This page is currently under-going a re-write.

Chapter 1

Once Upon a Time

Madeleine scowled. ‘This is not good enough’, she thought.

It was the late 1990’s and Maddy had just picked up her beloved dogs from a kennel. It was obvious to Maddy that her two besties were not happy. This caused her heart to ache. She scratched their ears affectionately and asked of them, ‘Why don’t they see you as a social creature rather than locking you in solitary confinement?’ They looked at her (a little accusingly), with their sad, wise eyes, panting agreement.

Maddy was ‘fixer’ by nature. She never shirked a challenge. She made up her mind then and there (as she is want to do) that she would be the one to provide a cure for this particular problem.

This is why, with a steely glint of determination, Maddy went on a journey to create her own boarding establishment.

To clarify, not an ordinary boarding facility, but one where she would be happy to leave her own dogs, knowing that they will be happy during their entire stay. Indeed, all of it.

Maddy with Josie & Ben
Maddy with Josie & B

Maddy envisaged dogs happily mixing and playing together in yards specifically built for that purpose. Not only that, she saw, in her mind’s eye, how happy and grateful the customers would be.

Maddy dubbed her envisaged play system: ‘Open Plan Socialisation’.

Chapter 2

The (most important) first course of action was to find the perfect property. And so it was that a farm house and its surrounding machinery sheds speaks loudly to Maddy of potential.

To Maddy’s discerning eye, this little gem was perfect for her new business. There is plenty of space (3 acres) – tick! The pretty Broken Creek runs nearby – tick! And, it is a mere 4 kms east of Nathalia. Perfection!

Maddy rolls up her sleeves, ready for the unknown challenges and obstacles that lay ahead.

Chapter 3

And so, in the Year 2000, after many negotiations and permits fluttering around, Maddy launches her business. This consists of two yards, a handful of boarders and the obligatory bottle of sparkly.

Still, it was just a pup (the business) and there was much work to do. Indeed, hard and physical work, involving many long hours. But, inimitable Maddy was up to the challenge. Accordingly, many trees take root and fences magically materialist.

Madeleine’s sense of Fengshui crept over the grounds, eventually transforming the property into one of the prettiest in the Moira Shire.

Soon enough guests would come from Geelong, Melbourne, southern NSW and every town in between.

After many years, there are 28 yards. Each yard receives a name – a name from a particular and regular four-legged friend.

Madeleine nodded her approval at the excited hounds trotting into her office – and into her heart.

Numerous local teens entered the working world via the Kennels; all will recall, with great fondness, scooping poop and tussling with the water device (of the time) to clean the kennels. Madeleine, mother-hen and mentor, scurried around ensuring her young charges did things to her exacting standards.

Jacinda with her beloved Indie

Chapter 4

Jacinda was one such teen. Her work experience week in 2005 turning into part-time work, and then a school-base trainee. In 2006, she became an award winning regional trainee. With Companion Animal Studies traineeship (Wangaratta TAFE) and a Grooming qualification (Box Hill TAFE) her training was complete. For this reason our highly experienced young lady was ready to accept the baton as manager & proprietor of Nathalia Boarding Kennels & Cattery in 2011.

Madeleine continued to guide and mentor, taking a ‘back seat’ in the day-to-day physical tasks.

With Jacinda at the helm & wing-man Vanessa by her side, the Moira Shire recognises and rewards their outstanding customer service. The girls nail the ‘2015 Business Excellence Award’ to the office wall, and grin with pleasure.

Vanessa – Dog Whisperer & Manager

Vanessa mirrored Jacinda’s work ethic and entry via work experience (oddly enough also in 2005). However she explored other options after school (like a gap year in the Army) but always found herself at the beloved kennels ‘in-between times’. Vanessa’s social media savvy added further noteworthy tones to the now very well established business.

Chapter 5

All of sudden, during early 2016, Madeleine thought, ‘This is the perfect time to relinquish the reigns’.

As a result, she offers her two best girls the opportunity to purchase the business from her. While Jacinda, after much thought, declines the offer; Vanessa, with support from her parents, jumps at the chance.

Thus, in October 2016 we find the Scadden’s leasing Maddy’s business prior to fully purchasing in April 2017.

Maddy, easing into ‘retirement’ continues to drive (pet taxi) and mentor, as the Scadden’s settle into the business.

Chapter 6

To this day, Vanessa, Fay & David maintain Maddy’s ‘open plan socialisation’ vision, where dogs socialise and play together in a safe, happy, stimulating and sensory environment.

There is no clear or defining day upon which Maddy can hang her retirement hat. To this day she is still mentoring the Scadden family, however, she did relinquish driving duties at the end of 2018.

Now Madeleine can confidently wave goodbye as her current four-legged pals bound into the van for a play-date at Nathalia Boarding Kennels & Cattery.

Madeleine smiles. ‘This is perfect!’



Cedric was our Factotum… ‘the man who does everything’.

Every day for 13 years, rain, hail or shine, you would find Cedric washing dog and cat bowls in the Kennel kitchen.

Cedric, a true-blue supporter of the business, always took a genuine interest in the lives of the employees. Taciturn teenagers found themselves engaging in lively conversations with him. He developed a wonderful rapport with all.

Cedric started volunteering at the kennels in 2005 (the same year as Jacinda & Vanessa) and departed in 2017. Jacinda and he ‘retiring’ in the same year.

Jacinda started a new chapter and our ‘nish-nosher’ (aka dish washer) concluded his story.

RIP Cedric – we miss your booming voice.

Current Staff

Full-time: Heather Harrison, Chelsea Hicks, Ashley Keir, Emily Tymensen, Jacinta Scadden (photographs & online).

School Based Apprentice: Kane Stray

Casual / Part-time: Caitlin Evans, Dani Guthrie, Amelia Vaughan, Abbey Bell, Jemma Bell, Mia Bell, Emily Bright, Ned Bramwell,

Adhoc Photographer: Rachel & Jacinta Scadden

Past Workers

Our Kennels would not be as amazing as it is today without the contributions from past workers.

Teagan Peterson, Abbey Cleeland, Michelle Temme, Cadisyn Villani, Helen McKeown – Groomer Extraordinaire (RIP), Cassie Brooks, Josh Gemmill, Jade Philips, Laura Harvey-Hawkins, Chantal Germon, Jake Hindmarsh, Clancy Congues, Helena Bakogianis, Evelyn Scott, Lyn Mitchell, Kellie Begley, Cheryl, Rebecca Ford, Dana Ford, Jenny Trotter, Kelsey Walker, Denise & Nathan Butler, Paul & Alison Maloney, Holly & Michaela Cottingham, Xav & Grant Bell, Di Gemmill, Daniel Keil, Imogen Dixon, Stormy Guthrie, Leah Bridges, Emma (Flo) Rendell, Clinton, Elvie & Stuart Barnes, Daisy Ing, Kirah Turri, Ashley Henze, Ann Mooney, Monty Keil (meet and greet boy for 13 of his 15 years), Camilla Wilson, Stacey & Tanya Fitzgibbon & Harrison Hawks.

If you worked for us and your name is not on this list – please let us know!