Sydney Opera House To Pay Dogs $400,000 For Seagull Protection Service
— 6 December 2021

Sydney Opera House To Pay Dogs $400,000 For Seagull Protection Service

— 6 December 2021
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. Or in the case of the dogs employed by the Sydney Opera House to chase seagulls away, do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life and still earn the big bucks.

While your pup was probably struggling to piss in the rain (understandably so given how wet paws are icky), an elite 13-strong cadre of canines has been keeping the oceanfront perimeters secure from Australia’s plague of airborne, chip-thieving pests. After four years of active duty, these specially-trained border collies and kelpies have also secured a two-year contract extension valued at approximately $376,380.

“The results have been incredibly positive, with the seagulls keeping their distance when the dogs are present,” explains the Sydney Opera House; commending the efforts of Sweet Hope, Peppa, Muffin, Tauzer, and others, who were initially brought on for a trial circa 2018.

“This has significantly reduced the number of meal replacements and improved the experience and safety of our patrons.”

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“Financially, it pays for itself because of the amount of money the restaurants save,” adds James Webb, Owner & Trainer at Mad Dogs & Englishmen.

“The dogs love it, and we’ve refined our training over the years to where it is now.”

Mad Dogs & Englishmen’s protection covers everywhere from Opera House to Opera Bar and Opera Kitchen. And while the results practically speak for themselves, not everyone is thrilled about the six-figure spend. In light of the revelation, Shadow Minister for the Arts Walt Secord had the following to say.

“It is simply ludicrous that the state government is frittering away more than $376,000 on a dog and its handler to stroll up and down the Opera House lower concourse for a few hours a day to shoo away the occasional chip-stealing seagull for upscale private businesses,” the NSW Labor party member tells The Daily Telegraph.

Sydney Opera House Dog Seagull Patrol 1 1

“Why is the NSW taxpayer subsidising clam-eating, chardonnay-sipping, tuxedo-clad opera-goers?”

“This is the government that forces NSW residents returning from overseas to cough up for government-enforced quarantine while at the same time they’re doling out hundreds of thousands a year for a dog to scare away seagulls.”

“This is yet another example of wasteful spending from this government – especially during COVID-19.”

In an official statement, however, the Sydney Opera House countered these assertions by stating Mad Dogs & Englishmen’s seagull protection services comes at zero cost to the taxpayer, explaining how the bill is taken care of entirely by the venues (roughly $65,000 per year).

“It’s a nominal percentage of commercial revenue that greatly improves the experience of our visitors, reduces refunds, food wastage, and staffing costs.”

“Seagulls have long been a nuisance to patrons along the Lower Concourse, negatively impacting the experience for visitors and posing a health and safety risk.”

Sydney Opera House Dog Seagull Patrol 1

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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