A Short Paws

A Short Paws was the SGSCC disAbility and Empowerment Films 2015 entry into the Focus on Ability Short Film Festival. A Short Paws took out the Runner Up title in the ‘Most Online Votes’ category again, three years running.

A Short Paws

SGSCC disAbility A Short Paws


Empowerment Films and SGSCC disAbility present A Short Paws

3000 pets come through the gates of a special sanctuary in NSW each year

Hi, I am Amanda Stokes and I am the Fundraising and Partnerships Manager for the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home.

We are an in pound facility that looks after 10 council areas of Sydney and we are also an active re-homing facility. So we've been in the Kogarah area since 1946. It was in 1999 that we became a not for profit and an active re-homing facility.


I've been volunteering at the Sydney Dogs and Cats home for 3 years. Its like a best place to work there for me, I love going there, doing the jobs I like doing, spending time with animals, helping the staff, helping the managers.

It like, when I go in there, it feels like home.

I've always liked animals since I was a kid. Cause I used to have a dog name Wicked who was a Maltese. I had him for quite some time. Then he actually got out and got run over. And that's why I like animals and that's what led me to join the shelter in the first place. 


I did jobs such as cleaning out kennels, scrubbing out the kennels, washing cat and dog tray - cat and dog bowls.

Some of the dogs do come in sad and feel shame for themselves. I just hate seeing animals suffer. I mean any animals suffer it upsets me big time.

But the good news is when they are over here at us they get cuddles,  playtime, they get fed, they get hellos, they get walks. So they're under the best care of us volunteers like myself.

Well today I was walking DJ. Now DJ has only one ear cause DJ had bad ears and unfortunately they couldn't save one of his ears. He loves walks, umm he loves going to the park, spending time at the park, seeing his dog friends. Umm what else does he like doing? He loves getting treats, he loves treats.

Working with volunteers at the shelter is the most important thing there for the staff. I work with one of my fellow volunteers, her name is Gail. She's rostered on every Friday with me and I she loves being around me and I like seeing her around the shelter. Get a cuddle hello.


Fundraising is the most important thing to keep the shelter running. Just a few days ago we had south side roller derby girls who are just amazing. They helped us raise funds for the shelter. And along with the star wars storm troopers, they were there to help raise money.

I've been cared for all my life and now its my turn to care about all the animals and its so heartwarming for me in my heart and I will not trade it for anything in the world.

To my advice to people who have disabilities out there in the community - if your thinking something you cant do something, just go out there and do it. Believe in yourself and have passion.

DJ has been adopted to a loving family since making out film.

Chris continues to make a difference with fellow helpers.

They Sydney Dogs and Cats Home is looking for a new location to call home in the future with a helping paw from the community.

A film from Byron Phillips and SGSCC disAbility.

Created by the production team at Empowerment Films.

Thank you Chris for allowing up to share your story with the world.

With special thanks to South Side Derbey Girls and Rebel Legion Tython Base for lending a galatic paw with our film.

With sincere thanks to The staff and volunteers at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home who work tirelessly 365 days a year to care for Sydney's lost and abandoned pets.


This film was made possible with the kind assistance of Sutherland Shire Council NSW Australia.

Empowerment Films 2015