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South Sydney pets meet volunteer vets

On Saturday August 29, pet owners in Surry Hills, Redfern, Darlinghurst and Waterloo had the opportunity to take their pets along for a free pet health check at the Pets at Northcott event. It was held in Ward Park, next door to the Northcott Community Centre, Belvoir Street, Surry Hills reports Felicity Reynolds in the South Sydney Herald in October 2009.

It was a fun and fabulous day, with more than 100 dogs, about 20 cats and a few birds turning up with their human companions. The mixture of dogs and cats, puppies and kittens, adults and children made for a lively day in the park.

This is the second time this special day has been held, the first was in 2008. As well as free veterinary advice, free microchipping and giveaway bags, the day had lots more animal action! Pet Resorts Australia agility dogs performed and there were native animals and reptiles from Australian Wildlife Displays.

A very enthusiastic team of 25 veterinary students from Sydney University volunteered their time to give free pet health advice, with three volunteer vets on hand to assist, and veterinary companies such as Merial, Advance Pet Foods and Bayer Australia donated the giveaways. Special thanks must go to the vet students who turned up to volunteer – even though they had exams to sit the following Monday!

Charmaine Jones from the Surry Hills Public Tenants Association is hoping Pets at Northcott will become an annual event: “It was such a wonderful day, with cats, dogs, bats, birds, snakes and people all getting along. I have had so many people come up to me over the last few days saying how much they enjoyed the day and the gratitude they had for the students and vets who checked over their beloved pets.”

The event was a joint project of the City of Sydney, Surry Hills Public Tenants Association, Sydney University Faculty of Veterinary Science, Crookwell Veterinary Hospital and Housing NSW. It was a great opportunity for public housing residents and other pet-owning members of the local community to ask plenty of questions about keeping their pets fit and healthy.

Photo: Ali Blogg - Caption: Pets and vets at Northcott