Today I interviewed Casey from Before The Paw. Casey has been a veterinary nurse for the past 7 years and is a puppy school trainer. She runs her own puppy school out of a Sydney based Veterinary Hospital and I am proud to say that I have been lucky enough to work with Casey.
Before the Paw is quite a catchy name – what does that mean?
It is all about catching potential pet parents BEFORE they purchase their new puppy or dog. Our mission is to encourage people to have a thorough understanding of how to source an appropriate dog, and identifying realistic expectations about the time, cost and energy required when committing to a pet.
What inspired you to organise your event Before The Paw?
Working at a vet clinic for 7 years and seeing the amount of people coming through the door who haven’t done their homework. Common problems are cost, dog grows bigger than they expect and dog’s breed is not suited to their lifestyle.
I want to bridge the gap between rescue organisations and good quality breeders – they both want the same things for their dogs, well informed, well-educated owners who are going to love their dogs for many years to come. It is my opinion that there will always be a need for both. Rescuers telling people never to buy from a breeder and breeders telling people never to adopt a rescue is not helping anyone. We need to come together and support good rescues and good breeders.
One of my friends recently purchased an “Australian Bulldog” from a pet shop. Unfortunately her gorgeous little puppy Hershey, is not an Australian Bulldog but appears to be a kelpie X shepherd. This friend of mine is a smart girl, she did her research and organised a rental property with a smaller backyard which would suit an Australian Bulldog however unfortunately, whilst she was basing her decision on breed characteristics and not looks, she never happened to look closely enough at the pictures of the breed she was after. She took the pet shops word that they were in fact selling her an Australian Bulldog. All over the paperwork was Australian Bulldog but as you can see from these side by side pictures of Hershey and an Australian Bulldog it is hard to see that they are the same breed.
Fortunately my friend has been in to visit us at work, been given the right advice and was able to change her rental property for one that will be more working dog friendly. This demonstrates how easy it is to be fooled by people who appear to be giving the right information.
Who is the target audience for Before The Paw?
Prospective dog owners, whether they are current dog owners looking to get a new dog or first time dog owners, or previous dog owners but now their lifestyle has changed. E.g. now have children, previously single.
The second target audience are veterinary staff, TAFE students, vet students and animal industry workers. Because these individuals are the forefront of the animal industry and will be the ones providing advice – whether the advice be right or wrong. If they are better informed so is the wider public.
What is are your goals?
- Reduce the number of animals surrendered to shelters – too many dogs are being irresponsibly bred, purchased, rehomed & surrendered
- So far there has been no platform to address these issues in one event which is why I am organising this event.
- Educating key animal industry staff to continue to propagate right information
Potential topics that will be addressed:
The event will be a seminar/conference based event with several high profile companies and individuals providing independent advice. Including several animal rescues, noted animal behaviorist, veterinarians, dog trainers and health care providers. There will also be trade stands for the audience to explore during the event and canine entertainment.
- How & why to source a purebred dog from a breeder
- How & why to source an oodle breed from a reputable breeder
- Important considerations when adopting a rescue dog
- Why to consider rescue dogs
- Backyard breeders and puppy farms/mills
- Realistic expectations – time cost & energy requirements to consider
- Essential needs of pet dogs – enrichment, training, socialisation, nutrition & vet care
So where can we sign up?
Before The Paw will be running in September in Sydney with the venue & date to be advised. I will be launching a Facebook page shortly but you can follow me on Twitter here.
Are you still looking for sponsorship?
Still open to sponsorship, non-for-profit event with a percentage of the entry fee being donated to the rescue groups that attend. Exhibitor applications and interview requests – firstname.lastname@example.org
Before The Paw and Social Media
We are going to be relying heavily on social media to get in contact with potential pet owners. They are a difficult group to target. Please share our details with any of your friends who might be in the market for getting a puppy or a dog. We are relying on your help to ensure the right people are there.
I know I’ll be there supporting Casey and her initiative. After all having well educated pet parents makes my job a lot easier and I love nothing more than seeing happy pets being a part of happy families.