About Us


My husband Bruce Watt and I (Kate Schoeffel) are both veterinarians and practiced in Condobolin in Western New South Wales for 22 years.We lived on Nyora a cropping, sheep and cattle property where we raised our four wonderful daughters – Annelie, Ellen, Elizabeth and Jane and also Tommy and Susie the Kelpies and Jack the German Shepherd.  In 1993 we had the bright idea which changed our lives and led to the creation of Kate’s Family Pets. Our neighbours (the nearest of whom lived 7 km away) probably thought we were nuts, and people would ask “what’s a labradoodle?”

Our web site in 1995 was the first web site which promoted Labradoodles and the benefits of crossbreeding in dogs and our  miniature Labradoodles were also a world first…. Such a long time ago!

Condobolin is a wonderful place to live and raise children but the drought, the inevitable migration of our children to the coast and the lack of family ties in Condobolin finally led us to the tough  decision to move while we were still young enough to start a new life.

We leased our farm and moved to Bathurst where two of the girls were still at school. Leaving the dogs behind was made possible because  Joanne Pawsey, who came to work at Nyora in 2002, moved into our house and managed the kennels.  Jo’s love for dogs is something that cannot be taught or bought. Most people buying one of our dogs in the past came to know Jo and many now regard her as a personal friend.

For 6 years Kate’s Family Pets operated as a partnership between me and Joanne. For 5 of those years some wonderful and committed veterinary nurses continued to keep the Condobolin Veterinary Surgery operating, and I commuted fortnightly. This  regime, involving 6 hours driving each time, became too taxing eventually and the surgery was closed in 2012.

We have resettled on a beautiful small farm at O’Connell near Bathurst and finally decided that Nyora must be sold.  I’m retired from veterinary practice and we have built a new kennel on our farm, Warrawong (a windy place on a hill).  Our new kennels are much more accessible for Sydney and Canberra visitors and we welcome prospective owners who would like to choose or collect their puppy.

 

We have been lucky to find Alex McKay who appears in most of our puppy videos. Alex is a pleasure to work with and loves the dogs and they love her. Alex is having a baby in September 2015 which is very exciting because she has promised not to leave and will be bringing her baby with her – we are going to set up the surgery as a nursery!

Two months before we brought our dogs back from Condobolin a channel 7 news story was broadcast which, at the time, I believed would destroy my life. I gave a full explanation to the reporter whose story will now haunt us on the internet forever – you can read my side of the story here.


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Christmas 2010 at Warrawong

Christmas 2010 at Warrawong

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Making jokes at my expense at my 60th birthday party.