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Northcott Pet Day celebrates 10 years

SURRY HILLS: The mood at Eddie Ward Park was almost beatific on September 2, as hundreds of pets accompanied their owners for a grand day of games, prizes, special help and convivial romps, for the 10th annual Northcott Pet Day. Happiness reigned as the blue-scarved pets got together, and their very relaxed owners moved leisurely from stall to stall.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore and her dog enjoying the day with other pet owners Photo: Peter Murphy
Lord Mayor Clover Moore and her dog enjoying the day with other pet owners Photo: Peter Murphy

As Debbie waited to register her little dog, she said, “This is my first Pet Day, and the main thing for me is that my pet gets a free veterinary check-up and has a great time with the other dogs.”

Kate was at her third pet day. “My dog really likes to mix it with the other dogs, but sometimes the big dogs, not on leashes, are too scary for the little ones, and sometimes for people,” she said. She was also concerned that owners clean up after their pets, especially in the park.

Dogs of all sizes Photo: Peter Murphy

Dogs of all sizes Photo: Peter Murphy

Michelle at the Mars Petcare stall was at her fifth Northcott Pet Day. “I am a food rep, and I really love to learn about pet nutrition,” she said. “I get to talk to so many pet owners, and they love talking about their pets.”

Just before the sausage sizzle, City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore officially opened the Pet Day, in the company of her husband Peter and their two happy dogs. “I enthusiastically congratulate Jennie Churchill, and all her team who organise this fantastic day for the pet owners of Northcott and Surry Hills. It has such a great set of achievements since it was started by Jennie and Sandi,” said the Lord Mayor.

In the 10 years of the event over 2,000 pets have received free health checks and their owners free veterinary advice and pet health products. Well over 300 pets have received free microchips, and more than 270 dogs and cats have been booked in for free or discounted de-sexing.

Jennie Churchill, who came to Surry Hills from Crookwell Veterinary Hospital, explained: “Since its inception, the event has been run by volunteers, with the exception of a small number of City of Sydney staff and more recently RSPCA NSW staff.”

The organising committee comprises City of Sydney Social Housing and Companion Animal staff, Surry Hills Public Tenants Association, RSPCA NSW and Jennie herself.

A supervised vet student examines a kelpie Photo: Peter Murphy

A supervised vet student examines a kelpie Photo: Peter Murphy

The volunteer workforce includes over 50 University of Sydney veterinary science students who perform all the free health checks, and four volunteer veterinarians, including Robbie Churchill, who supervise the students.

Other participating organisations are the Cat Protection Society, Companion Rabbit Advocates, FACS Housing, and Mars Petcare/Advance Pet Foods.

Northcott Pet Day is free for everyone.

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