The numbers continue to increase…….. 2007-2008 NSW pound statistics available

We’ve just completed a summary of all the available pound and shelter statistics for NSW. As predicted by rescue groups, the number of animals entering pounds has increased yet again, from 118,558 in the previous year, to 126,004. Total animals killed was up from 56,531 to 63,651…..and that figure doesn’t include the greyhound population, so you can add a few thousand more to that figure. Download the summary figures here…..

It beggars belief that DPI Minister Ian MacDonald has this to say “A great deal of progress has been made recently on the issue of welfare of animals in pet shops and the government is ensuring that there will be ongoing improvements in pet breeding activities. Consequently the NSW Government does not support an inquiry into the pet industry” (Read more here…)

CEO Kristina Vesk of the Cat Protection Society says this:

 “We knew it was a disaster but looking at the numbers, the scale is just enormous.

We can’t measure how many cats were ‘dumped’ but we imagine it was considerable seeing the enormous increase in cats taken to pounds and shelters. And I hate to say it, but we think that there are people who kill kittens and cats ‘at home’ (ie not taking them to the vet to be euthanased but doing things like drowning litters of kittens).

The outcome for cats is always worse than for dogs.

From the figures, this means 39% of dogs entering pounds are euthanased versus 68% of cats. It is interesting too, that more cats are taken to RSPCA, AWL & CPS than pounds – I am not surprised. Councils seem to feel obliged to ‘deal’ with dogs (fearing the reaction around dangerous dogs etc) but often tell people that they ‘can’t do anything’ about cats.

This means that they push the ‘cat problem’, and the cost of dealing with it, onto charities. Reasons people gave for bringing cats to us and not their pound included being directed to do so by their council (rather than even telling people what their local pound was) or the pound insisting on payment of a fee that people either could not or would not pay. 

Hence we have ended up with a record number of cats that there simply weren’t homes or room for. And we ended up deficit funding just trying to manage the situation. As I said, no more. We can’t afford to act as a de facto pound for all of Sydney’s poor homeless cats. At the end of the day though, the outcome for the cats is the same. Too many cats + not enough homes = a death sentence.

 We have written to the Minister for Local Government pointing out that councils are contributing to feline overpopulation by releasing undesexed kittens from pounds (7 of 14 we surveyed do this). They include the cost of desexing in the price, but rely on people to go back some time later to the facility or a vet to have the cat desexed (typically advising this be done at 5-6 months). Too late! Those kittens can already have kittens of their own (and typically do). Early age desexing has been safely practised for more than 20 years – what are these pounds doing?

Kristina Vesk, CEO, Cat Protection Society NSW

DRP Comment: So what progress has the NSW Department of primary Industry actually made…..that will stop the killing?

What do you think of the progress Government has made this year? Should we invite Government Ministers to be the ones to make the decision as to who lives and who dies next Friday??

If you live in States outside of NSW, can you tell us what you know about the numbers in your State?

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7 thoughts on “The numbers continue to increase…….. 2007-2008 NSW pound statistics available

  1. rachel March 20, 2009 / 4:07 pm

    hi i just wanted to say i am aware that dogs and cats dont neccesarily find a home when taken to a pet shelter but i recently had to surrender my much loved dog after my landlord demanded she had to leave even though she was a good well trained dog.. i tried and tried to get someone to take her but nooone came forward and the friend that did have her for a little while had a falling out with her so my only option was to surrender her but i did this with great caution and i went while they did her tests to see that she passed and she did and ive since been informed she did find a family so in some cases u can find good homes by surrendering animals but it is very unfortunate for the many that don’t.. there are alot of people today that buy animals willy nilly not thinking about all the time they need to put into there animal to look after it properly.. its quite sad..

  2. Marilyn Mangione March 23, 2009 / 10:07 am

    Private breeding of cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, whatever animal, must be stopped. There are too many of the above animals going to slaughter houses. This includes the many pounds and animal shelters. All private breeders should be put out of business. All aggressive dogs must be neutered and no more breeding take place. If we dont take hold of the situation now, there will be millions of animals suffering due to human selfishness.

  3. Nicole March 23, 2009 / 10:20 am

    I have no issue with registered breeders breeding PURE bred dogs.
    I am not saying they make better pets or anything, just that there is good reasons to breed PURE bred dogs, expand the gene pool in a particular breed for example, to develop more healthy, sound examples of a breed and so forth.
    I have recently had my Setter bitch implanted so she will not season for a year or so, and I was surprised how costly it is, for what it is.
    Perhps this should be made much more affordable as an alternative to speying or neutering, which can be beyond affordable to owners on limited incomes.
    Furthermore, landlords should not have the option to say no to out door pets in a pet suitable home (ie house with secure yard)
    Not fair that limited income families (renters) are denied pets.

    Lots of changes need to be made to laws and legislations to put pets in a more secure situation.

  4. Kate Dixon March 23, 2009 / 1:29 pm

    An important area that has received little attention is the fees charged at council pounds, for the release of impounded dogs. When a dog has been picked up by the ranger, impounded for a few days and may have attracted penalties for lack of rego etc, the combined charges for these things are often several hundreds of dollars, and make it impossible for many people to reclaim their dog. Of course people who break the law should live with the consequences but the consequence in this case seem out of kilter with the actual outcome of their mistake/neglect etc (I dont include the penalties for dogs behaving dangerously here). The direct result is that many more dogs than necessary, are dying in council pounds.

    I understand that there is a degree of discretion available to councils in applying pecuniary measures under the NSW Companion Animals Act, and I expect opther states laws are the same. But this seems to be ignored in the interests of revenue raising and the desire to be seen to be ‘getting tough’ on irresponsible dog owners, and councils that exersise the available discretion when dealing with low income earlers or first offenders, are the exception rather than the rule.

    My own council employs compassionate rangers who would love to waive the occasional fine or fee to get a pet back to its family, but would be acting against explicit council policies were they to do so.

    I would like to see the campaign to reduce the killings in pounds, try to convince councils that as important as getting dogs off the streets, is getting them back to their owners. Desexed and microchipped, of course.

  5. Karen Caris March 23, 2009 / 2:32 pm

    I agree with what Marilyn said there should be a law against people breeding dogs, cats horses ect, most breed just for money and do not think of the outcome of these animals,petshops are a big nono in my eyes it makes people impulse buy then you see add for mares like not suitable for riding but make good brood mare yeah just bring more horses in the world that end up at the knackery,laws have to change as this will keep going, dont support petshops most of their pups come from puppymills and backyarders, there are some good pure breed breeders out there that make sure the dogs are desexed before leaving and they screen you carefully ,but a solution to all this is everybody has to pull together .

  6. danielle March 28, 2009 / 7:26 pm

    i was at the pound the other day waiting for half an hour to pick up some dogs that our rescue organisation were giving a second chance to. In that time 15 cats were surrendered. five 8 week old kittens- all fluff and cuteness, a sleek black mother cat and her 5 3 week old kittens- only so new in the world and three other lovely, friendly cats. that is in HALF AN HOUR! they were all euthanased at 0700 on Friday. This is WRONG, wrong on so many levels!

  7. Lesley June 20, 2010 / 9:47 am

    Just when we thought kitten season was winding down, (winter) in comes the next round of newborns to our small independent rescue group. A 5yo mother cat surrendered with her litter of 6 x 1 week old kittens. This cat has already gone on for 5 years and this is her 20th litter!!!!!

    That’s an approximate amount of 120 kittens she brought into the world unneccessarily easily preventable if the owners had desexed her in the first place.

    Try being a rescuer and going to the pound to see 20 kittens on death row and only having space to take home 2. How do you choose between life and death for them? This is what we are faced with on a regular basis.
    We get plenty of them coming from domestic surrenders too so if the cats/kittens go to the pound here there is only a very slim chance they will make it out alive as we are so bogged down with numbers already.
    Each year we offer a free desexing program for cat owners who can’t afford to desex their pets. Last year we desexed 65 female cats that otherwise would not have been done (some already in kitten. Imagine the pandemic of unwanted kittens we would have had on our hands?!
    We still had a very busy kitten season regardless. It just goes on and on…….

    Since when have our loyal, yet unwanted pets become such a disposable item to be tossed out in plastic body bags at the local tip??

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