A pet is for life

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Cathy Beer will present a session on responsible pet ownership at the Home and Garden Show in October. Photo supplied
Nanjing Night Net

HORRIFIED at the amount of dogs and cats surrendered at animal shelters across NSW, Cathy Beer decided to turn her decades of marketing experience away from the corporate world and towards educating people about responsible pet ownership.

Several years on, Cathy will be bringing her insights into pet welfare to the Highlands, where she and local dog trainer Margaret Gray will run sessions and have a stall at the Home & Garden Show in October.

“I was doing a leadership program and part of that was how to bring about change. In the back of my mind during the course was how we view and treat animals, so I decided to change my career and focus on helping people understand what it means to own a pet,” she said.

Cathy started by talking to people who work in the animal welfare industry, including the RSPCA and other rescue organisations, and joined several animal-related committees.

“It is a very complex area, however I think most pet owners are generally good people – some are just ignorant of what their responsibilities are,” she said.

Cathy then created a website called pets4life, through which she presents the different points of view relating to pets.

Cathy Beer will present a session on responsible pet ownership at the Home and Garden Show in October. Photo supplied.

“For me, it is going into the issue with an open mind and trying to understand the various viewpoints. I’m not trying to push any specific agenda; I’m just trying to get people to think before they commit to a pet.”

She said the challenge however is reaching those people who think they are doing the right thing, and don’t think they need education.

“I’ll just keep chipping away. The website is gaining traction and I’m starting to receive questions such as ‘How do I know I’m not buying from a puppy farm’ and ‘Should I get a second dog if I work full-time’. I put these questions out to our pet community through Facebook for feedback,” she said.

Cathy’s overall goal is to reduce the amount of animals surrendered to shelters and increase the welfare of pets.

“Good pet ownership means giving a pet a good life, not just an existence. It means understanding the basics of pet behaviour, having the financial means to look after them properly and being able to commit to meeting their physical, mental and emotional needs for at least 15 years for a dog, or 20 years for a cat.

“It is also important that children are taught how to treat their pets properly and are never left alone with a dog. It really worries me that people don’t see the potential for animal cruelty in some of the things kids can do to animals, and also the potential that the dog might bite back,” she said.

At the Home and Garden Show Cathy and Delta-accredited dog trainer Margaret Gray from Moss Vale will talk about what people need to consider before buying a dog, and then how to build a happy relationship with your pet using positive reinforcement.

“We’ll be sharing experiences and stories about the commitment you need to make, the costs of owning a pet, the risks of online pet shopping, and being prepared to include your pet when things change, such as your health or living conditions.

“You have to use your head and your heart when deciding to own a pet, and have your eyes and your wallet open.”

Margaret and Cathy will also have a stand at the show where Margaret will offer free dog training advice.

“My message is stop before you shop. Think carefully as pet ownership is a huge commitment. However, bringing a pet into your life is going to be one of the best things you’ll ever do, as long as it is done properly.”

Cathy and Margaret will be presenting on both days of the Home & Garden Show on October 10 and 11. For more details and the show’s program, visit 梧桐夜网homeandgardenshow南京夜网419论坛.

o For more information about pet ownership, visit pets4lilfe南京夜网419论坛

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

‘My break-in terror’

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Obvious: Wagga mum, Judi Carey, is encouraging other Wagga residents to look for their neighbours and not leave valuables in obvious spots. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly.
Nanjing Night Net

A recent break-in has left a Wagga motherfeeling vulnerable in her own home.

Between 11pm Thursday, September 10 and 7.30am the following day, Judi Carey’s Lake Albertfamily home was broken into while she and her two sons slept. The thief came into the house through the back sliding door before ransacking the kitchen.

Ms Carey’s handbag was taken along with her son’s wallet, phones and two sets of car keys.

The thief went through the mini-van before unlocking the garage and stealing the Ford Focus, which was found torched in Hay on Sunday.

“I won’t drop my keys or handbag in obvious spots like the kitchen bench now,” Ms Carey said.

“I will be a lot more vigilant and diligent with locking all doors at night.”

After her experience, Ms Carey also wants to encourage neighbours around Wagga to look out for each other.

“Be more aware of what’s going on in the neighbourhood and look out for your neighbours,” Ms Carey said.

“Some people live in the same street and wave or nod to each other but they don’t know each other’s names. Introduce yourself and get to know them. Keep connected and look out for each other.”

Ms Carey has lived in a quiet cul-de-sac for the last fouryears without incident and was shocked by the break-in.

Wagga police said Lake Albert is not one of the suburbs they experience a high level of crime in.

Her views were echoed by police, who are encouraging people to remain vigilant.

“Thieves will target opportunity and if you’re not giving them that opportunity chances are they will pass,” Duty Officer Inspector Peter Robertson said.

He said there are a few easy steps people can take to make their houses more secure.

Installing sensor lights, keeping the mail box tidy, getting neighbours to look out for your property and putting keys and wallets in less obvious locations are all simple steps which can help protect from thieves.

With the weather warming up, Inspector Robertson is encouraging people to ensure they close their windows when leaving home.

Ms Carey was lucky enough to have her handbag, wallet and phone returnedafter her bag wasfound in a reserve by someone walking their dog.Ms Carey has commended the Wagga police for their work.

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Our coast needs your help

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SOMETHING FISHY: Marine researcher and environmentalist Lachlan Fetterplace PHOTO: SuppliedThe state of the Illawarra’s oceans and coasts are under threat, and a selection of environmental experts are inviting residents to find out more with a free information sessionat the Wollongong Builders Club Wednesday night.
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Landcare Illawarra is hosting the event as a call to action, and to inform people about the devastating impacts rubbish and marine debris haveon our wildlife.

They’ll discuss ocean health, fisheries, seabird rehabilitation, and how a rare leatherback sea turtle died on the shores of Shellharbour from ingesting a plastic bag.

Environmentalist and co-founder of Take 3Tim Silverwood said the biggest misconception waspeople didn’trealise the scale of the problem as generally our beaches “look quite good”.

“Research suggests that we are a major contributor in our own right to the problem, especially from our major urban areas,” he said. “Globally eight million tonnes of new plastic goes into the ocean each year.”

Mr Silverwood said reducing how much disposable plastics we use, or picking up rubbish when out and about is a small practice that “does matter” on alarge scale.

“Research from the CSIRO is now suggesting in the next few decades almost every sea bird in the ocean will have plastic in their stomachs, and it’s already over 30 per cent,” he said.

Environmentalist Tim SilverwoodThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Chance for youth to shine on the big screen

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Blue Mountains Youth Film Festival co-directors Isobel Knight and Nick Harriott launching the inaugural festival in Katoomba last week. Entries are open and finalists work will be screened at Uniting Cinemas Katoomba on October 21. Photo: Richard de Carvalho (Lunacraft Productions).The current crop of teenagers are growing up with smartphones and a thirst for creating and sharing quirky clips on social media – qualities perfectly suited to filmmaking.
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It’s something the organisers of next month’s inaugural Blue Mountains Youth Film Festival, Nick Harriott and Isobel Knight haven’t missed.

They say their idea for the festival came about from identifying a gap in opportunity for Blue Mountains residents aged under 25 to develop and showcase their skills behind and in front of the video camera.

Officially launching the festival and calling for entries last week, both have been busy running filmmaking and storytelling workshops at several Mountains high schools, where they were warmly received by students and teachers.

Mr Harriott said high school students are in a way already filmmakers.

“This generation is growing up more visually literate than anyone that has come before them because they are constantly creating and watching video content,” he said. “Their phones are full of videos they’ve made for Instagram or Vine or just to share on Facebook. When it comes to filmmaking, story is king and luckily young people always have an abundance of stories to tell.

“In the workshops I’ve seen students making short films that range from the cut-throat world of competitive gymnastics to a nun caught up in a forbidden love affair.

“There’s a kind of unfiltered approach to storytelling that you can only get from young people and that’s why we started up the festival – to celebrate and encourage that talent.”

Mr Harriott said many schools are running co-curricular classes for the purpose of entering films into the festival and Blaxland High School has even made making entries an assessment task for its drama students in Years 8 and 9.

“Some schools are also submitting short films that were made by Year 12 students as part of their HSC assessments.”

Entries are now open and finalists’ work will be screened at United Cinemas Katoomba (formerly The Edge) on Wednesday, October 21.

Local creative space, Hughes Studio, has designed and produced trophies for the final prize winners and the prize pool includes packs with high class filmmaking gear thanks to Rode Microphones.

For more information, visit梧桐夜网bmyff.org or go to the Blue Mountains Youth Festival’s Facebook page.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.