgently vaccinate their puppies and dogs, as a Parvovirus (Parvo) outbreak has swept through the region in the past month – leaving around 60 puppies and dogs dead.

Paws For A Purpose (PFAP) CEO and veterinarian, Dr Mark Kelman, said that local vets reported around 145 puppies and dogs struck down by the deadly disease across Tamworth, Manilla, Barraba, Bingara, Lighting Ridge and Coonamble.

NorthWest Vets’ Coonamble and Lightening Ridge clinics alone reported 29 deaths in the past four weeks and have received multiple daily calls from owners with sick and dying puppies. Many cases have died at home before being able to receive vet care.

Greencross Vets South Tamworth has seen 30 cases resulting in 21 deaths, while Piper Street Vet in Tamworth has witnessed 25 cases including 10 deaths. There has also been 30 cases at Manilla Vets and 10 at Bingara Vets.

Dr Kelman said these latest deaths were completely preventable and more deaths will happen during Autumn and Winter if residents do not act quickly.

The charity identified the outbreak with its new Parvo surveillance system, which collects case reports from vets and will soon be in operation across the country.

“Even though we are just piloting our Parvo disease-surveillance-and-alerting program, it is already detecting major outbreaks of this horrific disease, including this one and another outbreak across Central Queensland” said Dr Kelman.

“The recent rain across both regions seems to have brought on these outbreaks. Scientific studies have shown an association between recent rain and Parvo outbreaks, however, we are not exactly sure why – one theory is that the rain might physically move the virus into contact with domestic dogs.

“With increasing numbers of puppies being infected right now with the virus, it shows that these pets have not been fully vaccinated. The highest risk is for puppies that have not had their 16 week vaccination, or are younger than 16 weeks and haven’t been vaccinated in the past month.”

To prevent infection, all puppies must be vaccinated monthly from six weeks of age, until 16 weeks (four months). Adult dogs in high-risk Parvo areas and during outbreaks should be re-vaccinated every year.

Signs of Parvo disease are vomiting, diarrhoea, inappetence, lethargy, dehydration and sometimes blood in the dog’s faeces. Puppies can die as quickly as in 24 hours. Anyone who thinks their dog might have Parvo must ring their veterinarian immediately for advice.

Fast facts:

  • Parvo can live in the environment for up to a year, so it takes time for it to disappear after outbreaks occur.
  • Parvo can be transported on people’s shoes, so even dogs that do not leave the house, or the farm, can still catch the virus if they are not properly vaccinated. 
  • Paws for A Purpose sells Premium Beef Dog Treats to raise money to fund its programs to stop Parvo. 
  • To purchase or become a stockist for the treats, which contain 100% Australian beef and no added preservatives, no colourings, no fillers, no starches and no artificial flavours, visit www.pawsforapurpose.org

APRIL 6, 2020

Grieving pet owners looked after during COVID-19
Pet Angel Funerals staff Nikki Murray and Tommy Macdonald in their protective gear with the new COVID-19 handbook 
A leading Australian pet cremation service is now offering a ‘contactless with care’ approach to support locals whose pets are passing away during the COVID-19 health crisis.

Tom Jorgensen, founder of Pet Angel Funerals based on the Gold Coast, said his crematorium was continuing to operate within normal trading hours to help those who have lost their pets.

“We now have a ‘contactless with care’ approach at Pet Angel Funerals,” said Mr Jorgensen.

“Our business is not just about cremating animals, it is about caring for those who are grieving, so rather than spending time face-to-face with grieving pet owners, we are working with them over the phone or via skype to ensure their needs are met and they feel cared for at their time of loss.

“We arrange to collect their pet from a safe place in the home and this ensures everyone’s safety.”

Mr Jorgensen said all staff were now required to wear protective gear when picking up animals and returning their ashes.

“Sadly, we are not in a position to hold viewings or services in our memorial room given the new distancing measures. “That said, we are ensuring that we have very quick turnaround times so pets’ ashes are back with their owners as soon as possible.”
Photo (supplied) - ​Tom Jorgensen, his wife Anne along with their dogs Fifi and Peanut
Mr Jorgensen said his team was doing everything it could to provide immediate support to people who have lost their pets. “We know a lot of people are doing it tough at the moment, so we are taking additional time to talk to each of our clients to see what we can do to help,” he said.

"We have developed a comprehensive COVID-19 handbook for all staff. “We want to ensure that pet owners can take solace in the fact that we will always be here to support them, and take every precaution necessary to ensure their safety during these uncertain times.

“Our community already has so much to deal with – we would like to continue doing all that we can to support them in other areas of their lives.”

About Pet Angel Funerals

Pet Angel Funerals is a family-owned business dedicated to helping pet owners say goodbye to their beloved animals with grace and dignity. Founded in 2015, it is one of the largest and most-trusted pet cremation services in Queensland, guaranteeing all cremations are personalised and individual. State-of-the-art crematories and custom-built facilities allow Pet Angel Funerals to focus on offering affordable and compassionate pet cremation services that aim to make the difficult grieving process as painless as possible. To find more information on how Pet Angel Funerals can be of support, visit www.petangel.com.au.

APRIL 3, 2020

The Petbarn Foundation partners with Animal Rescue Cooperative to pledge 1.7m meals to support animal rescue groups in need
Rescue groups in need of urgent support as surrender of pets expected to rise

Greencross, which operates Petbarn and a network of 16 general practice veterinary clinics, Animal Referral Hospitals and Animal Emergency Centres across Australia, is helping people and their pets at this time of need through its Petbarn Foundation.

Some animal rescue centres are seeing an increase in surrendered pets, with financial stress cited as a contributing factor to animal relinquishment[1]

The Petbarn Foundation together with Animal Rescue Cooperative (ARC) have pledged $500k which equates to 1.7m meals in pet-care relief to help animal rescue groups doing it tough amidst this crisis. Greencross CEO George Wahby said, “We know that pets play a pivotal role in contributing to the joy and wellbeing of families, so we are doing our best to ensure pets continue to stay in their loving homes.”

Animal Rescue and charity groups provide care, food and shelter for when no one else can. They rely on donations and volunteers however, due to COVID-19 this assistance has been limited. Immediate support from the Petbarn Foundation and ARC will provide Pet Care Relief Packages to pet rescue groups to enable them to continue caring for animals across Australia.

The Pet Care Relief Assistance Package will include:

✔️ 1.7 Million dog and cat meals
✔️ 5,000 Flea, tick and worming treatments
✔️ 5 x Tonnes of cat litter
✔️ 500 kilos of chicken feed

Scott Charters, The Petbarn Foundation Chairperson, said: “Surrendering a pet is a distressing last resort for many people, and many of the reasons for surrender are beyond the owners’ control.

“Sadly, during these unprecedented times, we are likely to see an increase in the number of pets that are surrendered as the impact of COVID-19 puts many Australian families under extraordinary pressure.

“Unfortunately, this puts immense pressure on pet rescue groups that are so reliant on donations to keep them afloat.

“We hope our Pet Care Relief Packages will reduce the pressure and support these amazing organisations continue to look after the wellbeing of so many beloved animals. We have also pledged $100k to the NSW RSPCA to support people who have been tested positive for COVID-19 and cannot leave their homes-we will deliver their pet food and supplies at no cost to ensure their animals are kept fed”.
Program Manager, Animal Rescue Cooperative Jen Barbour, said: “It’s an uncertain time for so many of us and unfortunately pet rescue groups across Australia are feeling the strain too.

“With the number of pets surrendered to shelters expected to rise, it’s more important than ever that we support rescue shelters and charities to ensure the welfare of animals is not compromised during this difficult period.

“Our triage process will also ensure that these vital supplies of pet food reach those organisations that need it most.”

The Petbarn Foundation, in coordination with Animal Rescue Cooperative, will distribute packages through a Nationwide Network which consists of 13 key Distribution Hubs.

In addition, The Petbarn Foundation is assisting the RSPCA get food to people who are currently in quarantine by prioritising the order and providing free deliveries to all pet owners currently impacted by self-isolation measures.

For more information, visit www.petbarn.com.au/foundation

[1] ABC


APRIL 2, 2020
Adopt A Pet with 'Adopt from Home'

From today, all RSPCA NSW shelters and care centres are closed to public walk-ins, and animal adoptions will be processed via Adopt from Home, which will see the entire adoption processed via phone or video call and the animals being transported to their potential forever homes by RSPCA staff.

These changes come as further restrictions were announced by the Federal Government, and as new laws enacted by the NSW State Government came into effect this week to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“We have seen so many animals go into their forever homes, and we hope they’re bringing you some much needed love, warmth and company,” says RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman.

“We are adapting to the changes as best we can to give our animals an opportunity to find loving homes, and to ensure our doors are still open for animals in need.” 

Zeke - adopted on March 30
RSPCA NSW has seen an incredible increase in adoptions across the state’s shelters and Petbarn adoption centres over the last two weeks, which saw just over 500 animals adopted across the state.

This represents an increase of 28% in adoptions across the state, compared to this time last year. For Petbarn adoption centres only, the increase has been a staggering 48% compared to this time last year.

Though the new adoption process will be via phone or video call, normal adoption procedures will apply to ensure every animal goes home with the right family.

There will be some compulsory purchase requirements also such as a carry box and/or lead and car harness. We will ensure that their new family also has all of the essentials needed to ensure the success of their new pet in the home.

Once the adoption is approved, an RSPCA staff member will drive the animal to their potential new home for a meet-and-greet. If everyone is happy, the adoption will be finalised.

RSPCA NSW shelters and care centres will remain closed to public walk-ins until further notice. Emergency surrenders and strays will be handled via appointment only.

The changes to the usual adoption process are temporary. Any person wishing to adopt a pet with Adopt from Home, please fill out an appointment request form and a staff member will be in touch. RSPCA NSW reminds the community that we are operating with a reduced number of staff, and are thankful for your patience at this time.

All animals available for adoption can be found online at www.rspcansw.org.au/adopt



MARCH 19, 2020

2020 Dog and Cat 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.

NEW DATES FOR ALL SHOWS:


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 Eats, Netflix 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**

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters
https://animalmedicinesaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/ANIM001-Pet-Survey-Report19_v1.7_WEB_high-res.pdf
https://www.oie.int/en/scientific-expertise/specific-information-and-recommendations/questions-and-answers-on-2019novel-coronavirus/

MARCH 10, 2020


Rhiannon Beach named 2020 Telstra Australian Capital Territory Business Women’s Small Business Award winner

Rhiannon Beach, Owner and Managing Director of Pups4Fun was last night awarded the 2020 Telstra ACT Business Women’s Small Business Award

Rhiannon Beach’s unique approach to pet care is driven by investing in people and collaboration. Her dog daycare business, Pups4Fun, has grown from caring for a few pups per day, to more than 400 dogs per week.

Rhiannon enjoys pushing herself outside her comfort zone, growing through failure and challenges that business sometimes presents.


An advocate for the benefits of dogs on people’s mental and physical health, she is determined to be a driving force in Australia becoming a truly dog-friendly nation. She values being part of her community and providing an essential service to local people. By sharing her experience, successes and mistakes with others, she hopes to inspire other young women to get into business.

All 2020 State and Territory winners will be invited to Sydney for the National Awards judging on Wednesday 27 May. The national winners will then be announced at a dinner celebration on Thursday 28 May.


About the Telstra Business Women's Awards

For 25 years, the Telstra Business Women’s Awards have recognised more than 3,000 exceptional women in leadership, who are transforming the way we lead businesses from all corners of Australia and across all industries.

MARCH 5, 2020 

Lort Smith welcomes changes that make it easier for Victorian renters to have pets

Lort Smith is applauding new laws on pets and renting. As of 2 March 2020, Victorian tenants wanting to incorporate a pet into their lifestyle can request their landlord’s consent via the Consumer Affairs Victoria pet request form here. [1]

Regardless of when a lease has commenced, landlords can now not unreasonably refuse a tenant’s request to allow a pet. Lort Smith CEO, Fiona Webster welcomed the news as common sense.

“Melbourne is home to more than a million dogs and cats; and we know that animals are an important part of many families.” There are over 29 million pets in Australia 
[2] and with Melbourne being home to more than a million dogs and cats alone, there’s little doubt animals are part of the fabric of Victoria.

Located in North Melbourne, Lort Smith, Australia’s largest not-for-profit animal hospital, re-homes around 850 animals every year.


CEO Fiona Webster with her rescue German Shepherd, Teddy
“Sadly, Lort Smith around a third of animals are surrendered due to accommodation issues. While Lort Smith will never euthanise an animal capable of being rehomed, others may not receive another chance.” added Ms Webster.

At Lort Smith, staff regularly see local residents visit the adoption hub to spend time with the animals. They have found some even become volunteers, because they can’t have pets at home and miss the valuable emotional connection of interacting with a cat or dog.

“The human-animal bond is very real and has huge impacts on the health and emotional wellbeing of people in the community,” said Ms Webster.

Despite misplaced claims, there’s no reason to consider pet owners as bad or risky tenants – in fact, the opposite is probably true. “A well trained and properly cared for pet, with an attentive owner, will cause no more wear and tear to a residential property than a human,” stated Ms Webster.

The new laws do not apply to pets already present before 2 March 2020. Prior to these changes there were no laws directly covering pets in rented homes.

Lort Smith is the largest not-for-profit animal hospital in Australia, delivering essential and life-saving services to sick, injured and vulnerable animals. Each year our team of more than 60 vets and 110 nurses provide quality care for around 25,000 animals. Lort Smith re-homes approximately 850 animals each year and operates a number of community outreach programs which have a significant social impact on the community. Lort Smith receives no ongoing government funding.


[2] Animal Medicines Australia (2019) Pet Ownership in Australia 2019 https://animalmedicinesaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/ANIM001-Pet-Survey-Report19_v1.7_WEB_high-res.pdf (accessed on 04 March 2020).

FEBRUARY 28, 2020
Western Sydney Dog Park Sets Tails Wagging

The new state-of-the-art Shale Hills Dog Park at Western Sydney Parklands has opened to the community this week.

Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the new $3.7 million park will be a major drawcard for dog-lovers.

“Shale Hills Dog Park is an exciting addition to the Southern end of Western Sydney Parklands and will provide residents from West Hoxton and surrounding communities with new quality green open space – right on the doorstep of the future Aerotropolis city,” Mr Stokes said.

Executive Director of Western Sydney Parklands Trust Suellen Fitzgerald said it’s incredibly satisfying to see the Trust deliver a community facility of this calibre, placing people and their pets at the heart of its design to meet the needs of the residents and visitors.

“The new dog park provides residents with a green recreational entry to the Parklands and natural firebreak, while showcasing the beautiful aesthetic of the adjacent bushland corridor and Shale Hills Walking Loop,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“This is the first of many transformational projects the Trust will deliver in the Parklands over the next decade.”

The new park offers a range of experiences for dogs including:

  • Large off-leash area with free running space, grassed slopes and play mounds
  •  Dog agility area and training circuit
  • Sensory garden featuring English Lavender, Lemon-scented Thyme, Chamomile Sunray, Native Mint Bush, Pale Vanilla Lily, Prostrate Rosemary and more
  • Terrace with sweeping views, shade umbrellas and dog respite area
  •  Australian natives planting of the Cumberland Plain including Melaleuca Grove, Spotted Gums, Figs and Eucalyptus.
  • Improved connection into the Parklands with a new access road and roundabout at the intersection of Second Avenue and Mannow Avenue.
Shale Hills Dog Park is located at the corner of Second Avenue and Mannow Avenue, West Hoxton in Western Sydney Parklands and is open 24 hours / 7 days a week.

For more information, please visit www.westernsydneyparklands.com.au


FEBRUARY 19, 2020
RSPCA South Australia launches RSPCA AWARE education program

In an Australian-first, RSPCA South Australia launched a visionary new education program – and offering it completely free to all students and teachers in their state.

This is one of the most important steps RSPCA South Australia has taken to reduce animal abuse in their 144-year history.

How will it help?

Well, the RSPCA AWARE program (Animal Wellbeing: Awareness, Responsibility and Education) places animal welfare learning front and centre in our schools.

Through their free series of resources for teachers, students and parents, young people will develop skills, knowledge and a strong understanding of animal care while engaging in issues that surround animal welfare. It’s prevention through education.

The best part? RSPCA AWARE fully integrates with the Australian Curriculum. This means students can learn vital English or Maths lessons, for example, using the concepts of animal wellbeing to provide a real life context – so they’re more likely to get interested and stay interested in key subjects.

RSPCA AWARE is adapted from a similar program run in New Zealand, which is already loved by both teachers and students. Last year, this version was trialled in 18 different schools in South Australia. It was a resounding success! You might like to watch this short video to hear from some of the kids and teachers.


For more information, please visit www.rspcasa.org.au/services/aware/

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 www.petinsuranceaustralia.com.au 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 admin@vetsbeyondborders.org

Veterinarians, vet nurses and other veterinary personnel willing to join the AVERT team, are asked register interest via www.vetsbeyondborders.org/avert-registration/

For more information about our programs and how you can help, please visit www.vetsbeyondborders.org


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 Victoria, Wildlife 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.

“Beyond
 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 Farmers, Greencross Vets, Animal 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 ARH, VRH or online at www.petbarn.com.au/donate
.

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.


DECEMBER 10, 2019

RSPCA and Oh Crap working together to end use of plastic dog poop bags at shelters nationally

The RSPCA has today announced that Australian company, Oh Crap, will become its preferred supplier of dog poop bags to shelters across the country, as well as the company becoming a corporate supporter of Australia’s leading animal welfare charity.

Nationally, this partnership will save the RSPCA from using at least 365,000 plastic bags across its shelters, in the care of the 132,000+ dogs that are cared for and rehomed each year. That’s a lot of plastic saved from winding up in landfill!

Oh Crap’s compostable bags made from cornstarch will help the RSPCA reduce its impact on the environment, while continuing its mission of working for animal welfare, for all creatures great and small.

“We’re excited to be able to work with an Australian brand to do the right thing by the environment, while also taking care of the thousands of dogs we re-home nationally each year. Every time our dogs are walked, and need a toilet break, we know that the bag our staff and volunteers use wont be ending up in landfill,” Dr Bidda Jones, Acting CEO of RSPCA Australia said.

Founder of Oh Crap, Bruce Hultgren said, “When we started back in 2014, we were ecstatic to know that we were making a difference, however small. To see that together, with our customers, we have saved over 6 million bags from landfill is really incredible. I am so proud of not only the Oh Crap team and the Oh Crap Family, but especially the RSPCA for deciding to make this change to the way we dispose of dog waste. Individually it is one small step, but together we make a huge impact.”


DECEMBER 2, 2019

Give a Gift that Gives Back This Pawliday Season


Petbarn, City Farmers, and Greencross Clinic teams banding together to raise $1.2 million to the Petbarn Foundation Tree of Hope fundraising initiative.

The Petbarn Foundation are adding a few extra stops to Santa Paws’ route this Christmas by decorating 200 Tree of Hope trees across Petbarn stores across Australia to help animals in need.

With the goal of raising $1.2 million through the Appeal from now until Friday 27th December, Aussies can get involved in the Tree of Hope fundraising initiative by heading into their nearest Petbarn store, City Farmers store or Greencross Vets clinic and purchasing a $3, $5 or $10 decoration.


Every time a star is purchased from the Tree of Hope, the Petbarn Foundation will make a donation to the RSPCA and their pet-related charity partners across Australia, helping animal welfare groups to continue their great work in supporting animals in need.

Scott Charters, Greencross Limited Chief Operating Officer of Retail, said the donations will be shared across nominated shelters, pet rescue groups and the like to bring much-needed funds for the year ahead.

“The Petbarn Foundation will be supporting 24 different charities across the country, including the RSPCA, Rescue Hub, Empower Assistance Dogs and many more in a bid to raise a record number of donations. Furthermore, a portion of the donations will go to the RSPCA to help with the bushfires affecting New South Wales and Queensland.

“The simple act of purchasing a Tree of Hope Christmas decoration at your local Petbarn store helps our nominated pet related charities continue their great work. It’s nice to know that any contribution, small or large, will help give animals in need the chance to put a better paw forward ahead of the new year,”

Since launching the Petbarn Foundation in 2012, over $13.1 million has been raised for animal welfare initiatives. The Petbarn Foundation, which is the charitable arm of Petbarn and Greencross Vets, was established by Australia’s leading pet care company, Greencross Limited, to raise funds to actively support pet welfare programs.

“Sadly, every Christmas there are thousands of animals across the country in need of love and a family. Our goal as always is to raise as much funding as possible to help save the lives of as many animals in need across Australia, and we would not be able to achieve that without the support and kindness of the nation” said Scott Charters.

The Petbarn Foundation’s Tree of Hope Appeal will run across Petbarn and City Farmers stores, as well as Greencross Vets clinics nationally from now until Friday 27th December.

To find out more, visit www.petbarn.com.au/treeofhope


NOVEMBER 26, 2019

2019 Most Popular Names for Dogs & Cats in Australia

Once again Pet Insurance Australia has revealed its list of the most popular names for dogs and cats in Australia, with some newbies making the list for 2019.

“It could be a little royal fever mixed in with the traditional names for 2019” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “Archie is certainly the favourite in our dog names and also making second place for cats.”

“We also have some new names making the list this year, including Oreo and the very popular Nala, alongside our traditional favourites of Luna, Bella and Coco.”


Female Dogs                             Male Dogs
  1. Luna                                       Archie
  2. Bella                                       Charlie
  3. Coco                                       Buddy
  4. Daisy                                      Teddy
  5. Ruby                                       Max
  6. Molly                                      Milo
  7. Frankie                                  Alfie
  8. Lola                                        Ollie
  9. Nala                                       Bailey
  10. Millie                                     Leo


Female Cats                               Male Cats                              
  1. Luna                                        Loki
  2. Nala                                         Archie
  3. Bella                                        Leo
  4. Coco                                        Simba
  5. Mia                                          Jasper
  6. Cleo                                         Max
  7. Lily                                          Ollie
  8. Molly                                      Oscar
  9. Poppy                                     Charlie
  10. Chloe                                      Oreo

NOVEMBER 13, 2019

DOGUE, Australia's dog boutique brand is launching its newest store on December 7.

DOGUE Brickworks is set to open its doors at Burwood Brickworks, which is set to be the world's most sustainable retail centre.

Its unique environment, characterised by its biophilic design, internal greenery and rooftop urban farm, is anticipated to draw two and four-legged visitors from across Melbourne.

DOGUE Brickworks will be the tenth location for the expanding DOGUE network.

"With its natural light and surrounding greenery and the rooftop farm, Burwood Brickworks is an ideal environment for dogs and their owners" says Margaret Hennessy, CEO, DOGUE Retail Group. "Our new flagship store at Burwood Brickworks is an opportunity for us to review our own business for a more sustainable future" Ms Hennessy explains.

DOGUE Brickworks, open 7 days a week, will showcase the full DOGUE experience, with day care services, grooming, puppy training, plus a full range of DOGUE accessories and more. Their play-time area will be the ideal environment for dogs under 15kg, who can enjoy an unlimited supply of toys and fun with like-minded pals who are under constant supervision of our trained staff.

On Saturday, December 7 DOGUE Brickworks will host its Grand Opening Party from 10am - 2pm. Fun festivities will be happening all day with the first 30 guests who spend $75 or more receiving an exclusive DOGUE gift.

There will be a pup-arazzi photobooth, spot prizes for best dressed pooches, a complimentary pampering station and exclusive store-wide discounts. Everyone is invited to join the celebrations!

About DOGUE

Founded in 1998, DOGUE is Australia's leading dog boutique and spa network, offering grooming, day care and retail through 10 high-end boutiques and spas across Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane.
For more information, please visit dogue.com.au



NOVEMBER 11, 2019
Pets Of The Homeless launches Victoria's first Pet Food Bank

Myf Warhurst announced as the very im-paw-tant person to help launch Victoria’s first Pet Food Bank.

Melbourne, November 16, 2019, grassroots charity, Pets of The Homeless will officially open Victoria’s very first Pet Food Bank. The celebration will be hosted by the charity’s new ambassador, Myf Warhurst who is lending her voice to help vulnerable people and their pets.

Volunteer led organisation, Pets of The Homeless has donated over 100,000 much needed meals to Victorian pets over the last four years. These dogs and cats are the companions, and for some, only family, of Australians experiencing homelessness or severe financial hardship.

Up until only a few months ago, the charity ran the service out of Founder Yvonne Hong’s suburban garage. It quickly outgrew the small space - bursting at the seams with food and goods donated by the community.

With the help of a government grant, community volunteers, donors and local businesses, Pets of the Homeless converted an old mechanic’s workshop in Cheltenham into the new home of Victoria’s Pet Food Bank. “Now that we have all this space, we are calling on the community to help fill it up by donating to our Giving Day this Wednesday 20 November where each financial donation will be tripled for 24 hours so we can buy food in bulk.” Yvonne Hong, Founder. 

Donations can be made online at www.charidy.com/poth

Pet Food Donations are accepted on Saturday 10am to 1pm and Monday and Wednesdays between 10am and 3pm throughout the year.

The Pet Food Bank has been operational for the past three months and will be officially opened in a warehouse party hosted by POTH’s newest ambassador, radio and television personality, Myf Warhurst

Warhurst was immediately taken by the organisation and what they do and announced her own involvement on her own Facebook page by posting that Pets of the Homeless was “a wonderful organisation full of passionate people.”
Yvonne Hong, sees Myf as the perfect fit for the organisation.

“Myf is the perfect person to represent us. She’s an animal lover and a very compassionate person who understands the importance of community and the value of having a voice. She’s socially aware, warm and generous and a great ambassador for the tireless but rewarding work our volunteers do to keep our community and their best friends safe and healthy.”

What: Pets of the Homeless launch of Victoria’s first Pet Food Bank

When: Saturday 16th November 2019, 10am - 12pm

Where: 84A Keys Rd, Cheltenham, VIC

Who: Hosted by Ambassador Myf Warhurst


NOVEMBER 8, 2019

Online Pet Supplies Business Celebrates 20 Years
The year was 1999. The world was worried about Y2K, eBay had just launched in Australia and brothers Mark and Steven Perissinotto were preparing to launch Australia’s first online pet supplies business.

Now twenty years and over 2.5 million orders later, VetShop Australia will celebrate over 100 dog years of business on the 17th of November.

Like many great businesses, Steven says it all started over the table at a big family lunch. “We came up with the idea over lunch and were able to launch VetShop Australia three months later,” Mr.Perissinotto said.

The brothers saw the huge opportunity the internet provided, and started the business part-time out of the back of veterinarian Mark’s Nambour clinic.

“We were working fifty hours a week at our original jobs and then putting in another twenty or so hours to only be getting ten orders per day,” Mark Perissinotto said.

“Success didn’t come to us overnight, running your own business is always ninety percent perspiration, ten percent inspiration” said Steven.

The breakthrough came in 2001 when, recognising high levels of interest from US buyers, the international website changed its currency to USD and sales instantly grew around 10-12% month-on-month between 2001-2006.

This success enabled Mark to leave his veterinary practice in 2005 and saw Steven leave law in 2007 to allow them to concentrate on the business full time.

In 2009, the business moved from Image Flat to a larger premises at Forest Glen where it remains today, shipping orders to over 1 million customers in over 70 countries.

Over the years, the business has picked up a number of awards including a Telstra Business People’s Choice Award in 2011, Power Retail Top 100 Retailer in 2017 and the Top 150 in 2018.

Both Mark and Steven have also been nominated for a variety of awards. Mark was a finalist in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards in 2015 and Steven was recently named as one of the Top 50 People in E-Commerce by Internet Retailing.

VetShop Australia has also been the sponsor of the Surfing Dog Championships, held as part of the Noosa Festival of Surfing, since 2012.

About VetShop Australia

VetShop Australia is an online pet retailer that has been proudly serving Australian pet owners since 1999. With its head office and distribution centre located in Forest Glen, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, VetShop Australia stock a huge range of over 1000 pet-related products; including international brand name animal health products such as NexGard, Bravecto, Revolution, Advocate, Hills and Royal Canin.


NOVEMBER 4, 2019
Australians are picking their pets over people

We all know that Australians think of their pets as part of the family, but just how big of a role do they play in big life decisions? According to a new study from Pawshake, they are more important than ever before. 

The study found that there's even a trend towards adopting a pet rather than having a baby: with 78% of pet owners choosing pet ownership over having kids and 85% of pet owners wouldn’t stay in a relationship or be friends with you if you didn’t get along with their pet, or if their pet didn’t like you!

Managers may need to take pets into account more at work. A massive 96% of Australians would take a day off if their pet was sick or injured and 72% of Australians daydream about their pet at work. This shows that pets have a strong impact on productivity and stress at work.

Pet-friendly work spaces might have to become a priority in office planning too, with 72% of Australians saying they would choose a job based on being able to bring their pet to work.

Pawshake co-founder Tanguy Peers comments on the research, “owners want to do the best they can for their pets. Leaving them at home while they work for 8-10 hours a day often makes them feel guilty and can lead to separation anxiety and other destructive behaviours. Therefore, if the option exists to take them to work, I can expect that most would take up the offer in a heartbeat.”

“Of course, not everyone has that option and it’s one of the reasons why we’ve seen such an increase in the use of Pawshake’s pet sitting services. Having a pet sitter drop by during the day gives your pet something to look forward to. It also helps to alleviate some of the guilt and stress from leaving your pet alone when you work full time.”

Australians aren’t really getting a chance to fully relax and enjoy their holidays, with a massive 95.2% of pet owners worrying about their fur baby when they are away. {...}

Pawshake continues to revolutionise the pet sitting market in Australia by ensuring that pets are an integral part of the family.With more than 20,000 Pawshake sitters across Australia, some of which are available at a moment’s notice, pet owners no longer need to worry about their pet while on holiday or at work.


For more information, visit www.pawshake.com.au

OCTOBER 30, 2019

Pound Paws Takes Over Sydney University
Pound Paws in partnership with University of Sydney Union (USU) successfully raised awareness about the importance of dog adoption, to the Sydney University student community on the weekend.

Pound Paws Sydney Uni Dog Day provided the younger generation with the knowledge to sculpt the future, by hosting a workshop/session room, including key speakers from RSPCA NSW, Inner West Council & University Veterinary Teaching Hospital to name a few. Attendees were gifted with tote bags, complete with information booklets and educational products, to help guide them on their way towards making a positive impact for our furry friends.

Other activities on the day ranged from JENGA Dog Building Block Competition, Rascal Treats Plant Based Dog Treat Tasting, Best Dog Trick & Costume competition (judged by, Scott Lee (Home & Away), Jelisa Apps (Channel Nine Sports Reporter), Alistair Cowie, (USU CEO), Lewis Cavoodle (Dog Influencer) & Maluka and Avalon (Dog Influencers) all whilst guests got to enjoy a Little Creatures Dog Days beer.

With roughly 200,000 happy and healthy pets getting euthanised each year, the event's aim was to educate students about the importance of pet adoption, as well as encourage responsible pet ownership.


A successful outcome for Greyhound Rescue NSW, who received two adoption applications on the day for their rescue Greyhounds. 

The event was powerful for them, as they were provided with the opportunity to showcase this breed and break the social stigma. Various attendees on the day mentioned they were surprised to learn that Greyhounds can also be couch potatoes who enjoy apartment living. A suitable pet for city residents too.


Pound Paws Dog Days have been running for over four years around Australia. The events that Pound Paws organise are 100% charity fundraising events, as a way to not only raise awareness about pet adoption to local communities, but celebrate the wonderful companionship which we share with our pets.


OCTOBER 26, 2019

Furry friends on the frontline pampered for the best chance of adoption

With spring in full swing, Frontline Pet Care, PetRescue and PETstock have partnered together on a nationwide mission to raise awareness of pet adoption through the donation of 21,000 bottles of shampoo.

With spring being one of the most popular times for adoption, the donation will enable PetRescue member pounds, shelters or rescue groups help pets put their best paw forward for adoption. The 21,000 bottles of shampoo will mean over half a million (500,000) washes and fresh smelling pets ready for loving new homes.


Frontline has been looking after pets for over 20 years in Australia and was recently named global ‘Brand of the Year’ (Animalis Edition) for 2019-2020. 
The brand recently launched a pet care range of premium products designed for dogs and cats.

PetRescue is a national charity partner for PETstock and this donation has been made possible for Frontline via the PETstock Assist charity foundation.

Partners on a mission

The partnership provides an amazing opportunity to help PetRescue and its rescue members encourage more families to choose adoption when looking for a family pet. Frontline Pet Care and PetRescue have partnered together for the past two years, with Frontline having donated nearly $1.3 million in product since the partnership was formed.

Both partners are calling on all Australians to consider pet adoption through a social-led campaign called #cleanfuracause. The campaign has been created to encourage national sharing and support of adoption, with the aim of creating happiness and saving pet lives.
The campaign which will see pets groomed and cleaned in readiness for adoption, launches today across the nation and will showcase the many wonderful faces of pets.

Adoption on the minds of Australians

In great news, adoption is already high on the Australian agenda. New figures from PetRescue between 2018-2019 show there is huge demand for pet adoption by the community.

● 4.8 million Australian visitors to PetRescue website looking to adopt a rescue pet each year
● 72,140 listed pets on PetRescue were happily adopted
● 170,808 adoption enquiries each year
● 460+ adoption enquiries daily
● 22,500+ visits to PetRescue daily
● 75,354 rescue pets listed on PetRescue for adoption

Frontline spokesperson, Andrew Palmer, said of the PetRescue partnership and mission, “We are incredibly proud to be able to partner with PetRescue via PETstock’s charity foundation PETstock Assist supporting such an important cause.

“We are deeply passionate about pet adoption and look forward to seeing the benefits of our donation through the many families joining the adoption list,” Andrew said.

Co-founder and joint CEO of PetRescue, Vickie Davy, said of the partnership, “Frontline have been an amazing support for PetRescue and our rescue member organisations over the past two years. We are thrilled to partner once again with Frontline to help provide much needed product donations to these charity groups and rescue pets in need.”

To support the mission, Australians can share their adoption story via #cleanfuracause or visit: Frontline Pet Care at www.frontlinepetcare.com.au, PetRescue at www.petrescue.com.au and PETstock Assist at www.petstock.com.au/assist

OCTOBER 24, 2019

Every little bit helps Greyhound Rescue!
Never think your fundraising contribution is too small to help an animal rescue group.

Balgowlah School for Seniors on Sydney's northern beaches recently had a cupcake sale to raise funds for Greyhound Rescue (GR).

Linda Nord, who organised the fundraising, said the seniors' efforts resulted in $425 for greyhound care.

To say thanks, GR's co-founders Janet and Peter Flann then visited the nearby group.

Linda Nord, Balgowlah Senior Citizens with
GR co-founders Peter & Janet - photos: Donald Gould
"When the seniors heard the Flanns were coming, they decided to raise further funds," Linda said. "We made some more cakes to sell and also had a small raffle with $190.75 raised." 

Linda said the seniors loved their 'pet therapy' and the session overran by an hour. "Our members all wanted to pat the dogs! Having Peter and Janet’s greyhounds there was brilliant pet therapy," she said.

Janet Flann 
said Balgowlah School for Seniors was to be congratulated for its efforts. "Since 2016, these seniors have raised nearly $1,500 for Greyhound Rescue," she said.

"Every little bit helps the hounds. They must be fed, housed and their health checked. All this costs money."

“We provide medical care and food for our Greyhounds, as well as their toys, bowls, treats, collars and leashes. The price tag to care for a dog being at our rented kennels can really add up quickly.”

There are more than 35 Greyhounds needing adoption or foster care due to the charity’s kennels near Camden being full. 
To see all the dogs available for adoption, please visit: greyhoundrescue.com.au/category/dogs-available 

OCTOBER 11, 2019

Camden Council launches Paws for a Second Initiative during October

HSC students invited to paws for a second during Mental Health Month 
Photo: Mayor of Camden, Cr Theresa Fedeli; local HSC students; dog and owner, part of Paws Pet Therapy

Camden Council has launched the Paws for a Second initiative which sees cute puppies visit Narellan Library throughout October 2019, to provide stress relief to students studying for the HSC.

The initiative runs every Monday and Wednesday in October, 3:30-4:30pm.

Mayor of Camden, Cr Theresa Fedeli, said the furry surprise was Council’s unique way of celebrating Mental Health Month. “October is all about raising awareness of mental illness and taking a step back to make sure mental health in our everyday lives is one of our top priorities,” Cr Fedeli said. 

“Our teenagers go through intense stress in the lead up to their HSC and we want them to feel comfortable reaching out for help. It’s important they know support is available to them if they need it. 

“This initiative is a perfect opportunity for students to take a break, reassess and make sure they’re looking after themselves during the exam period “I’d like to say a big thank you to PAWS Pet Therapy, who has helped make this initiative possible.” 

PAWS Pet Therapy is a not-for-profit organisation that trains volunteers and their dogs to provide specialised pet therapy to people with special needs.

Where: Narellan Library, corner Queen and Elyard Street, Narellan, Sydney, NSW



MARCH 5, 2019

App-based Australian Mobile Vet Service Appoints New CEO

National app-based mobile vet booking service Pawssum Vets has appointed Sydney-based veterinarian Dr Jon Berkowitz as Chief Executive Officer.


Dr Berkowitz received his Bachelor of Veterinary Science in South Africa over 25 years ago and also has an MBA. He has a wide range of veterinary small animal experience, has worked in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry and managed multi site vet practices.

Dr Berkowitz said he was thrilled to be joining such an innovative company with massive opportunities in the veterinary space. He will be taking on a new challenge in raising funds for Pawssum which is experiencing a high growth rate of new vets joining the platform and pet owner demand.

"The market is excited about technology and disruption in this space. Raised funds will be used to exponentially grow Pawssum’s market share as a national market leader in at-home vet visits," said Dr Berkowitz.

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


FEBRUARY 15, 2019

Technology Helping 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 www.pawssum.com.au

https://www.ibisworld.com.au/industry-trends/market-research-reports/professional-scientific-technical-services/veterinary-services.html



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 greencrossvets.com.au


NOVEMBER 6, 2018


Greencross board backs move to go private

The board of pet care company Greencross Limited is unanimously recommending that shareholders vote in favour of a proposed scheme implementation agreement that will see the 100 per cent of the business acquired by private investment firm TPG.

Petbarn-Store-Front-GreencrossThe scheme would afford shareholders $5.55 per share, with an implied equity value of $675 million; both below the rejected takeover offer made by TPG two years ago.

In 2016, TPG offered the business $6.45 per share, equalling a $736 million offer, which the pet care business turned down; stating it “fundamentally undervalues Greencross”.

However, shares in the company spiked after the announcement jumping from $4.54 a share late last week to $5.40 per share on Monday afternoon.

“In reaching our conclusion that the scheme is in the best interest of shareholders, the board has considered a number of alternatives, including standalone value creation opportunities and alternative proposals from other potentially interested parties,” Greencross chairman Stuart James said in a note to investors.

“Upon assessing the alternatives before it, the Board has unanimously concluded that the scheme is a compelling option which realises attractive value for our shareholders.”

Shareholders are expected to vote on the matter in early 2019, though the date may be subject to change.

Last month, Greencross confirmed it was considering an acquisition proposal from TPG after the company’s net profit dropped 51 per cent to $20.7 million in FY18.

Despite falling profits, the business maintains a healthy mix of retail and service-based offerings, as well as a highly engaged customer database with a loyalty program that touches 90 per cent of retail sales.

TPG’s head of Australia and New Zealand Joel Thickins said the investment firm is confident the Greencross business will continue to grow under private ownership.

Source: Inside Retail

OCTOBER 5, 2018

Just For Pets announced as an Excellence in Business finalist

Just For Pets’ unique business and marketing accomplishments have rewarded them as a finalist for the 2018 Northern Rivers Regional Business Award for Excellence in Business. Winners will be announced at the 5th annual gala dinner and award celebration on Saturday October 13.

Just For Pets is Australia’s largest buying group for independent pet retailers. They represent nearly 60 stores around the country who trade under their original shop names and support their local communities. They also provide a highly active marketing foundation to assist their members in achieving their goals.

This recognition comes in perfect timing for small business month, as small businesses are the bedrock of the Just For Pets mission.

“Small businesses are the heart of the community and the backbone of our country,” says Karen Justice, CEO of Just For Pets. “Just For Pets is unique in that it offers corporate level support and opportunity for small business, without its members losing their independence and unique approaches to the pet industry,” says Justice. “Our mission is not to build a large, homogenized retail chain, but to help build upon the brand equity and expertise that our members already have in place.”

The Northern Rivers region takes in considerations in Byron Bay and Ballina on the coast and in to Lismore, as well as Clarence Valley up to Tweed Shire. 

Over 70 businesses have become finalists in 19 categories, with seven businesses also being finalists in the Excellence in Business category

These awards celebrate business excellence in many different areas including health care, retail, education, technology, and manufacturing and tourism.

Northern Rivers NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Jane Laverty said that to be awarded and acknowledged as a finalist in the Northern Rivers Business Award, “is a wonderful achievement and it recognizes their efforts as a business of excellence and contributor to our regional economy.”

The Just For Pets team agrees that without their dedicated member stores, becoming an Excellence in Business finalist would not have been possible.

About Just for Pets

Just For Pets represents nearly 60 independent pet industry retailers providing a range of business services together with collective buying power. All stores are independently owned and operated by pet lovers, offering friendly service and experienced advice. Free pet health checks are also offered in 40 stores.

SYDNEY, 20 OCTOBER 2017

Pet Industry Association of Australia announces the 2017 Pet Industry Achievement Award winners

Shining a spotlight on excellence in the pet industry, the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA) announced the winners of the 2017 PIAA Industry Achievement Awards at the PIAA AusPet 2017 Trade Show & National Conference incorporating Groomex 2017 in Sydney (Oct 19 -22).

These annual awards recognise excellence in the pet industry with nominees undergoing a tough nomination process. The PIAA Industry Achievement Awards trophies were presented in 10 different categories and the winners are:


* PIAA / Bayer Pioneer Award -- Bob Croucher – Pet Industry News

* PIAA / Pet Plan Kevin Pakes Perpetual Achievement Award – David Kong – Kong’s Australia


* PIAA Boarder/Dog Day Care/Pet Sitter of Excellence Award – Samford Pet Resort, QLD

* PIAA Dog Trainer of Excellence Award -- Glenn Cooke – Pet Resorts Australia, NSW 

* PIAA Groomer of Excellence Award -- Paw Print Lane, WA 

* PIAA Manufacturer/Supplier of Excellence Award -- Frontier Pets 

* PIAA Breeder of Excellence Award -- Off the Edge Labradoodles, WA

* PIAA Pet Services of Excellence Award -- Time Out Pet Care, NSW 

* PIAA Retailer of Excellence Award -- We Know Pets Bowral, NSW 

* PIAA Education Achievement Award -- Lochinvar Pet Motel, NSW 

“PIAA is extremely proud of the calibre of its members. We congratulate all winners and nominees and look forward to these awards getting even bigger and better,” said PIAA CEO, Mark Fraser.

For more information on the PIAA courses and services, please visit www.piaa.net.au

SYDNEY, 11 OCTOBER 2017

MP moves bill to allow dogs into NSW pubs



Greens MP for Balmain Jamie Parker will move a Bill in Parliament amending the Companion Animals Act in NSW to allow dogs indoors in pubs, subject to the permission of the proprietor.

“Dog-friendly pubs are a key ingredient of the charm and unique atmosphere of some of our pubs here in Sydney’s Inner West and in many other places in NSW too. We believe that there’s a strong argument for changing these restrictive laws to allow pub proprietors to have the right to welcome dogs into their establishments, as they can in the UK and parts of Europe." said Mr. Parker.
Photo (supplied) Credit: John Appleyard

"Australia is regarded as one of the strictest nations when it comes to accessibility for companion animals.Dog owners in many European countries are free to take their pets inside shops, cafes, restaurants and onto public transport.

Studies have shown that having dogs in areas where food or drinks are served poses no risk to human health. Pub owners should be able to decide for themselves whether allowing dogs in is right for their establishment and their customers. Some businesses may have a “no pets” policy; others may welcome well behaved dogs in public areas.

Since starting my investigation in March this year, I’ve received hundreds of responses and the vast majority of people are in favour of letting pubs decide if dogs can come in. In metropolitan areas like Sydney where people work long hours, they often don’t get the chance to walk their dogs daily. Being able to bring dogs into the local pub would enhance the quality of life not only for dog owners, but for dogs too.”


SYDNEY, 31 JULY 2017

Aussie pets fetch $2 billion in public healthcare savings
Dr Chris Brown calls for pet owner tax credit to stimulate further benefits

To help relieve the pain of ballooning healthcare budgets, well known veterinarian Dr Chris Brown is prescribing pets to Federal and State governments.

On the back of new data (1) released today showing that pet owners deliver a massive $2 billion in public healthcare savings across Australia, Dr Chris Brown is encouraging policymakers to consider tax rebates or offsets that encourage pet ownership to stimulate further savings.

While the individual health benefits of owning a pet are widely known, The Healthcare Economics of Pets (1) report determined that every pet owner saves the health system $700 per year (1) in reducing the number of doctor visits and associated health costs, such as fewer specialist appointments and hospital visits.

“This research is a wake-up call for policy makers to acknowledge the broader benefits of pet ownership, which even extend to the public purse. If our governments can recognise pet owners for making smart choices for their health through incentives like a tax rebate or offset, the return on investment could be huge,” said Dr Chris Brown.

The calculations are based on previous studies by academics at the University of Melbourne that showed pet owners visit the doctors 11% less than non-pet owners (2).

The economic projections indicate that if pet populations increased by 10% a year the public health system could stand to save over $200 million annually.

“This report shows that keeping Australia pet friendly is an issue of national importance. I hope the government can see the value in spending a little, to save a lot,” said Dr Chris Brown.


The Healthcare Economics of Pets was commissioned by Mars Petcare as part of the Keep Australia Pet Friendly campaign which Ambassador Dr Chris Brown has been championing since 2015. 

Dr Chris Brown has been working to highlight the many benefits of pet ownership with stakeholders, pet owners and policy makers to stress the need to build a more pet friendly nation into the future, focusing on accommodation, open spaces and transport as priorities.

John Bishop, Co-Founder and Joint CEO of national animal welfare charity PetRescue, has voiced his support for the proposal.

“We really need policies like this to encourage more Australians to discover the benefits, and the joy, of pet adoption. The fact that pet ownership also has such a huge positive impact on our economy, it makes me wonder why this hasn’t been implemented sooner. It's a win-win for both humans and the many thousands of pets looking for a new home,” said Mr Bishop. 


To find out more, please visit www.petpositives.com.au

References

1. Healthcare Economics of Pets. July 2017. Commissioned report by Blue Green Economics
2. Headey & Grabka 2007 Pets and Human Health in Germany and Australia: National Longitudinal Results. Social Indicators Research. Vol 80, No 2 pp. 297-311
3. Headey B (1998) health benefits and health cost savings due to pets: preliminary estimates from an Australian national survey. Social Indicators Research, 47, 233-243
4. Headey B, Na F and Zheng R (2008) Pet dogs benefit owners’ health: a natural experiment; in China. Social Indicators Research, 87(3), 481-493
5. Companion Animal Economics 2017. The Economic impact of companion animals in the UK. University of Lincoln


DECEMBER 12, 2016

Pampered Pet Spending Reaches $12.2 billion in Australia
Average household expenditure on pets is up by almost 30% in the past three years as owners increasingly treat them as part of the family.

A new report released by Animal Medicines Australia, Pet Ownership in Australia 2016, shows nearly two in three Australian households (62%) now own a pet and, while many pets arrive in the family home at no cost, expenditure on pet products and services has now topped $12 billion annually.

Animal Medicines Australia Executive Director Mr Ben Stapley said that keeping a pet dog is now costing on average $1,495 each year, including $622 annually on pet food, $397 on veterinary services, $248 on pet healthcare products and over $100 each on grooming, other products and accessories.

Dog owners spend almost twice as much as those with cats. Total spending in the pet industry ($12.2 billion) has increased by 42% over the figure in 2013.

“Most pet owners want to provide their pets with the best possible life, and are now spending more across an increasing range of pet supplies and services to keep them healthy and happy,” Mr Stapley said.

“There has been a shift away from bulk foods and supermarket shopping towards premium foods, with owners increasingly opting to shop for their pet needs at specialty pet superstores. “Pet treats and pet healthcare products are growing rapidly, while owners are also seeking out food products made with natural and organic ingredients.”

Demand for specialist and therapeutic foods is also growing. Expenditures on pet dietary supplements grew by 13% in 2015 and is likely to be one of the fastest-growing categories in pet care in the future based on the speed of its growth in the US.


When it comes to pet accessories such as toys, clothing, leads, bowls and carriers, the AMA reported Australians were spending almost $1.1 billion. And city households do most of that spending, three times more than their regional and rural counterparts.

Pet insurance has emerged as one of the fastest growing insurance categories and it is estimated that 5% of all Australian pets are insured (ahead of the 2% in the USA but well behind Britain's 25%, which is the highest in the world).
The report’s findings are based on a quantitative study of over 2,000 Australian households undertaken by Newgate Research on behalf of the AMA. Local and international data relating to expenditure has also been included.

Animal Medicines Australia is the peak body representing the leading animal health companies of Australia.
A fully copy of the report is available here.

OCTOBER 21, 2016

PIAA Industry Association Awards 2016

The Pet Industry Association Awards were presented at the Pet Expo held in Melbourne on the 20th and 21st October at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The following awards were nominated by members for excellence in their field over the past 12 months. And the winners were:

PIAA Pioneer Award - Jill Chancellor – Cooinda Cat Resort (VIC)
Kevin Pakes Perpetual Achievement Award - Paul Talbot – Majestic Aquariums (NSW)
PIAA Retailer of Excellence Award – Macarthur Pets (NSW)
PIAA Boarder/Doggy Day Care/Pet Sitter of Excellence Award – joint winners Hunter Pet Motel (NSW) and Dogs Country Club (VIC)
PIAA Dog Trainer of Excellence Award – Jordan Dog Training (QLD)
PIAA Breeder of Excellence Award – Cottage Canines (NSW)
PIAA Groomer of Excellence Award – Redgum Vet & Pet Boarding (SA)
PIAA Pet Services of Excellence Award – Zoohause (NSW)
PIAA Manufacturer/Supplier of Excellence Award – Petway Petcare (QLD)
PIAA Education Achievement Award – Pacific Pet Resort (NSW)




JULY 7, 2016


Compulsory desexing, microchipping of cats and dogs coming to SA
Compulsory microchipping and desexing of dogs and cats in South Australia will be in place by the end of the year after an amendment passed through State Parliament. The Government predicts the new laws will reduce the number of pets being euthanised.

The amendments to the Dog and Cat Management Act were discussed for many years and the latest amendment is based on the findings of a citizens' jury, which urged that more effort be made to reduce the number of animals put down annually.

Environment Minister Ian Hunter said about 10,000 animals are euthanased each year."From my perspective that's 10,000 too many," he said. "That means there's an issue with supply and clamping down on illegal puppy farmers is the first place for us to start."

There will be some exemptions for breeders, as well as security and working dogs. Mr Hunter said the Government would look at ways to lower the cost of microchipping. "We work with veterinarians and various animal agencies and we can actually microchip a large number at a very cheap cost," he said.

Dog and cat management board chairwoman Dr Felicity-Ann Lewis said the board was pleased with the amendments and they would not be retrospective.
"We are saying to people: Look, it's coming, so please get organised, do the right thing," she said. Local councils will have the responsibility to enforce the laws.

JUNE 9, 2016

NSW Pet Registration goes DIY and digital



From July 2016, breeders and pet owners will be able to go to petregistry.nsw.gov.au to register, pay, update their own details, and transfer pets to new owners.

Already microchipped?

Kittens and puppies in NSW must be microchipped and placed on the NSW Pet Registry by the time they reach 12 weeks of age, or prior to sale if that is earlier.

New pets should already be on the register under the previous owner or breeder’s name and profile. The owner or breeder can transfer the pet on the registry to the new owner’s contact number or email address.

Not microchipped?


If a pet is not microchipped, a local vet can do it. The vet will microchip it, and add the number to the NSW Pet Registry.

With the microchip number, new owners will then log in to petregistry.nsw.gov.au and locate their animal using the microchip number and their contact details. Owners can then create a profile, and connect themselves fully to their pet so that in the event it is lost or injured owners can be notified.

Once an owner has an online profile they can update their contact details themselves. Owners can also pay registration fees online, which are due by the time a pet is 6 months old.
Owners without computers can use a form to register their pet. These are available from local council.

Desexing


De-sexed pets will attract a greatly reduced registration fee. From 4 July 2016 a reduced registration fee will be available to owners who de-sex their cat before four months of age. A reduced fee applies if dogs are de-sexed before six months.

Pet owners are encouraged to de-sex dogs and cats at an early age because it helps to ensure pets stay healthy, are well behaved and do not have unwanted litters.

Vets will need to update the register when a pet is de-sexed. Vets can also update the Pet Registry if they believe that a pet should not be de-sexed for medical reasons.

This website will be available from July 2016. petregistry.nsw.gov.au


JUNE 8, 2016

Australian cities and towns need to be more inclusive of pets
For the first time in Australia’s history, pet populations are falling significantly. This is a serious problem because pets make us happier and healthier. (Pic: Bob Barker)
AUSTRALIA, we need to talk.
"If I’m honest, this has been coming for a while. But right now, I feel like we’re at a crossroads in our relationship. My biggest fear? That if we don’t speak up we might just lose our supposed best mates from our lives. Along with all the benefits this friendship brings.

I am, of course, talking about the hairiest and possibly happiest members of our community — our pets. The scruffy, slobbery and occasionally clumsy masters of unconditional love.

But here’s the issue. While our pets might love us, our cities’ attitudes to pets is often far from caring. Most of our cities and towns have now become so non-inclusive of pets that a simple walk is more akin to a stroll through a minefield of potential fines, infringements and criticism. Or they’re simply not welcome at all — there are entire suburbs that ban cat ownership.

And without someone speaking up, we might just regulate pets out of our lives. 
For the first time in Australia’s history, pet populations are falling significantly. In just 12 months, cat populations have declined by 200,000 and dog numbers have dropped by 100,000. When you compare us to other countries around the world where ownership is increasing, our decline stands out like a dog’s ... well, you know.

Research shows that having a pet in your home means children are less likely to catch colds, need antibiotics or develop asthma. And throughout life having a furry family member leads to more exercise, lower blood pressure, fewer visits to the doctor, ­better cardiovascular health and an easing of loneliness.

So not only do pets make great personal trainers, they are hairy health care professionals. Every day, I see how beneficial pets are for all kinds of people, on a ­physical, mental and emotional level. If we lose pets from our communities then the health cost to all of us could be huge.
Having pet-friendly places is one of the best ways to support pets and their owners.

But a study last year into the pet-friendliness of Australian cities produced worryingly low results across the board — and Sydney came in at the bottom. We might be a nation of pet lovers but our cities are certainly not very pet-friendly. The time has come in 2016 for Australia to catch up to the rest of the world.


Rather than focusing on potential problems of pets, nations throughout Europe and North America seem more willing to embrace all the positives they provide. Not only do pets have more exercise areas to let out that excess energy, they’re also ­accepted travel companions (on planes, trains and buses), dining companions (at ­restaurants and cafes) and even hotel guests.

They’ve made these changes and haven’t suffered with piles of poo or hurricanes of pet hair ruining their streets. That’s because owners feel the pressure to be responsible. More ­relaxed pet laws are seen as a privilege.
Most of our cities and towns have now become so non-inclusive of pets that a simple walk is more akin to a stroll through a minefield of potential fines, infringements and criticism. (Pic: Bob Barker)
Over the next six months, I will be reaching out to all Australians through social media, visiting communities of pet lovers and speaking to all levels of government to raise awareness of these issues to see what can be done.

As a start, we need more pet-­friendly rental properties, transport, cafes and outdoor spaces.
Let’s stand up for creatures that ­repeatedly stand up for us. We must act now or risk losing our best mates and all the benefits they bring forever.

So, together, let’s #keepauspetfriendly before it’s too late."


Originally published as Australia, we need to talk in the Herald Sun


JUNE 2, 2016

Dogs may have been domesticated more than once
For years, scientists have debated where dogs came from. Did wolves first forge their special relationship with humans in Europe, or in Asia? The answer, according to a new study, is yes. This week in Science, researchers report that genetic analysis of hundreds of canines reveals that dogs may have been domesticated twice, once in Asia and once in Europe or the Near East, although European ancestry has mostly vanished from today’s dogs.

The study includes a unique specimen: the inner ear bone of a nearly 5000-year-old dog unearthed from Newgrange, a football field–sized mound of dirt and stone on the east coast of Ireland, built around the time of Stonehenge.

The team then created a family tree for the animals, which revealed a deep divide between European dogs (like the Newgrange canine and the Golden Retriever) and Asian dogs (like the Shar Pei and free-ranging village dogs from Tibet and Vietnam.

The data suggest that the East-West split happened sometime between 6400 and 14,000 years ago. Humans domesticated dogs in Asia more than 14,000 years ago, and a small subset of these animals eventually migrated west through Eurasia, probably with people.

But here’s the twist: Archaeologists previously had found the remains of dogs in Germany that may be more than 16,000 years old, suggesting that dogs had already been domesticated in Europe by the time the Asian canines got there. (...)

There’s still work to do: In a release, the team says that they plan to put their theory to the test by analysing thousands of ancient dogs and wolves. If their theory holds, it would rewrite the story of how our beloved pets came to be.


For the full article by David Grimm in the journal Science, please read bit.ly/21408w9

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