Pepper's transformation + Meet a 4 Paws foster carer, + President's note + Pets available for adoption + Save that date! 
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Summer 2016
This newsletter is produced by volunteers. 4 Paws is a non-profit organisation providing refuge for homeless dogs and cats on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
Email Editor
Email Editor
In this edition of 4 Paws Tales:

From the Editor's desk

Rosie and Rodney
Hello friend,
I hope you enjoyed the holiday season as much as Rosie and Rodney, two of our adorable 4 Paws rescue dogs, pictured above. You can read more about them this issue in our "Meet a 4 Paws foster carer" story. Sunshine Coast foster carer, Cathy, has several dogs currently in her care. Read our interview with Cathy to see what it is like to foster a 4 Paws pet. 

Also in this summer issue, 4 Paws Tales features the transformation of cruelly neglected rescue dog Splaffy Doo (formerly Pepper) who now has a very loving home of his own in the Blackall Ranges with Greg Pleming. Starving and in appaling condition when surrendered to 4 Paws, he beat the odds and now has a new sister and a new wonderful family.

I hope you enjoy this issue.
Helen Lester


Pepper's story: Love triumphs over cruelty

A beautiful story about a man and two homeless dogs who all needed love in their lives.
Greg and mum Sylvia with Splaffy Doo (formerly Pepper) and Missy (left).
EVERY so often at 4 Paws, there is a case of neglect that reduces even the most experienced carers to tears.
Pepper, a surrendered three-year-old Poodle Cross, came to 4 Paws weak and starving. He was so malnourished his ribs were sticking out and he needed to gain 500g before he could be desexed.
Pepper was a pitiful sight. His filthy fur was long and badly matted. Dreadlocks had fallen out in chunks revealing painful sores. He could not see because matted fur completely covered his eyes.
Pepper’s stomach was bare and raw from having been forced to sleep on concrete day and night. The dog tag his former owners had given him read “Little S**t.”
Two of 4 Paws most experienced foster carers, Barbara and Hiroshi, bathed him twice and then spent three hours gently trimming away the knotted chunks of fur.
It was an emotionally gruelling experience for the couple.
Yet, despite his neglect, Pepper had the sweetest, most forgiving nature. Barbara says he wagged his tail and gave them little licks as they gently worked on him “as if to say thank you.”
After many hours, a beautiful little dog emerged.
For the next three months, Hiroshi and Barbara lovingly nurtured Pepper, feeding him things that would nourish his body and improve the state of his skin and coat so that he would be ready to go to a loving new home.
It was during this time that Pepper became best friends with another little Poodle Cross who was also in foster care.
Missy, seven years old, had been surrendered because of a marriage break up and was very nervous. She adored Pepper and, as Barbara described it, “would shower his face with kisses.”
Meanwhile, on another part of the Sunshine Coast, another gentle soul had also been going through a very hard time.
Forty-two-year-old Greg Pleming, an extremely creative, enigmatic character with an offbeat sense of humour, was struggling emotionally. His story is the subject of an ABC documentary.
Ill health over many years, including Q fever, a stroke-like event, and Chronic Fatigue symptoms, left Greg feeling frustrated and very down. His beloved cat had died only months before.
A former nurse, the Blackall Ranges filmmaker and landscaper (who has a movie set in his backyard) thought adopting a dog might help lift his spirits.
However, while he had lots of experience with cats, Greg had never had a dog before. He thought he’d like a Chihuahua.
Greg made inquiries at Sippy Creek Animal Refuge, only to be told they only did “big” dogs.
“So I asked, ‘Who looks after little dogs?’ and they told us about 4 Paws.”
Greg was waiting to hear back about an adoption application he had submitted for a couple of Chihuahuas he had seen on the 4 Paws website when he came across a story about 4 Paws in the local paper.
The article featured Pepper and Missy, a couple of gorgeous Poodle Crosses that needed a home together. There was a phone number at the bottom of the story, so he rang it.
This was Greg’s first contact with Barbara. She explained to Greg that the Chihuahuas he was keen to adopt would be too much of a challenge for a first-time dog owner. She suggested that he consider Pepper and Missy instead.
Greg was already taken with the pair after reading their story in the newspaper, so Barbara and another carer drove up the range to the one acre property Greg shares with his mother Sylvia, bringing with them Pepper and Missy.
Far from a solitary existence on a cruel concrete slab, Pepper was now in the countryside with birds singing and a gentle breeze caressing his fur. It was a paradise with trees and grass and so many things to explore.
The 4 Paws volunteers were impressed with what they saw.
Greg explains: “They interviewed us here and checked the fences and how we were interacting with the dogs to see if we were compatible. The dogs were all over me and they said yes on the spot.”
Before Greg and Sylvia could have the dogs, Pepper and Missy needed further veterinary treatment and there was the adoption transfers to complete.
While adopting two dogs might seem daunting for a first-time dog owner, Greg knew the pair needed to be together.
“It was a big thing, but it was necessary. I’ve done nursing so I could see their incredible bond. If they didn’t have it, it would be detrimental to them both.”
Missy was still very nervous when she first came to live with Greg and Sylvia. Unusual things made her frightened, such as walking on verandah decking. However, Missy quickly bonded with Sylvia and now sleeps in her bedroom. With Sylvia and Greg’s love and gentle care, gentle Missy is learning to be less afraid of things.
Bromance blossomed immediately between Pepper and Greg. With Greg’s playful nature, Pepper’s name soon was changed to Splaffy Doo, a name the little black dog just adores.
With his days spent happily with his all-time favourite person, Splaffy Doo doesn’t mind at all what crazy names Greg thinks up for him.
“Pepper” is interchanged with “Splaffy Doo” as we talk about the little dog’s new life.
“His coat is now all shiny and black,”
“Pepper sleeps right next to me. He’s so gorgeous, so funny; he’s the most amusing little dog.”
Greg plans to write a children’s book, so Splaffy Doo was soon being dressed in various outfits and wigs and posing like a pro for photographs. According to Greg, Splaffy Doo loved every minute of it and strutted around.
“I do think dogs have a sense of humour,” Greg says.
An amusing legacy of the dogs’ time in care with Barbara and Hiroshi is that they just love nori - the green seaweed casing on sushi rolls - that Hiroshi fed them as a tonic. Greg cannot help but indulge them in a little of their favourite exotic treat from time to time.
Greg cannot speak highly enough about the 4 Paws volunteers he has encountered.
“I can’t believe how supportive and nice the people were. I could see it was genuine. They just love animals.”
“Barbara and Hiroshi are extraordinary people. They keep in touch with emails and we take the dogs down to visit them.”
Greg, whose health is now improving, says the experience has helped to restore his faith in people.
And how has Splaffy Doo changed Greg’s life?
“I love them [Missy and Splaffy Doo] dearly. They are our family.”
“I’m just happier. He’s given me something. He’s full of energy and makes you want to be happy. He’s like medicine.”
 To read more about Greg, go to his blog

Before: matted and starving
After: living the dream together ...
And just for fun ...

Adopt me!

Blanco: 14 weeks, male
This adorable kitten is full of fun and mischief and loves to play and be cuddled. He is completely deaf so needs to live indoors.  Because he can't hear you calling him, when he wakes from a sleep he calls you until you find him and pick him up for a cuddle! He would be best suited to a home with no other cats. He has not met any dogs yet. As a bonus he will "help" you with the vacuuming. You'll just love him. Click here to go to the adoption process page on the 4 Paws website.
Adoption fee: $195

Adoption Tally 2016
Pets adopted since the start of the year
Dogs adopted: 0
Cats adopted: 1
Number of pets currently in the care of 4 Paws
Dogs: 63
Cats: 43

President's note

THE good news for the Sunshine Coast is that the message seems to be finally getting through about keeping pets safe over the Christmas season. This was the first New Year’s Eve in 10 years that I did not have a call about a lost dog.
Also, there has not been the usual spike in surrendered pets over the holiday period. The rate of surrendered animals has evened out across the year.
4 Paws will be represented at the Australia Day Parade at Buderim next week. Please join us. We are meeting in the Woolworth’s car park near the newsagent at 8.15am.
I want to thank our wonderful volunteers for their help with the extra running around in the lead up to Christmas. And a special thank you to the team at Nicklin Way Veterinary Surgery for their great support over the holiday season.
Our recent AGM saw Cass Casaubon replace Dan Clark as 4 Paws Committee Secretary. We thank Dan for all his hard work over the past year and welcome Cass to the team.
 We also welcome Anne Crannitch to the committee.

Dog foster carer Maryanne Milne also has stepped down from her position on the committee. Maryanne has worked tirelessly for years caring for homeless dogs and finding them suitable loving new homes. We thank her for her outstanding contribution.
Lastly, I’d like to give a special mention to Bev Parrott who has manned the Dan Murphy’s sausage sizzle for the past eight years. We thank her for her commitment and service in raising much-needed funds for 4 Paws.

- Julie Penlington  

Meet a 4 Paws foster carer

4 Paws Tales regularly shines a spotlight on some of the wonderful people who enable 4 Paws to do its important work. This issue, we interview experienced foster carer Cathy. Her dedication to rehabilitating homeless dogs over many years has made her an extremely valuable member of the 4 Paws team.
4 Paws Permanent Residents are elderly pets that have come to us, or animals abandoned or surrendered with serious health issues. These dogs and cats will remain in the care of 4 Paws, in the loving homes of experienced foster carers, until the end of their days. In order to meet the ongoing veterinary costs to care for these special pets, 4 Paws asks businesses, social clubs, sports groups, schools and pet-loving individuals to sponsor a Permanent Resident.
Cathy with Mali (bottom left), Rosie (bottom right), Rodney (lap left) and Gizmo (lap right).
Name: Cathy, 4 Paws foster carer and Sunshine Coast retiree.
Dogs currently in care:
Mali: Maltese, 7 years. Permanent Resident. Overweight with multiple health issues. She is a frightened little dog who is just starting to get her confidence back.
Gizmo: Griffon Cross, 6 months: A lovely boy with anxiety. Will take lots of TLC before he is ready for adoption. Meanwhile, he is a great friend to Rodney.
Rodney: Mini Foxie, 14 + years. Permanent Resident: Filthy, partly blind, covered in sores, with a cripple back leg and congestive heart failure, this sweet-natured boy was picked up by the ranger at the Buderim Dog Park on an extremely hot day. He was so badly dehydrated the vet didn’t think he’d make it.
Rosie: Maltese Cross, 13 years. Permanent Resident with terminal liver tumors. She loves life and is living out her final months with Cathy. She is a joy to have around and loves the other dogs.
4PT (4 Paws Tales): How and when did you come to be a 4 Paws foster carer?
Cathy: I read about the need for foster carers in our free weekly newspaper about six to seven years ago.
 4PT: Why do you do it?
Cathy: I believe that the dogs and cats deserve more. I believe that they are family members and I don't believe that they are disposable. At 4 Paws we look after the dogs in our own homes. This gives us a chance to help them learn to be a good family member and to assess the type of family that will suit them best.
 4PT: How many dogs have passed through your home in that time?
Cathy: I have lost count.
4PT: Is it hard when it is time for them to go to new homes?
Cathy: It's bittersweet. Seeing them go off with their new family is the best feeling ever. People who adopt from us are wonderful people - they love the dogs, they have whatever history of the dog that we have and they make a genuine commitment to the dog. It's fantastic seeing that dog's life turn around and become the happy existence all dogs deserve. When one goes to a new home then there is room to help another dog.
 4PT: What has been your best experience as a foster carer?
Cathy: There have been a few. I have loved seeing some of the more difficult dogs being adopted into the most loving homes. There was a dog named Tigger who had lived locked in a backyard. He had never been to a vet, never taken for walks and had never been in a car. He hadn't been with other dogs and was scared of most people. Now he goes camping, visits a farm, swims in a dam and sleeps on his human’s bed with his best friend the cat. That's a pretty good story. I love it that neither Rodney nor Rosie was supposed to be with me for so long. I think they are saying "Life is good this side of the Rainbow Bridge [The allegorical bridge between earth and doggy heaven]". I love the amazing people I have met - the sponsors, adoptive families, other foster carers and all the volunteers.
 4PT: What is the most difficult thing about being a foster carer?
Cathy: Saying goodbye to the old and sick dogs when they cross the Rainbow Bridge. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.
4PT: I understand you recently did an emergency foster of several cats for a few days. Are you nuts?
Cathy: Yes. But they were so beautiful and affectionate. It felt good knowing that they were safe.
4PT: What does a typical day for you involve?
Cathy: Lots of doggie medications and doggy baths: eardrops, eye drops, food preparation, washing and vet visits. Walks - I have a very beautiful dog buggy that some friends gave me and I load Rodney, Rosie and Gizmo in and we go for a spin. Gizmo is still too frightened to walk, but some days are better than others. Mali likes a small walk. She is determined to recover her svelte shape!
 4PT: What advice would you give to anyone considering becoming a foster carer?
Cathy: Discuss it with everyone living in the house. Are they as keen as you? Work out what sort of dog would suit you. For example, do you have time to do medications? Are you a puppy person? Remember these dogs will be grieving - they have lost their families, so don't expect them to be perfect. They will be scared or maybe depressed. Will you be able to give it up when it's forever family comes along? Talk to Julie Penlington. There is information for foster carers on our website. It's fun to foster, but it can be hard work. It is an amazing feeling to see a dog go off to its new home and to know you had a part to play.

To support the work of 4 Paws, click on the red Donate link below to take you to our 4 Paws donation page. 

Sponsor me!

Zaylia: 13 years, Shih Tzu, female

Zaylia's elderly owner has sadly passed away, leaving her in need of another loving family. She has settled nicely into her foster carer's home and seems to take things in her stride.

She will stay with her carer for the rest of her days as she deserves a secure future and this is our promise to her.

Calm and quiet, Zaylia is house trained, gets along with other dogs and enjoys trips in the car and her daily walk.

Her coat will require regular brushing to keep it looking and feeling good. We are looking for a sponsor for Zaylia so she can spend the rest of her days as part of the 4 Paws family.

To learn more about sponsoring a Permanent Resident, please click here or go to our website, click on the Support tab and click Sponsor a 4 Paws Permanent Resident. 

Zaylia's required monthly sponsorship is $50 - Contact us if you'd like to sponsor her.

Pets available for adoption

Click on the photo of a pet below to go to the 4 Paws website adoption process page. To see other pets available for adoption click here to go to our website. Navigate to the pages for cat and dog adoptions.
Marley: 7 years, male
Marley is very affectionate and loving. He was reluctantly handed in to 4 Paws by his owners because they could not find pet-friendly rental accommodation. He would make a lovely addition to any family.
Adoption fee: $140

Chad and Willow: 5 years, Maltese, male
Chad and Willow were much loved by their previous owners. The brothers have spent their lives together - they eat, sleep and play together. They love short walks, drives in the car and going to the beach. However, what they love most is sitting on your lap for long naps. They are house trained and will sit and stay.  Chad and Willow are very well behaved when being groomed.
Adoption fee: $650 pair

Mandy: 7 years, Maltese, female
Mandy is in need of a permanent foster carer. She is a joyful, girl who enjoys regular daily walks. She gets on well with other dogs but is not suited to a home with small children. She would be best suited to a quiet home where someone is present most of the time. Although she is devoted, affectionate and sweet, she is not a lap dog. She is happiest lying on the floor at her owners feet or following them around supervising domestic tasks.
No adoption fee 
Diego: 4 years, male
Diego is a handsome, quiet and gentle boy. Once he feels at home he is very loving and sweet. He loves to play in a dish of water and to drink out of a tap. He is quite a character.
Adoption fee: $140


Save that date!

Buderim Australia Day Parade
Tuesday January 26th
The Australia Day Parade is on again this year in Buderim and is our chance to promote 4 Paws to the community as well as to show our support for the Buderim War Memorial Community Association and The Rotary Club of Buderim.
We would love to see you there along with your dogs, as 4 legged friends are welcome too!
Marshalling will start at 8.15am for commencement of the parade at 9.00am. We start the walk at the Woolworths car park in Burnett Street. The parade will go down Burnett Street, over the roundabout at the junction of Lindsay and Ballinger Roads, and on to the junction Burnett Street and Gloucester Road, finishing at Buderim Village Park.
Please let us know by Friday 22 January 2016 if you will be attending so we have an idea of numbers.

4 Paws Sausage Sizzle, Bunnings, Caloundra
Tuesday February 23rd

We have a fantastic opportunity to generate substantial fundraising as we have been allocated monthly BBQs at Caloundra Bunnings on the 4th Tuesday of every month starting in February. In order to take advantage of this opportunity we need your help. 
We need as many volunteers as possible to attend an induction session at Bunnings Caloundra on Thursday 18 February 2016 from 6pm-7pm.
We need volunteers for each date and each shift.
There are 2 shifts:
  • 7.30am -12.00 noon (7.30 set up for an 8.00 start) and
  • 12.00 noon - 4.00pm (clean up and pack down 3.30-4.00)
The dates we have for the year are as follows:
  • 23 February
  • 22 March
  • 26 April
  • 24 May
  • 28 June
  • 26 July
  • 23 August
  • 27 September
  • 25 October
  • 22 November
  • 27 December
In your response please indicate:
  • if you are able to attend the induction
  • which date/s you will be available and 
  • what shift time/s you can do
Responses required by Monday 8 February 2016. 
If we do not have enough volunteers at that stage for 23 February we will need to cancel that date.
Email Cass at

Special Offers

Fingernail fun for 4 Paws
Carly Paez, Jamberry Senior Consultant, is hosting an online fundraiser for 4 Paws Animal Rescue from January 29th until February 7th.

Jamberry offers a huge range of beautiful nail wraps including, but not limited to, some funky animal-inspired designs.

Carly will post information and deals to her facebook party group page every day and will play games every night with prizes to giveaway. 
All of Carly's commission (30 per cent) from the sales in this fundraiser party will be donated to 4 Paws Animal Rescue, so if you could purchase some of the nail wraps and invite as many friends as possible to the party page, that would be wonderful!

Even if you purchase just one wrap at $22, 30 per cent of this will be donated straight to 4 Paws! The more you purchase, the more that 4 Paws will receive. Check out the party here:  and don't forget to add yourself to the party group!
Buy pet food online this month to help 4 Paws

Online pet food store Net To Pet is supporting the work of 4 Paws by donating $1 from each order placed during the month of January. You can purchase food for your pet and help 4 Paws at the same time by going to their 
Have you recently moved or changed your contact details? If so, please let Cass our Secretary know by emailing her at

Copyright © 2016 4 Paws Animal Rescue Inc., All rights reserved.

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