It’s certainly starting to get chilly at night!

Here are some great tips for keeping your dogs warm.

  1. The best one of course is to have them inside with you to enjoy the warmth your family is experiencing. They are family members after all.
  2. Coats. If your dog is going to be spending the night outside, and in particular if they are a short coat breed, invest in a good quality and correct fitting coat. Make sure it is not too tight so your dog can still curl up.
  3. Shelter. For dogs that have to spend time outside during the day (and night) it is important they have shelter preferably under a patio and with a kennel which is placed close to a main human entry/exit point of the house and 2. off the ground to avoid drafts.
  4. Ensure there are plenty of clean blankets to snuggle into in their kennels.
  5. If you regularly groom, allow coats to grow a little longer for added warmth but not too long that fur becomes matted or causes an issue with not being able to dry your dog properly if they become wet whilst out on a walk.
  6. During the colder months pets need more energy to keep themselves warm so feed the main meal in the evening.

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THIS is Dakota. She has quite the history with BAWCS Shelter.

This beautiful girl came into BAWCS care as part of a litter of puppies in 2012. You can see her ‘baby’ photo here. Camille was first adopted at 11 weeks of age to a young couple who called her Dakota.

In June 2017 Dakota was surrendered back to BAWCS Shelter due to a marriage breakdown. She ended up with the husband but he was unable to manage Dakota’s separation anxiety issues. BAWCS Shelter was glad to have Dakota back and our dog trainer Sahil from Elite Canines Training stepped in to work with Dakota and better understand her so we could make sure the next home would be hopefully a forever one.

It does take a toll on dogs to be adopted then returned so BAWCS takes a second rehoming with even more care, even holding the dog if needed.

In August 2018, we thought we had found the perfect home for Dakota. She went ‘on trial’ and Sahil worked with the family ensuring they knew she would need to be an indoor / crated dog when no one was home, otherwise she would escape if left in their backyard.

Unfortunately, circumstances changed and Dakota did end up escaping from a backyard and was hit by a car, which resulted in having her leg amputated.

Dakota’s family moved her in with another family member who was at home most of the time and she managed well, enjoying her time whilst there was someone around. However, the family member had to move and could not take Dakota with him so she was once again returned to the original family members. The home environment did not allow for her to be kept secure so Dakota ended up once again in a situation where she was not safe.

BAWCS Shelter was contacted and we immediately said we would take her back.

Since being back, she’s been health checked which determined she needed a dental (now done) and she has been started on medication to address anxiety. Photos are of her recovering at Bendigo Pet Vets – Mobile Veterinary Clinic and the teeth that were removed.


She’s bunking in with Harrison and doing well. Tonight we are listing her for adoption but we are wanting her to be on the medication for at least 6 weeks (for it to kick in) and two weeks have passed so far.

Our beautiful girl is now 10 years old and she has ‘frosting’ on her eyebrows and muzzle. We are determined to make sure her third home is her ‘forever’ one.

Check out Dakota’s profile here.
Microchip #956000008838988 Source # BR101543

BAWCS ‘caring with compassion’

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SOMETIMES when doing a trapping Program BAWCS comes across very challenged cats.

This sweetheart has been immediately started on antibiotics and is being fed a highly nutritious diet to put on much needed weight prior to being desexed.

BAWCS is hopeful for a speedy recovery for this cat to enable a return home asap.

BAWCS ‘caring with compassion’

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DID you know…

BAWCS operates a “no kill” animal shelter, which means animals that come into our care remain safe regardless of whether they are adoptable or not. Reasons for not being available to adopt can vary but generally it is due to age / health related issues.

For April, it is due to her unpredictable behaviour around other dogs.

Her story here : April came into BAWCS Shelter care back in 2014. She was originally known as Marley and ended up on a ‘kill list’ after being transferred from a Council who contracted the ‘high kill’ Shelter for their Pound services.

Offered to ‘rescue’ (by Council) BAWCS Shelter took Marley on and started our own assessment / training to get a better idea of what she was like and to determine suitability for rehoming. Over the course of this training, and a name change to April, we discovered April was unpredictable with her behaviour with other dogs. This would make it challenging to safely rehome her so our Committee decided she would be best to stay as a permanent resident with our Shelter where she would not be put in situations that could bring out a negative reaction leading to her life being put in danger.

April’s home is with our Shelter Caretaker area and she enjoys all the amenities our other dogs enjoy including the large outdoor exercise areas. Whilst she sees other dogs and can interact safely through fence lines, she doesn’t have direct access to other dogs.

If you’d like to sponsor April, your sponsorship will support ongoing care for her including environmental enrichment (she loves toys!), tasty food, treats and veterinary care as required. To date she has remained very healthy despite her now advancing years!

Sponsorship also entitles you to join BAWCS private Facebook Page BAWCS Shelter and Sanctuary sponsors where we post exclusive updates on how your sponsee is going.
Like to sponsor April? For only $50 a year (and can be just a one off) you’ll receive a great fridge magnet and be invited to join BAWCS Shelter and Sanctuary private FB group where we post exclusive updates on our sponsees.

BAWCS ‘caring with compassion’

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Merry Christmas to all BAWCS Shelter and Sanctuary supporters!

6 YEARS ago, BAWCS Shelter became aware of a cat who was in quite a bad way.

A kind person saw him and acted, trapping this timid boy and bringing him to our Shelter, knowing he would be safe regardless of his temperament, health etc.

What a sad and sorry sight he was after having lived on the streets for many years, Blizzard is our ‘feature’ cat for our Christmas Fundraiser this year.

ALOT of time was spent with Blizzard, gaining his trust which had been lost a long time ago when humans had let him down.

Patience rewarded with a now very happy and trusting boy who remains a permanent resident with us given his FIV status and because we don’t want him separated from his best bud Little Legs who has spina bifida.

Blizzard epitomizes what BAWCS Shelter stands for, rescuing those in need and if not suitable for rehoming, providing a permanent and safe home for their entire lives.

We do hope you will support our work via our Christmas Appeal this year, we can’t do it without you!

Click here to donate

And don’t forget you can keep up with / get regular updates about BAWCS work via our Facebook Page

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AS Halloween approaches please consider what decorations you are using around your home.

Fake spider web is a real danger to wildlife. Birds, insects and other flying animals have been known to get tangled up in it and unable to free themselves.


There are many other decorations that don’t pose this risk so please choose those options to keep our wildlife safe.

BAWCS ‘caring with compassion’

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BACK in early September BAWCS Community Pets Support Program collaborated with our friends at Pet Medical Crisis to assist David, a 63 year old veteran and his HUGE, cuddly 3-year-old Boerboel named Ripple.

David’s military journey has not only left him with PTSD but when suffering a knee injury, it was revealed he had a life-threatening Atrioventricular Septal Defect (hole in the heart), necessitating transfer back home for urgent life-saving surgery. Trauma and too many losses then compounded David’s world with his second-eldest son passing away from cancer.
David found solace in swimming until the isolation of COVID struck and then even this was taken from him.

Ripple entered David’s life, offering him much-needed companionship and number one support through the tragic loss of his eldest son, followed by his father and youngest brother. Life was bleak and Ripple was the greatest solace during these hardest of days.

When Ripple’s persistent limp led to a diagnosis of an ACL injury which will require a Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery initially quoted was at $8,000. Devastated with the inability to save his best friend, David sought assistance from Pet Medical Crisis and BAWCS Community Pets Support Program. Together with the amazing fundraising efforts from PMC supporters, the RSL and Maryborough Veterinary Practice (who generously agreed to reduce the cost to $3,100) Ripple was able to have his surgery!

David and Ripple are now able to enjoy their joyful daily walks and plays once again.

From David “She is my world of peace”.

BAWCS Community Pets Support Program is sponsored by SavourLife who have a great platform Adopt-a-dog (which supports rescue groups by listing their dogs who are looking for great new homes). Check it out here . BAWCS could not do what we do with clients like David without this amazing support.

BAWCS ‘caring with compassion’


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sniffy appeal

BAWCS Shelter permanent ‘special needs’ resident Sniffy underwent surgery at our vet today and this disgusting looking piece of ‘we’re not sure what it is’ came out of her NOSE!

Whilst Sniffy went in for a dental, something odd was noted in one of her nasal cavities and this is what it was.

We have given the go ahead for a sample to be sent off for further investigation and we’re hoping it is not going to be too sinister.

Sniffy is one of our older cats at 18 years of age. She continues to do well with her best bud Langford (also a permanent ‘special needs’ BAWCS Shelter cat).

Whilst our vet has discounted this surgery (which included ear cleaning and the dental did go ahead), with sending off the sample for a biopsy, our vet bill is going to be around $2,000.

If you’d like to donate, you can do so via sponsorship of Sniffy which is ONLY $50 a year.

Sponsorship gives you access to our private FB Group BAWCS Shelter and Sanctuary Sponsors where you’ll be able to get updates on how Sniffy is going.

Don’t want to sponsor but would still like to donate? Click here to make a donation. Please use the reference SNIFFY so we know to allocate your funds to her vet bill.

Sniffy will remain in care at Bendigo Pet Vets – Mobile Veterinary Clinic on pain relief and other appropriate medication until she returns to the Shelter (and best bud Langford ) towards the end of the week.

BAWCS ‘caring with compassion’


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ON Monday 22 May City of Greater Bendigo voted to introduce 24-hour cat containment.

The 24-hour cat containment requirements start from 1 July 2024 so cat owners have 12months to get themselves sorted to make sure their cats are contained.

BAWCS has always promoted cat safety by not allowing your cats to be outside and to compliment their environmental enrichment indoors, encourage access to enclosed outdoor spaces.

Recently BAWCS Shelter was contacted by a supporter who wanted to donate her cat park which was no longer being used by her cat. We contacted Jamie from Cat Parks Bendigo to see if he would ‘uninstall’ and reinstall at our Shelter for free. The answer was yes!

So what grew from this was an idea that would not only promote responsible and safe cat management but also benefit BAWCS and Jamie’s family run business Cat Parks Bendigo and Cat Netting Bendigo.

As you can see from our video, our great cat park has been installed at the front of our Shelter so visitors can see exactly what these great cat parks can look like. They can be as small or big as you like and tailored to the space you have.

We’ll also have information and contact details for Cat Parks Bendigo and Cat Netting Bendigo to hand out for those interested.

Every referral from BAWCS Shelter that results in an installation will see us receive a $50 donation so even if you just see this post, contact Jamie for a quote etc. and decide to go ahead, mentioning BAWCS will mean you are helping us get a $50 donation! Too easy.

More information on Cat Parks Bendigo here

Click here for link to Cat Netting Bendigo photo gallery for great ideas as well.

Shout out to Jamie for his support and quality work. BAWCS looks forward to working together in promoting responsible and safe cat management.

BAWCS ‘caring with compassion’


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prevent dog bites

WITH yet another call from a parent of a toddler concerned about their dog they have had for over 6 years reacting negatively, time for our ‘managing toddlers and children’ post.

It can be very stressful for a dog when a small ‘being’ comes into the home environment.

Just as you would manage any situation with your toddler to keep them safe, interactions with the family dog need to be carefully managed as well.

You do not have to choose between your family pet and your child when both can live harmoniously and safely. It is simply a matter of managing the situation and not allowing interactions between child and dog that can lead to dangerous situations.

This includes not allowing your child to push your dog to where there is no alternative but to react negatively.

Some tips –

  • NEVER leave your dog and toddler unsupervised.
  • Put baby gates into play allowing your dog and toddler safe space away from each other especially when your dog is eating.
  • Teach your toddler respect for your dog’s toys. If your child picks up the dog’s toys, take them away advising the toy belongs to your dog and give your toddler a toy that belongs to them in its place.
  • Teach your child how to be gentle with your dog when interacting with it.
  • Watch your dog’s body language. If it is showing signs of being uncomfortable in a situation, remove your pet immediately.

Learn more here.

BAWCS ‘caring with compassion’


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Little legs vet update

It’s that time again and this year we are aiming our Appeal at two very special BAWCS Shelter animals (Little Legs and Duncan) – both examples of the work we do. Once you have read their stories, we do hope you will support our work via our Mid Year fundraiser – and remember, all donations of $2 and over are Tax Deductible.

LITTLE LEGS is one of BAWCS Shelter’s special needs cats. She was only 6 months old, when she arrived in October 2018. Diagnosed with Spina Bifida, (a birth defect where the spinal chord does not form correctly), Little Legs has been living a well managed and happy life with us.

Little Legs recently underwent a veterinary procedure and unfortunately developed complications afterwards. Admitted to emergency care, her life hanging in the balance, we held our breath when advised she was critical. Things were ‘touch and go’ at the start of treatment, but with amazing and intensive veterinary care, Little Legs prognosis is now good with a full recovery in time.

As you can imagine this care comes at quite a cost but BAWCS would not deny care if there was a chance of survival / recovery. We are now facing a vet bill in excess of $13,000 so have decided to dedicate our mid year fundraiser to Little Legs’ bill.

DUNCAN – AS many supporters know, BAWCS Shelter has a ‘return anytime for any reason policy’ when we adopt out. When we take on a dog (or cat) it is a lifetime commitment to us even after they are adopted as circumstances can change for the new home.

This situation has eventuated for new arrival (return) Duncan who was adopted back in 2015. Now a senior, we will be looking for a great new home so he can spend his retirement where he’ll receive the love, care and comfort he deserves.

Duncan has had a vet check where he was brought up to date with vaccination and monthly arthritis injection. Also noted was a perianal mass and whilst not causing any issues, we have decided it would be best removed.

Duncan is booked in for surgery next week and will be ‘good to go’ from then on. Without our Policy, we dread to think what might have happened to Duncan as he’s not what a lot of people would consider a great option for adoption.

Your donation to our Appeal will help cover his veterinary care and the time he is with us which will be for however long it takes to find the right home.

Donations of $2 and over are Tax Deductible.

So we do hope you will continue to support our work via our Mid Year Fundraising Appeal this year, we can’t do it without you!

Click here to view our donation options. Please use reference MID YEAR APPEAL.


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On Saturday night (20 May) one of BAWCS special needs cat Little Legs was rushed into the Emergency vet clinic.  After a dental procedure two days earlier, she became ‘flat’ and then stopped eating with her gums very pale and urine quite dark.

It turns out Little Legs had picked up an infection which spread from her blood to her lungs/chest cavity.   Over the weekend she was critical and it has been an extremely stressful time with her blood pressure very low and not able to maintain her own temperature.  She’s been on oxygen as well, to support her lung capacity.  Whilst we don’t have unlimited funding, we will always give of our animals in care the maximum support required to get them well, Little Legs being no exception. 

BAWCS made the call this morning (Monday 22 May) at 8am to see if she had made it through the night after intensive care all weekend.    

She had! And is now showing signs of the antibiotics she is on have kicked in and less fluid is draining from the two tubes in her chest.  The prognosis is guarded and she’ll need to remain at the vet, closely monitored for at least another 4 days.

As you can imagine the vet bill we are going to be receiving will be quite significant, already above $7,000 so we are reaching out to our supporters to see if you would like to

1. Click here to donate direct to the appeal. Please use the reference Little Legs OR

2. Click here to sponsor Little Legs. If you decide to sponsor, you’ll be invited to join our private FB group BAWCS Shelter and Sanctuary sponsors where you’ll be able to see what has been happening with this precious girl and get real time updates.

Please keep Little Legs in your thoughts as we follow closely what we are hoping will be a full recovery to good health.

BAWCS ‘caring with compassion’


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Sponsorship magnets 2023 1

Why not consider a one off BAWCS Shelter Special Needs Cat sponsorship. For as little as $50 for the entire year, your gift provides a great fridge magnet for the recipient together with background / history on the cat you’ve chosen to sponsor.

Sponsorship helps in keeping our special needs cats happy and healthy. Plus sponsors get to join our PRIVATE FB Group for BAWCS Shelter and Sanctuary sponsors, where you get exclusive updates on the cat/s you’ve sponsored.

Click here to check out who is available to sponsor. We can send the sponsor pack to you to pass on or we can send direct to the gift recipient.

BAWCS ‘caring with compassion’

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diesel and Dr Mandy pic

WHAT a wonderful outcome working in partnership with Bendigo Pet Vets – Mobile Veterinary Clinic and Pet Medical Crisis who referred this case to BAWCS Community Pets Support Program.
A distressed pet owner, struggling financially under the weight of todays ever increasing living costs, was so worried about her beloved dog who needed major dentistry with mulitple extractions, a third eyelid flap to help a corneal ulcer heal and a lump that had a nasty appearance also needed to be removed from his right thoracic wall.

This lovely boy is home now and his relieved mum is reporting

“We have collected Diesel from Bendigo Pet Vets. He still has the effect from the anesthetic, has eaten a little of his dinner and is now
tucked up in bed. We would like to thank your organisation and Bendigo Pet Vets for all the care and concern that you have given to our Mr D (that’s what we call him)”.
BAWCS Community Pets Support Program is so grateful to be able to work with other organisations ie: Pet Medical Crisis Fund who have with the same mission and for such generous and compassion vets like Dr Mandy from Bendigo Pet Vets – Mobile Veterinary Clinic – we could not do what we do without these partnerships.
Pictured: Dr Mandy and her latest success.

BAWCS Community Pets Support Program is supported by the Victorian Government and City of Greater Bendigo.
Like to know more about our Program? Check it out here

BAWCS ‘caring with compassion’


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Training (002)

BAWCS Shelter was recently contacted by a dog owner who wanted to surrender. When we discussed what her dogs issues were, BAWCS offered training support via our Community Pets Support Program with Sahil from Elite Canines Training as an alternative.

A young (and large) dog that under the right management could stay in his home with his first family with time and dedication.
The offer was taken up and one lesson on – “The training that Sahil suggested to us is going well. We just need to keep implementing the training. Thank you we really appreciate this program you have in place for dog owners”.

A second session has been requested and approved to assist with reactivity with other dogs, ie: barking, somersaults, pulling etc. to address all issues originally listed in the application.
Struggling with managing your dog? To see if you qualify for support and how to apply, click here.
This is BAWCS Shelter pro active approach to keeping dogs and their families together.

PLEASE NOTE: This offer is only available to Bendigo and close surrounds dog owners due to BAWCS partnering with Sahil, our dog trainer who residents in Bendigo.
Pictured: Sahil from Elite Canines Training with Shelter dog Harrison (currently available for adoption).

BAWCS Community Pets Support Program is supported by the Victorian Government and City of Greater Bendigo.

BAWCS ‘caring with compassion’


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BAWCS Community Pets Support Program offers veterinary care support for disadvantaged pet owners in our community.

A recent referral to a vet ended up with an unwell cat being euthanased due to renal failure. The vet advised that if the cat had presented 2-3 days earlier it most likely would have been saved.

Please don’t delay veterinary care for your pets when they are struggling. There is help available.

RIP precious boy, your suffering has ended now.

Learn more about our Program and how to apply here

BAWCS Community Pets Support Program is funded by The Victorian Government and City of Greater Bendigo.

BAWCS ‘caring with compassion’


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IT’s that time of the year when we launch our annual Christmas Appeal! Donations of $2 and over are Tax Deductible.

Click here for donation options. Please use reference XMAS APPEAL.

BAWCS Shelter and Sanctuary celebrated our 19 year anniversary in September this year.

As many supporters know, we were the first ‘no kill’ Shelter established in Central Victoria back in 2003.

This year we are reflecting on how our Policy has enabled so many lives to be saved, including those that have come back into our care for various reasons.

HARRISON (Harry for short) is our feature of this year’s Christmas Appeal and is a great example of this.

He first came into care as a puppy and was quickly adopted out – everyone loves a puppy! When family circumstances changed, he was returned to us (which is part of the Adoption Agreement) so he would be safe until another new home could be found.

We thought we had found that home 2nd time around but again, family circumstances (allergies) meant Harrison was put outside to live (against the Adoption Agreement terms) and it wasn’t until 3 months later we were contacted to have him come back to us.

The time outside and away from his family had a negative impact on Harrison which was sad to see. Going from a well adjusted and social dog (around other dogs), he had become quite reactive, although maintained his love of humans.

Lucky for him, he was back with us and work started with our dog trainer to get Harry to a management level for being taken for walks and meeting other dogs, important to get this sorted.

It was a slow process but we got Harry to a stage where we would be comfortable putting him up for adoption again.

It has been very important to find the right home for him, in the wrong hands could mean he ends up in a situation where his life could be on the line (if negative reaction to other dogs escalating) and being reported to authorities.

Whilst the right home still hasn’t come along, Harrison continues to enjoy his time in our Shelter, being exposed to lots of other dogs (with a positive outcome) and also spending time with our dog trainer walking around Lake Weeroona to keep him fine tuned.

We have had some negative comments about why hasn’t he been adopted but it is better for him to be safe with us than to be sent out with just anyone who doesn’t have the right experience with handling a reactive dog.

So we do hope you will continue to support our work via our Christmas Appeal this year, we can’t do it without you!

Click here for donation options. Please use reference XMAS APPEAL. Donations of $2 and over are Tax Deductible.

BAWCS ‘caring with compassion’

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DID you know… BAWCS offers support for disadvantaged pet owners in our community.

BAWCS Community Pets Support Program is designed to benefit and support the welfare of companion animals within Victoria, belonging to disadvantaged pet owners.

The Program’s aim is to address a gap in service provision for disadvantaged pet owners in our community.

Service support provided includes:

Veterinary care – from basic vaccinations and desexing (supporting responsible pet ownership) to ending a pet’s suffering.

Emergency pet accommodation – to support pets in domestic violence situations or when owners are admitted into psychiatric care and have no family or friends.

General affordable pet accommodation – supporting local agencies with their client’s pets in times of entering into Rehabilitation Programs (drug/alcohol), respite care, hospitilisation.

Pound reclaim fees to reunite pets with their owners/supporting responsible pet ownership.

Outreach Support where BAWCS volunteers visit pets in the owner’s home whilst they are away. Pets that aren’t able to be ‘boarded’ are particularly targeted such as rabbits, birds, fish, reptiles etc. This part of our Program also supports the purchase of pet needs including food.

Training support instead of surrender. By providing qualified dog training support, owners are given an option to keep their pets instead of making the often heartbreaking decision of surrendering.

To check your eligibility for support, please apply here.


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IT’s that time of the year when the same two questions are asked.

  1. Where did the first half of the year go?
  2. OMG my tax return will be due in soon.

Did you know…

BAWCS is registered with the ACNC and donations of $2 and over are tax deductible?

That we are currently ENTIRELY volunteer run which means donations received go directly into supporting the running of our Shelter and Sanctuary and of course to the animals that are in our care?

That this is the 19th year we have been operating since being established as the very first ‘no kill’ Shelter in Central Victoria?

If these facts pleasantly surprise you (or you already knew and love us) please consider making a donation to our Mid Year Fundraising Appeal. Donation options here

Thank you for your support, we would not be where we are today without it!

BAWCS ‘caring with compassion’

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Thank you to those who have been concerned about BAWCS Shelter and Sanctuary during the COVID-19 crisis. Like many others, it has severely impacted our ability to generate critical income which is needed to keep our facility running.

In particular, our boarding kennel and cattery bookings have been cancelled for the usually busy Easter period. With our clients unable to travel, we are not able to rely on this income.

With current restrictions in place, our Committee has also made the decision to suspend our weekly Market Place Shopping Centre fundraising stall due to reduced visitors to the centre and we wanted to limit our volunteers exposure to the public. 

At a time when we were already experiencing financial strain, now more than ever we need YOUR support to get us through the next 6 months (at least) so we can continue to provide care for the animals that are depending on us.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Make a purchase from our online Shop

Sponsor one of our “special needs” shelter cats or one of our sanctuary animals

Buy-a-bale of hay to support our sanctuary animals

Or you can make a donation (amounts of $2 and over are tax deductible)

You can continue to adopt pets from BAWCS but this is now only by private ‘meet and greet’ appointment. You can check out our animals available here and submit an online adoption application form. We will not be able to arrange a private ‘meet and greet’ unless we receive this form first. An application doesn’t commit you to adoption.

We thank you so much for your support and understanding during this difficult time for all.




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christmas wine copy

GOODWILL Wine donate 50% of their profits to us, so you’re not only getting AWESOME wine that you can gift to loved ones, or share over the Christmas break – you’re also helping Bendigo Animal Welfare & Community Services at the same time. ❤

Wine is just a click away. Order yours here.

Free Shipping offer ends at midnight on Wednesday 11th December.

BAWCS ‘caring with compassion’🌲

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THANKS to the State Government’s Animal Welfare Grants Fund Program, Jaala Pulford MP and supported by local State Members Jacinta Allan and Maree Edwards MP, BAWCS has been able to further increase our welfare standards of care at our Shelter by providing an environmental enrichment and training facility for our dogs in care.

As Central Victoria’s first ‘no kill’ Shelter we are committed to ensuring our dogs in care are happy whilst they wait for a new home, for however long that may take. Providing off lead time in safe areas, interacting and playing with toys and offering dips in pools (especially in this weather) external to the kennel environment has been of course, welcomed by our dogs. We also now have greater opportunities for training our dogs onsite, working closely with our trainer Sahil from Elite Canines Training, so when our dogs are adopted, they have a great start with their new families.

Thank you to our business supporter Romac Shade Sails & Structures, who sponsored one of the seven great shade sails installed. These sails are amazing for providing protection from the heat and we highly recommend contacting Graham (Romac’s business owner), if you’re looking at installing a commercial grade sail.

This Project would not have been the success it is without the many hours our dedicated volunteers committed, in particular to constructing our ‘day yards’ which have turned out fantastically. Thank you guys! These day yards not only provide ‘time out’ of the kennels but they’ll also be used for potential adopters to spend time with dogs of interest to get to know them. We look forward to being able to showcase our dogs being trained, furthering their adoption opportunities soon.


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Ollie

As a cat owner, you will appreciate they are amazing animals that have their own individual personalities that are quirky and entertaining.  Unlike dogs, they need to have a different approach when training as they will rarely listen to you telling them what to do.  Rather than damaging your relationship by scolding your cat (which they will not respond to) below are some tips on retraining your cat to not ‘door dash’, one may work or you may need to use a combination.

WHEN LEAVING THE HOUSE

1. Use an alternate exit. If your cat is constantly hanging out by the front door, waiting to make its escape when you leave, try exiting out a different door.  For instance, instead of going in and out through the front door, try using the back or garage door.

2. Create a distraction.  Before you leave, say goodbye to your cat and give him an absolutely irresistible treat. Your cat will probably be much more interested in eating his yummies than in running out the door.  If your cat insists on following you to the door, keep a stash of cat toys in a place that’s easy for you to reach but hard for him to access. Toss the toy across the room as you leave.

– Offer puzzle feeders before you head out the door.  A puzzle feeder will provide your cat with entertainment while getting a food reward for their efforts.  Divide up their daily meal portion so you can set out a couple of puzzle feeders before you head off to work in the morning.

– If you have children, keep a box of cat toys beside the door and teach the kids to throw a cat toy for the cat to chase when exiting the house.  If the cat is too busy chasing toys, it won’t be darting out the door.

3. Deterrents. You may also use smell deterrents to keep the cat away from forbidden doorway zones. Cats dislike citrus smells, so orange or lemon scents sprayed at the bottom of the door may help.

WHEN ARRIVING HOME

1. Distract your cat. Keep a spray bottle filled with water just outside your door. When you open the door to come in, open it just a crack so that you can see your cat waiting to run outside. Put the nozzle of the bottle through the crack and spray your kitty with a well-aimed ‘mist’ of water (not a squirt) and don’t aim at its face. It might take a few sprays before your cat backs up.  After a week or so of doing this, your cat will associate the door with getting sprayed by the water bottle and avoid going near the door.

This method, should only be used when you’re entering the home, not exiting.  If you do it when exiting, your cat will associate you, not the door, with the irritation of getting sprayed by the water bottle and it could have a negative impact on you and your cat’s relationship.

2. Don’t give your cat any attention at the door.  If your cat thinks that being near the door is a place where you will pet or play with it, your cat will gravitate toward the door.  If your cat is in the habit of greeting you and getting a friendly hello right when you walk in, break yourself of that habit.

3. Play it extra safe. Post bright neon coloured signs reminding all people entering and leaving the house to stop and look for signs of your daring cat before reaching for the door knob. When you have guests over, put your cat in another room until the festivities are over. This way, when people come through the main door, your cat won’t be around to dart through it.

GENERAL

Part of a cat’s ‘environmental enrichment’ is allowing access to a safe enclosed outdoor area. This will assist with meeting your cat’s natural instincts of feeling sun on their face and having another area they can relax and play in. If this ‘need’ is being met, it may assist with the cat wanting to dart out the door.

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cat litter tray and scoop

Litter tray issues are one of the most common concerns with cat owners but in many cases, can be easily solved and is often one of the first signs that something is not right with your feline family member. Cats are very clean animals and will naturally use a litter tray so if your cat is not using their tray, there’s always a reason.

It can be frustrating for cat parents but please DON’T ever punish a cat for urinating or defecating outside their tray. This will just make the problem worse and increase their anxiety and stress. Patience and perseverance is key!

The first step is to thoroughly clean the area where your cat has urinated. You want to make that place less appealing to toilet. Try moving a water bowl, bed or toys onto the cleaned area, place double sided tape or foil on the surface to discourage them returning to that spot.

Make the litter tray more appealing by following the steps below. With patience and a few changes, you should see an improvement. If you are unable to rectify the issue, please ensure your cat has visited your local vet to rule out any health issues.

KEEP IT CLEAN – Scoop soiled litter at least once a day and replace litter regularly to keep clean and odour free. Scrub the tray with hot water and unscented soap at least once a week.

TRAY TYPE AND SIZE – The tray should be appropriate to the size/age of the cat. A large cat will not feel comfortable using a small tray. Older cats might struggle to access a high sided tray. Many cats do not like hooded trays, particularly those in multi pet homes who can be easily snuck up on and surprised.

TYPE OF LITTER – The litter type depends on your cat’s preference. Use a shallow bed of litter about one to two inches deep. Cats are sensitive to smell so avoid scented litter and liners. You could try 2 litter trays with different types to establish which one your cat prefers. Avoid crystal litter for kittens, who can easily ingest crystals while grooming.

LOCATION – One litter tray per cat plus one extra, and placed in different areas. Choose quiet but easily accessible areas. You don’t want to eat next to the toilet and neither does your cat! Avoid placing food/water bowls near litter trays.

Converting an outdoor cat to a litter tray? Try placing a tray at the door where the cat previously exited and gradually move it to a more suitable location. If you’re able to provide an outdoor enclosure attached to the house, you can use timber or brick to frame a large sand box or loose soil box where the urine drains away and you just need to remove the faecal matter.

PAIN/FEAR/STRESS – Your cat will avoid using the litter tray if he/she experienced pain urinating. If you suspect this may be the case, please contact your vet immediately. Your cat may also avoid the litter tray if it is being bullied by another cat or if he/she had a fright while using the tray. You may need to move the tray to a different location and always ensure you have enough litter trays in different positions for multi cat households. Cats can react to even slight changes in the household or to the normal routine so events such as moving house or a new pet/family member are particularly stressful.


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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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birdman 2

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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GlynnHappy Aus Dayphantom and friendsphantom naughtyPhantom picsPhantom pics2Phantom Australia dayPhantom enjoying attentionOz day 5Phantom and friend2Phantom and friendMargaretraffle 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 imagephantom festivalSkeeter

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 meetTruffelina CuteTruffelina and chicken ReginaTruffelina 2Porcini foragingPorcini and TruffelinaPorcini

.…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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