Paws Up

This week 21-27 May is National Volunteer Week and what better time to say THANK YOU to all our dedicated and hard working volunteers who make what we do possible.

Cat Vollie (2)

You may have helped out once as part of your workplace giving program or you may be one of our dedicated regulars, on behalf of all the BAWCS shelter and sanctuary animals, we thank you for helping to make a difference!

While you definitely get your hands dirty caring for animals, it is such a rewarding experience. In the spirit of this years theme…Give a little. Change a lot….why not check out our Volunteer page and find out how you can get involved.

 


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Earlier this year, BAWCS was delighted to receive a Victorian State Government grant to allow us to run our 2017 Feline Desexing Program. The program was made available to concession card holders, who otherwise would not have been able to afford it.

We had an overwhelming response to the launch of our program and it has been a great success. Just over 100 cats were not only desexed, but the majority of those were also given a free vaccination and microchip as part of our program.

The funding for this program also allowed us to provide an Education kit, covering information and advice on keeping a happy indoor cat, addressing common issues and options for providing a safe and secure outdoor space.

Not only are all of these cats now healthier but they will also no longer be able to contribute to the huge amount of unwanted kittens born every year.

A huge shout out to Kangaroo Flat Veterinary Clinic, who partnered with us to deliver this program and of course the Victorian State Government for providing the funding support for this important work.

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Whipper

You just never know what the next phone call is going to bring. One month ago, we received a call for help from a compassionate lady whose gardener had unknowingly made contact with four tiny kits while whipper snipping. One of the kits had a bloody ear and leg but thankfully it looked like the 3 litter mates had narrowly escaped injury. Even with healthy orphan kittens, at just a couple of weeks old and being so fragile, we knew the road ahead was going to be long.

Our vet confirmed that “Whipper” had lost 2 of her tiny little toes, part of her ear and had a fractured leg. With medication and a splint placed on her leg to support the healing process, she became stronger. Her fighting spirit was clear as her little red leg did not slow her down.

The following couple of weeks were not without worry. With around the clock bottle feeds, they were drinking well until another of the kittens became quite unwell and was rushed to the vet late one night.

She was not looking good and we feared that she may not be strong enough to pull through. At this time we named the little one Amara. It has many beautiful meanings, one of those meaning “Immortal”. After a stay at the vet on fluids and anti-biotics, she began to improve. Following a course of anti-biotics and lots of love and care, she has grown into one of the largest of the litter.

Willy and Stormy have big shoes to fill, being named after two very special cats that have now passed.  Stormy struggled a little early on, while Willy has remained the champion drinker and eater from day one to hold his title of the biggest of the litter. All four have now moved from their milk formula to kitten mousse. They are still getting used to the baby cat dry food but are growing bigger every day!

It has been a month of highs and lows, watching our “Orphan Foursome” overcome challenges and continue to grow. They touch our hearts with their little paws every day.

We can only make a difference to little lives such as these, with the support of compassionate people like you. If you would like to help support the cost of their emergency veterinary bill, kitten mousse and baby cat dry food, please make a donation to our Whipper Kits Appeal.

Thank you to McIvor Road Vet Centre for giving these little ones such great care attending to ‘Whipper’s” injuries and providing emergency care and medication when they have been sick.

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willy on chair

For almost 3 years, our precious senior boy Willy has been living with cancer. With regular chemotherapy and medication to help his appetite, there were times that he was doing so well that we began to imagine (and hope against all odds) that by some miracle he no longer had cancer. Each time we thought his time was close, he would surprise us all.

His previously quiet and timid nature began to change as he became unwell. You would never know on meeting him, that this affectionate and attention loving cat was ever anything different. It has been heart-warming to see him become so content with human company. Many of our visitors have been greeted with Willy in our reception and all of our volunteers know how much he loves a lap to lay on and lots of pats.

Willy & Melina

Willy has had a number of dietary changes to suit his taste and assist with weight gain. His cat mates Socks and Melina were more than happy to share their food in return for his company. Sometimes, the sharing also extended to sharing a cosy bed.

We’ve had almost 3 years to prepare for his goodbye ….but it didn’t make it any easier.

The time came that his body could no longer fight this horrible disease. It was heartbreaking to say goodbye but we couldn’t have asked for any more from this beautiful boy. We will miss you sitting on our paperwork and purring on our laps. Forever in our hearts, Willy will be missed by so many.

BAWCS ‘caring with compassion’


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Following the construction of our new barn, Phase Two of our Build A Barn project is finally underway! BAWCS has received a very generous helping hand from our latest sponsor Champion Stable Systems with the supply and installation of two shiny new stables in our barn.

We are so grateful for this support which will not only allow us to provide extra care and comfort for our resident horses but also any of our other residents or newcomers that need a little extra care in an indoor environment for recovery.

We can’t wait to start using our stables which are extremely well built and of high quality. We were so impressed that each stable came complete with a sturdy feed trough, automatic drinker and hay feeder.

A HUGE thank you to Champion Stable Systems for your generous sponsorship and a special mention to Glen for choosing BAWCS to support and to Roger for his fantastic customer service! Want to know more about Champion Stable Systems? Check out their website here and tell them BAWCS sent you!

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Would you jump into the Yarra River for a good cause?

On Sunday 12th March, Moomba’s brave Birdman Rally participants will take the leap for charity, as part of the annual Moomba Festival. For the first time ever, BAWCS is being represented!

Stef
BAWCS Volunteer Stef and Miss Kitty

Only 12 entrants were selected to take the plunge into the Yarra River on the day, which includes one of our very dedicated volunteers. Stef is all set to make a splash with her homemade wings, to raise much needed funds for BAWCS.

Stef has been volunteering in our Adoption Cattery for 2 years and has helped play an important role in keeping our cattery areas clean and our many felines happy and healthy. Without people who are willing to give their time, we would not be able to change the lives of the many animals that come into our care.

We are chuffed to be part of this great event and wish Stef all the best as she plunges into the Yarra.

Like to show your support for Stef and help BAWCS continue to care for animals in need?

You don’t have to jump into the Yarra, just click here to make a donation. (No splash required)

Click here for more information on the Birdman Rally.


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vet-exam-area

vic_gov_logo_black_-_state_government-003We are so excited to announce that the construction of our new BAWCS vet building is now complete, thanks to the State Government Animal Welfare Fund grant that we received earlier this year.

The project would not have been possible without the funding, which has enabled us to build a dedicated veterinary care building and to upgrade part of our existing facilities to include heating/cooling, repainting and new flooring.

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Framing of the new vet building
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During construction of the new vet building

The new building will allow for visiting veterinarians to assess and treat animals onsite, minimising stress on animals and reducing travel time for our volunteers.

We are now better equipped to care for sick animals with a specific isolation area and greater capacity to care for animals in need, including those in emergency situations.

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Vet cages in the new building

We look forward to expanding on our  work assisting disadvantaged pet owners with plans for our new facility to provide these clients with vaccination, microchipping and desexing of their pets at a reduced cost.


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pepper1

This week is the Victorian Seniors Festival and while we recognise the wonderful seniors in our community, what better time to celebrate our senior pets who are waiting for a home!

Adopting a senior pet is a rewarding and heart warming experience. Not only will you make a difference in the life of the pet you choose but it is guaranteed to change your life too!

One of our special seniors awaiting a loving home, is our beautiful PEPPER! This sprightly senior is the most affectionate girl who just wants to be close to her “person’. She is quite a chatty girl, so she would be the perfect companion cat. She enjoys the occasional play but most of all she would love nothing more then spending the afternoon curled up on your lap.

For further details on how you can adopt Pepper or one of our many other senior pets, check out our Animals Available for Adoption.


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BIG GIVE Central Victoria Campaign has launched today!

Big Give is a community fundraising campaign to support local groups and is all about “giving where you live”. BAWCS has jumped on board with our Build a Barn for BAWCS fundraiser. We have already secured $15,000 towards our project and are hoping with your support, we will be able to raise the rest of the funds needed. The campaign will be open for the next month in the lead up to the official Big Give day on September 1st.

If you’d like to help injured, sick and abandoned farm animals, you can support our campaign here.


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Dog Walking

It’s National Volunteer Week from 9-15 May and all of the BAWCS animals want to say THANK YOU!

BAWCS is currently ENTIRELY volunteer run and rely on the dedication of our volunteers, whether it be at our shelter looking after our cats, dogs and farm animals or fostering, dog walking, admin support, fundraising or transporting animals. We would like to say “Thank You” to each and every one of you for generously giving your time. You ALL contribute to helping so many animals in need and we couldn’t do it without you!

Would YOU like to be a part of our great team? Check out our Volunteer page for further details.

Volunteer transporting dog

Cattery Volunteer


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Farewell Tuppy

Those big round eyes captured our hearts from the moment Tuppence arrived. This sweet girl has had her health challenges but we vowed never give up on her until she let us know it was time…and that she did. It is with a very heavy heart that we let you know Tuppence has been given her wings.

One of our palliative care cats, Tuppy was recently placed into permanent foster care. We knew she wasn’t destined to be around for years but we were shocked when the day came so soon. Our heartfelt thanks to Brooke and Shane who took Tuppy into their home and their hearts. It brought us much joy hearing how happy she was in those final weeks, sleeping on your bed and following you around the house. We feel their pain as their hearts are now broken. Fly free sweet Tuppy, we will all miss you so much.

You can read Tuppy’s story here


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Glynn Happy Aus Day phantom and friends phantom naughty Phantom pics Phantom pics2 Phantom Australia day Phantom enjoying attention Oz day 5 Phantom and friend2 Phantom and friend Margaret raffle winner

BAWCS had a great day at the recent Australia Day Celebrations at Lake Weeroona, organised by the Rotary Club of Bendigo Sandhurst. With over 140 market stalls and free entertainment, crowds of people took advantage of this great event and the equally great weather!

Our star attraction was Phantom, our 19 year old miniature horse, who had an early start being loaded into the float and safely transported to the lake by our friends Ian and Ester from Horse and Country Bendigo. Phantom was set up lakeside with lots of visitors to charm. You would never know this was only his second public event and what a star he was!

Many people lined up to participate in our “Photo with Phantom” fundraiser with our Photographer Glynn Jarrett, who donated his time on the day. Together with his lovely wife Margaret, providing professional photo’s with Phantom to raise much needed funds for BAWCS. Glynn worked tirelessly to get the right shots and customers were able to walk away with a USB of photos or have them emailed to them the next day.

Thank you to everyone who visited our fundraising stall, to those who bought raffle tickets and those of you who purchased a Farm Friends Sponsorship (Phantom being the most popular on the day). It is only with the support of the community and compassionate people that we can continue to help the many animals that come into our care.

Thank you to all our volunteers on the day who made this possible and Ian and Ester from Horse and Country Bendigo, who once again transported our precious Phantom to and from the venue. Like to know more about Phantom, our star of the day? Check out his story here.

 


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April waiting for swim

1. NEVER leave your pets in the car on a warm day. The reality is pets die in hot cars! Please don’t take the risk, as it may cost them their life. If you can’t take them with you where you are going, leave your pets at home. Don’t leave pets confined in rooms or garages that have no ventilation or air conditioning. With no airflow, confined spaces can heat up quickly.

2. CHILL OUT! On hot days, limit outside activity or play to avoid heat exhaustion and keep them calm. If you’re going to walk your pooch, make sure it’s early in the morning or in the evening after sun set. If it’s too hot to walk bare feet, then it will be too hot for the pads of their paws.

3. BE PREPARED. If you do have to take your pet with you on a hot day, keep them in the shade, take a water bottle/bowl with you and a misting spray to keep them cool.

4. WATER, WATER, WATER! Avoid dehydration by providing extra water bowls with a heavy base to avoid spilling, and place them out of direct sunlight. Pop in some ice cubes to keep the water cool. Feed your rabbits small pieces of water rich fruit/veg like apple which will keep them hydrated (avoid the seeds).

5. BRING THEM INSIDE! Take extra care with small pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs & birds, specific breeds (short noses) that are susceptible to heat, elderly or young, overweight or unwell pets. If possible, keep them out of the heat and in air-conditioned rooms. Many pets will choose to lay on naturally cool surfaces such as your tiled kitchen floor.

6. FROZEN WATER BOTTLES! It’s free and easy to freeze water in used soft drink bottles which can be placed in different spots for your pets to lean against.

7. GROOMING your pets to ensure there is no loose or matted fur will help prevent overheating.

8. WET TOWELS can be placed over outdoor pet enclosures, used to wipe down cats and placed for pets to lay on.

9. CLAM SHELL POOLS for your pooch. The BAWCS doggies love them!

10. CHANGE THEIR BEDDING. When you pack away your winter doona, don’t forget to do the same for your pets. Use elevated beds for dogs to allow airflow. Your kitty might love her fluffy blanket in winter but when the heat hits, making a change to a cotton sheet will keep her cooler.

11. DON’T FORGET your larger pets such as horses, will need access to shade and extra water too. You may be surprised how much they can drink on a hot day.

Buns with frozen water
BAWCS bunnies love their frozen water bottles
April in clam pool
April enjoying her clam shell pool

 

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Bear, Pip and Jiffy were born in BAWCS care. We opened our doors (and our hearts) to their young mum “Caitness”, who was living on a farming property, heavily pregnant and unwanted. The next day, 3 beautiful little champagne kittens were born. Bear, Pip and Jiffy have grown into the cutest and funniest little kittens and are now ready to find loving homes!

Caitness and kits
Caitness feeding her bubs Bear, Pip and Jiffy
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As another year passes, we look back on all the lives we’ve been able to change in 2015 because of YOU! A huge THANK YOU to all of our dedicated volunteers, donors, sponsors, foster carers, business partners and adopters….we could not have done it without you!

We wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR and look forward to continuing our work in 2016 saving more lives and caring for the vulnerable.

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Tuppence

It is with sadness we advise that we have finally received the results of tests undertaken on Tuppence that recently indicated something was not quite right. The high white cell count cannot be accounted for (the urine culture was clear) so it is feared that our sweet princess may have cancer. This means she is not a candidate for the Radioactive Iodine Therapy we had planned to cure her Hyperthyroidism.

Tuppence will now join our palliative care cats. We will continue to monitor her health and do whatever is required for her to be happy and comfortable.

For everyone that had donated to her thyroid treatment, please contact us if you would like a refund of your donation, otherwise we will put the funds raised to her ongoing palliative care, including her thyroid medication. Please note: we were unable to get the results of pre treatment tests prior to raising the funds as the tests have to be undertaken one week prior to Tuppence being admitted for the treatment.

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Phantom feature image phantom festival Skeeter

With the clip clop of little hooves and a neigh to announce his arrival, Phantom made his debut at the Vegecareian Festival yesterday.

The yearly event held at the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion attracts crowds from all around the Bendigo region, many of whom met Phantom at our stall yesterday.

Phantom is an 18 year old Falabella (miniature horse) who is a permanent resident at the BAWCS shelter and part of our Farm Friends Sponsorship program.

With his calm nature and small stature, he proved to be quite a popular boy with many people keen to have a pat or share a photo with him.

Later in the day, he even lined up to participate in the Animal Blessings where he was happy to take the spotlight and charm everyone he met along the way.

Skeeter
Skeeter (previously adopted BAWCS dog) stopped by to say hello

Thank you to everyone who visited our stall and made a purchase or donation. It is only with the support of the community that we can continue our work.

Ian and Ester
Thank you to Horse and Country Bendigo for providing Phantom’s transport

A huge thank you must also go to Ian and Ester from Horse and Country Bendigo for kindly donating use of their float for the day and safely transporting Phantom to and from the festival.

We look forward to next year’s event, where Phantom will be no doubt make many more friends!

If you would like to become Phantom’s Farm Friend Sponsor, click here


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Marvel Adopted

Almost a month ago, a very special match was made with our beautiful Marvel. Such a gentle soul, who had been in BAWCS care for some time and was loved by all of our volunteers. It warmed our hearts when we received this lovely update from Marvel’s new “mum”, and we just had to share…

Thought Tony and I would send through an email letting you know how Marvel is settling in. Marvel is absolutely adorable and we love him to bits. He has settled in really well and seems to think he’s boss…lol!

Marvel stretched out

He is very well toilet trained, no mishaps whatsoever and loves his tucker both wet and dry food and has his daily routine down pat….or should I say we have his daily routine down pat…like I said he thinks he’s boss 😉

Marvel loves his smooches, snuggles, pats and kisses with both Tony and I and distributes them differently with the two of us.

At night when it’s bed time, he snuggles right in with Tony and I on our bed, on our pillows behind our heads, at the foot of the bed or anywhere on there he feels comfortable. We often wake up at night and he’s on our pillow next to us looking at us, then he makes sure we’re okay and settles back in and starts purring all over again….until we move our tootsies and he’s up for a play 😉

He has started to become more adventurous within our home and looking into places he hasn’t yet gone. He knows exactly where his food is kept and even when Tony and I are in the backyard he is often at the sliding door watching and staying close.

marvel beautiful boyHe has found ‘his spot’ on the couch, on our laps, on the dining room chairs, on our bed, on the floor and has just started approaching his scratching post without as much fear.

Oh and he loves, loves playing with his toy mice and adores shoe laces.

The kids love him to bits and he is not so shy with them as he was when we first brought him home.

Tony and I just laugh at all the fun and cute little things he gets up to, even his cantankerous mood and crankiness at times.

We are so grateful for our furry feline child in ways I can’t describe and Marvel means the world to both Tony and I.
One thing I am so thankful for is BAWCS no kill policy because we would not have Marvel if that was the case seeing as he was a BAWCS resident for 2 years. How no-one snapped him up before us is unbelievable however he was waiting for the right family to come along and take him home and love and spoil him rotten, which Tony and I do without hesitation.

Marvel has started snuggling with one of his toy mice attached to a shoelace of a night time. If you look closely at his photo, the toy mouse is under his cute little head.Marvel and his toy mouse
Before I sign off…this kitty loves TV…he sits there watching it with us…he sure is lovable.

Until next time…love Marvel, Tony and Christine x

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Rusty was a pretty sad sight when he first arrived into BAWCS care, with a large open wound on his head and a damaged eye. While he was happy to have a loving pat and keen to get some attention, it was obvious this poor boy was in pain. As fate would have it, he had found himself at Central Victoria’s only “No Kill” shelter and he was in safe hands. He was immediately taken to our vet who suspected the head wound was an abscess which had been untreated. The eye had a very painful and deep seated ulcer, leaving the only option to remove the eye. A blood test also revealed a further challenge, he was FIV positive.

FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) is a feline disease which weakens the immune system and is most commonly spread through deep bite wounds that usually occur outdoors during aggressive cat fights.

Rusty underwent surgery to remove his damaged eye and repair his head wound. A flap of skin was stitched over the wound on his head but it was unknown if this would be successful given the size of the area. Rusty came through the surgery well however he was left with quite a few stitches and a drainage tube.

Rusty with drainage tube
Rusty post surgery with drainage tube and stitches

A return visit to the vet confirmed that the skin flap hadn’t worked but the skin around the area appeared to be healing. A second surgery was undertaken and this time the stitches held and over time, the wound healed and revealed a very playful and vibrant young cat.

It was a long road of recovery for Rusty, but we never doubted that the process would be worth it…and he reminds us every day! Rusty is currently sharing with our group of “office cats” at the BAWCS Shelter, where he entertains us with his antics, sometimes his playfulness proving to be a little too much for the more mature “Pumpkin”.

Rusty Feb 2015
Rusty ready for adoption!

Rusty is available for adoption now and ready to start his new life. If you would be interested in adopting this special boy, you can view his profile here.

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Knitted Beasties Back Group Banner

Have you visited our NEW online shop, featuring our Hand Knitted Beasties?

Whether you’re looking for a unique gift or a special friend for yourself, BAWCS Beasties are exclusive to BAWCS and have been lovingly hand made by our skilled volunteers in Bendigo, Victoria. Just like the animals in our care, each Beastie is unique, and you’ll be helping to support Central Victoria’s Only “NO KILL” Shelter.

Here at BAWCS, we have no paid staff, just passionate volunteers who care about animals. This means that your purchase price goes directly to feeding and caring for the unwanted, sick and injured animals in our care.

Why not give a home to a BAWCS Beastie today?

Knitted Beasties Group Banner

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Mogg

Late last year a very special girl came into our lives. Our sweet Mogg, with her endearing little half ear and cute little kitty chirps. Originally, a “community cat”, a change of circumstances meant her future was uncertain as the care she had been receiving was not going to be available any longer.

She immediately won us over with her beautiful nature and we wanted to find her the home she deserved…but we didn’t get the chance.

On arrival into care, our hearts sank as we immediately noticed a very large mammary tumor and we held our breath when she went into surgery to have it removed. Our worst fears were realised when she was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer. Mogg recovered well from the surgery and she joined our ‘palliative care’ family of cats with the word put out for a long term foster carer to take her on.

Whilst we waited for that special home, another two lumps became evident and they were very different to the original one so we decided again to have these removed given Mogg had recovered very well from her previous surgery, and sure enough, she came through with flying colours again.

We knew her time was limited however we weren’t expecting such a rapid deterioration after the last surgery. It is with a very heavy heart and many tears that we must now let you know she has lost her battle.

Over the last week she had started to decline and her little chirps became less frequent and after finishing a course of antibiotics and pain relief for an infection, we knew the end was coming closer.

Once she became unable to eat and developed difficulties with her breathing, the time to end her suffering was upon us and whilst heartbreaking, we knew we had to let her go. Right by her side, whispering comforting words and telling her how much we loved her, Mogg was given her wings and she is now flying pain free, another Angel at the Rainbow Bridge.

Although, we didn’t get the chance to find her that loving home, we hope the love we felt for her and the care we had shown her was enough for this beautiful girl who will always be remembered by the many that were touched by her.
R.I.P sweet Mogg.


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Back in February this year, we received a call for help from a local trailer business, after they discovered four tiny kittens hidden inside a camper trailer which had been delivered from their Melbourne warehouse.

Beauty on arrival
Beauty on arrival at BAWCS shelter

At just 2 weeks of age and without their mother, they were in desperate need of help to survive, so BAWCS stepped in to take care of them. We were handed a box with four hungry little kittens huddled together and headed back to our shelter, with the promise to give them the life they deserve.

Nat feeding Bindi
Adoption Cattery volunteer Natalie trying her hand at bottle feeding Bindi

As with all babies, they initially needed around the clock bottle feeds. A task which was no easy feat with four hungry, loud and demanding little mouths to feed! At such a young age (and without their mothers care) we were reminded how fragile their little lives are, when Neo fell ill in the early hours one morning. With his tiny little body limp and falling in and out of consciousness, it was a much panicked drive to the vet at 3am! After not responding to the initial treatment, it was thought that he might not make it through the night.

Miraculously, after continued treatment with antibiotics for a suspected infection, we were so relieved to hear he was back to himself later in the day and charming the clinic staff with his cuteness!

Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty

Over time, they were weaned off the bottle and with lots of love and patience, we have watched them slowly grow to become playful and affectionate little kittens which have left tiny little paw prints on our hearts.

After having been fully vet worked, we are thrilled to have found a permanent home for Neo. Our remaining three “trailer kits” Beauty, Melody and Bindi are available for adoption and we look forward to finding them homes to begin their new lives.

Neo
Neo ready to head off to start his new life!
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Truffelina and Porcini meet Truffelina Cute Truffelina and chicken Regina Truffelina 2 Porcini foraging Porcini and Truffelina Porcini

.…you’d be smitten without a doubt! When our piglet Truffelina recently arrived at the BAWCS Shelter, we were instantly in love with this special little girl.

Originally living on a farm, her owners relocated and Truffelina’s future was looking very bleak! A compassionate friend took her in temporarily, realising that her residential property was not the ideal environment and contacted BAWCS in the hope of finding a permanent home for her.

Liz and Truffles
Volunteer Liz helping Truffelina to feel comfortable with her carers

On arrival at the shelter, it was quite clear that she was not comfortable with human interaction but with patience and care, we are slowly gaining her trust.

She is very inquisitive and has an obsession with chewing on her carers shoes and untying the laces. It was an exciting step when she recently rolled over for tummy rubs, a true sign of her trust growing for her human carers!

Like all pigs, Truffelina is keen to explore. Their flat snouts are ideal for digging up the ground, one of their many natural instincts, which are denied to pigs being housed in intensive farming environments.

Sadly, piglets raised in commercial piggeries do not have the same rights to life as Truffelina. We encourage you to learn more here http://www.aussiefarms.org.au/ and please choose compassionately when shopping.

Truffelina is fortunate as she has a safe future ahead of her as a permanent resident in our Farm Friends Program, where we can watch her grow and live a happy (and long) life that she deserves.

If you’d like to be friends with Truffelina then why not become a Farm Friends Sponsor?


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Abbey and Bella feeding

Who has lovely long lashes and pokes out their tongue when they’re hungry?

Abbey and Bella of course! And these girls sure have won our hearts since we were asked to take on two “bobby calves” late last year.

The term “bobby calves” refers to newborn calves that are less than 30 days old, which have been separated from their mothers. The majority of calves (female) are not required to replenish the milking herd, and along with all bull calves (males), are considered “wastage” by the dairy industry.
Every year in Australia, approx. 400,000 bobby calves are slaughtered.

For cows to continue to produce milk, they have to give birth to a calf every year! Without human intervention, calves would suckle from their mother for months and like any mother, they have a strong maternal bond. Under constant pressure for every dairy cow to produce more and more milk, calves are taken from their mothers within a day of birth. You can imagine the stress this separation can cause to both mother and calf but remember the mother cow is subjected to this practice repeatedly. At just five days old, the babies can be legally transported to abattoirs and sale yards. At such a young age, they can be difficult to move which increases their risk of injury.

Nick feeding Abbey
Volunteer Nick bottle feeding Abbey

Many people have visions of dairy cows living idyllic lives in the country side, and the belief that they naturally produce enough milk to provide for both human consumption and their baby. In reality, the dairy cow is subjected to a continuous cycle of calving, milking and impregnation.

With more people choosing to buy cruelty free and the increase in allergies and intolerance’s, there are now many alternatives to dairy products. The supermarket shelves are brimming with healthy milk choices including soy, coconut, rice and almond. You might even be surprised to know that some of the alternatives are actually higher in calcium then cow’s milk so it’s worth doing your research.

No cow in either the dairy or beef industry, live out their natural lives of 20 to 25 years however, unlike the thousands of babies considered “wastage” by the dairy industry each year, Abbey and Bella will remain safe with us at the BAWCS Shelter for the entirety of their lives.

If you would like to help give them the life they deserve, why not become their Farm Friends Sponsor?


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Willy diagnosed 2

After noticing that Willy had lost weight, it was off to the vet for a health check. A blood test was taken and it was suspected to be Pancreatitis. He began to respond well to medication and a change of diet but he suddenly dropped weight again and stopped eating.

So, he once again returned to the vet but this time for a few days while they undertook further tests. He seemed to be bright but was only eating a tiny amount, not nearly enough to sustain him.

He was still not a well boy so it was decided to go ahead with exploratory surgery and a feeding tube was inserted.

Once he recovered from the surgery and started to eat small amounts again, we were able to bring him back to our shelter and await the results of the surgery.

The question which had been on our minds was finally answered ….Willy has cancer.

This beautiful boy came into our care as a teenager back in 2005 and we have come to know him well. He has a quieter personality but is always eager to get your attention. He enjoys the company of other cats and has a protective streak, often taking younger cats under his wing (or should we say paw).

Just as we made the commitment to care for him when he came into our lives those many years ago, we will continue to do so. Willy will now join our growing number of palliative care cats and take up residence with Socks, as another “office cat”, getting lots of love and attention from all of our volunteers and visitors.

After Willy’s stitches have been removed from his surgery, treatment options will be discussed with our vet however if it impacts on his quality of life, we will not be going ahead. Our main focus is for Willy to remain happy and comfortable.

If you would like to help support Willy’s ongoing veterinary care and special dietary requirements, then why not become a Special Needs Cat Sponsor?

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basil lipoma

For most people, the thought of having to surrender their beloved pet is heartbreaking. For many people in palliative care, they have to make that decision to leave their best friends behind….and this is how Basil, our placid champagne senior, came into our care. With a bond formed over 12 years, his “Mum” entrusted her precious boy into BAWCS care and we gladly accepted him, bump and all.

Basil recovery
Basil after surgery, with his drainage tube still in

On first glance, you could have been mistaken for thinking Basil was huge…before realising that something was not right! He had a large tumor growing on the left side of his body and although he appeared to have adapted to having this growth attached, it was obvious he would be more comfortable without the “bump”.

As with all surgery, and particularly at 12 years of age, there were risks involved but the blood work determined he had a good chance and we knew he would have a better quality of life with the tumor removed so the decision was made to go ahead with the operation.

After a nervous wait, we got the call saying the surgery was a success and the 1kg lipoma (non-cancerous fatty lump) had been removed. Sue and the team at McIvor Rd Veterinary Centre took such great care of him and he was back at the BAWCS shelter in no time!

Sadly, Basil’s mum has since passed away but she can rest peacefully in the knowledge that her beloved Basil will still live on happily in BAWCS care, until we can find a permanent lap for him to curl up on.

With the stitches long since been removed and his fur slowly growing back, Basil is a handsome (and somewhat lighter) boy! He’s still getting used to his new found agility and hasn’t quite realised he can jump up on your lap himself…or does he just have us wrapped around his clever little paw?

basil sleeping
Basil can finally sleep comfortably on his side!
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Tux Christmas Appeal

After months in the making, our new website is finally up and running….Just in time for the launch of our BAWCS Christmas Appeal!

With so many mini mouths to feed with our kittens growing strong and with some challenging new arrivals requiring surgery, we need your support now more then ever.

Would you like to help Central Victoria’s only “No Kill” Shelter continue to save animals over Christmas and into 2015?

Make a difference this Christmas and head over to the Make a Donation page where you can make a tax deductible donation via direct deposit, PayPal or credit card. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

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