Users of the Pets and Plants Ballarat website will not have their personal information revealed, or sold on to any party whilst exploring, or leaving comments, or using online forms on this website.
Sad to say there are unscrupulous characters who actively dog nap our canine friends.
These miserable individuals, or organised gangs are particularly active outside shopping centres where dogs are left tethered and unattended.
They steal the animal and then demand a reward for "finding it". Sometimes they demand a large ransome, or even worse, put them into illegal dog fights. Sometimes they sell them on, particularly if they are a rare breed.
They have also been known to drive around to find the type of dog they are looking for and when such a breed or loved family pet is spotted, they will subtly mark the property with a small spot of paint on the gutter, or tie a tiny piece of plastic somewhere such as a letterbox, tree or fence, to identfy the property and steal the pet(s) when the owners are not home or sleeping.
Be vigilant to check your home and your neighbours for any of these subtle signs.
By not identifying dog handlers, I hope to ensure no animal that appears here is ever subjected to such an unfortunate fate as a result of appearing in my blog.
Please contact the police if you find any of the signs that dog nappers may be active in your neighbourhood. It is up to us all to ensure the safety of our pets and bring an end to their despicable and highy illegal activities that are abhorrent to all of us who love our pets and are concerned about animal welfare.
Unfortunately Ballarat is an Australian hot spot for such activities.
Most individuals who genuinly find a lost pet are thrilled to see it reunited with its owner and seek no rumuneration for their trouble.
Microchipping is an excellent means of securely marking your animal, in case of any future identification disputes, as well as ensuring it is clearly identified as being resident at your address.
Always keep changes of address current with microchipping identification records. Contact your vet or the City of Ballarat for further information relating to microchipping.
This is the final installment of Dogs Day Out at the Ballarat Begonia Festival 2014.
This year's Begonia Festival certainly showcased the importance of both pets and plants to the Ballarat community and the many visitors that attended from outside our region.
The next major opportunity for a mass doggy get together will be at the RSPCA's annual Million Paws Walk in May.
Pets and Plants Ballarat will be offering some vouchers for three nights free pet-sitting at Million Paws Walk as well as the forthcoming Harvest Festival at the Ballarat Community Gardens, to assist these organisations with the wonderful work they undertake here in Ballarat.
You can register now for the Million Paws Walk at the RSPCA website.
The Ballarat Community Gardens Harvest Festival will be held on Sunday March 23rd, entry is free.
Once again, heartfelt thanks to all the handlers who permitted their dogs to be photographed and recorded on the Pets and Plants Ballarat blog site. I hope you thoroughly enjoyed you Dogs Day Out, at the Begonia Festiva 2014.
Here's the 4th installment of Dog's Day out.
It takes a while to edit and upload photos. If your dog's photo has not yet been published, please be patient. There are still more to come.
Interestingly, over the hundred or more dog handlers I approached to photograph their dog, only four turned me down.
It seems our Begonia Festival attendees took my word for the purpose of my blog and I hope you are happy with the fabulous shots of your animals.
If you want a copy of your dog's photo. please describe your dog and get in touch via the contacts page. I am more than happy to email a copy of the photo to you, as a courtesy gesture.
I am not a professional photographer, but a keen ameteur one. I also adore animals and love writing, so it was only natural that a blog combining all my key interests, pets, plants and gardening as well as writing and photography evolved out of my new business venture.
I intend continuing to document animals around Ballarat and will start a regular Dogs About Town series, after I have completed the Dog's Day Out uploads. If you meet me around the lake or in town I always carry a camera, so if your dog missed out this time you have every opportunity for your dog to join the dogs already up on my blog.
I am also looking for enthusiastic pet owners and experts as guest bloggers, or to interview, to tell us about the best and worst things about specific breeds. If you would like to contribute in this way please get in touch through the contacts page.
You could even make a video I can upload to this site. High quality animal videos from our area will be enjoyed by the 2,000 regular visitors to the Pets and Plants website.
If you don't like writing I am happy to interview you and get some pictures of your dog(s), or cats at the same time.
Please feel free to email guest blogger articles and images via the contacts page.
This blog is a place where we can share in our love of animals, celebrate what they mean to us and keep learning from each other in relation to animal care and welfare.
Meanwhile here's yet more gorgeous dogs to enjoy!
Here is the 3rd installment of Dogs Day Out at the 2014 Begonia Festival.
Again I reiterate just how wonderful it was to meet so many wonderful dogs and their handlers.
All of you that gave me the opportunity to photograph your dog(s) have probably participated in the first ever historical documentation of dogs attending the Begonia Festival.
I should also comment that not once did I see or encounter any dog waste left behind for others to walk through, so it seems our pet owners are also responsible and ensure any dog waste is picked up and placed in garbage bins, so all can enjoy our glorious Botanic Gardens and Lake precinct.
All the dogs I encountered were well educated and upstanding canine citizens, well socialised with both people and dogs.
Thank you all for participating in recording the whose who of dogs from Ballarat and beyond.
Have you noticed the diversity of breeds?
Amongst them was rare white Swiss Shepherds, a golden foxhound, wire haired pointer and the Chinese chow chow, with blue tongues.
Keep watching my blog for the next installment of our wonderful Ballarat dogs!
Another crop of Ballarat's finest canine citizens out and about at the Begonia Festival!
They say "never work with animals or children".
Well, as a teacher and now Client Services Director of Pets And Plants Ballarat, I can vouch for the rewards and joys of both!
It is clear from these images just how individual each dog is. Examine their expressions, body language and ear placement and see if you can guess what each animal was like in the process of being photographed?
This is the first in a series of galleries celebrating Ballarat's wonderful canine companions, out enjoying the Begonia Festival with their human handlers.
The array of breeds, sizes and temperaments of dogs was just as exciting as the floral and gardening exhibits, for any dog lover.
Dogs never fail to entertain us and it was very clear there are thousands of much loved, well socialised and obliging dogs in our city.
Thankyou to the very many patient and proud pet owners who were only too happy for their dog to be recorded for prosterity on this blog.
May you all have many years of happy hours together with your pet.
It was a thorough pleasure meeting you and your dogs, as well as a novel way of introducing Pets and Plants Ballarat to the broader community!
Please be patient if your dog hasn't yet appeared. I know many of you are anxiously awaiting to see your dog. I am endeavouring to get all photos up, within a week, to ten days.
Watch this space!
Fiona Ludbrook is the Client Services Director of Pets and Plants Ballarat. Now, entrepreneur and blogger, she was born and bred in Ballarat, but spent many years as a teacher in Melbourne’s