News from Victoria – Mildura Council – they shoot cats don’t they?

By Kae Norman

“There are good pounds, and good staff.  There are rules in place to protect both worker and animal. 

But sometimes this goes off the rails and things must be spoken of.  See below.  This story hit the front page of the local paper and is being investigated by The Age.  It is unacceptable on every level. 

Early this week, three council employees went into Mildura Pound, took cats and kittens in their cages to the back of the pound – approximately ten animals – and shot them.

A pound helper walked in while this was happening at the back of the pound and was in a state of shock. The kittens did not die quickly and there was blood everywhere. This was at a time the vet with whom Mildura pound have a contract was open.   

The Sunraysia Daily article Mon 23 November

“A ROW has erupted over the shooting of abandoned cats at Mildura Rural City Council’s animal shelter at Belar Avenue last week.

Six cats were shot in a pen by a council by-laws officer to the outrage of the animal welfare community.

The incident, witnessed and made public by a shelter worker, led to a flood of angry emails to Sunraysia Daily on the weekend demanding the practice be stopped and the council officer be sacked.

An angry internet exchange about the “inhuman treatment of animals at Mildura” on the popular dogs website “Dogzonline” also saw the email addresses of individual councillors made public and subject to vitriolic responses from animal lovers.

Mildura Mayor Glenn Milne on the weekend confirmed the shooting had taken place after apparent initial denials from council officers.

Cr Milne said he was confident local laws officers had not contravened any regulations.

“We regret that this has caused concern among the animal welfare community, however this is an accepted method that council can use. There were no malicious intentions by any member of staff.”

Follow up newspaper article, click here…

 DRP Comment: No ‘malicious intentions’ perhaps….. maybe just incompetence? We must make incidents like these at Council Pounds public – the community needs to know. We need to speak up for the animals. (We deplore the confidentiality agreements that some Pounds have initiated to stop people “whistleblowing”.)

Note: shooting is a common method of killing pound animals in many country council pounds. At the end of the day, death is death, no matter how it’s done. But when a vet is available to do the job humanely, then why would a pound do this? Let us know what you think.

Actions you can take:

Protest against this inhumane treatment of these animals, please write as a general member of the public to the email addresses below.  

Mark Henderson, Chief Executive Officer 

Councillor Glenn Milne (Mayor):

Councillor Susan Nichols (Deputy Mayor):  

Councillor John Arnold: 

Councillor Nick Cavallo 

Councillor Mark Eckel 

Councillor Judi Harris 

Councillor Fiona Hilton-Wood – 

Councillor Vernon Knight 

Councillor Max Thorburn


7 thoughts on “News from Victoria – Mildura Council – they shoot cats don’t they?

  1. Tina Courtenay December 8, 2009 / 9:50 pm

    this is sick, count on me to write lots of letters…what is this country coming to…

  2. Romana December 28, 2009 / 9:12 am

    This is sad. It is terrible and hard to swallow, and I know that this keeps happening over and over again, probably on an every-day basis. Good that people protest against it. On the other hand, there are the vet costs. In our local vet clinic, euthanasia of a cat costs $52.50 – about the same price as clinics in large cities charge for de-sexing!.
    If the average “normal” cat owners will not invest that sort of money into their cats, why should the Council invest thousands of dollars into vet bills lateron to have all those unwanted cats and kittens “disposed of’? There must be a better way. What about imposing fines on everybody who advertises puppies and kittens and is not a registered breeder? Isn’t that proof enough that those people are CREATING the problem that the Council is finally forced to deal with? Why not stop the problem at the source?

  3. Chris. October 6, 2010 / 7:32 am

    If vets didn’t charge such pathetic prices for having animals desexed the problem with unwanted animals wouldn’t be nearly as bad. I believe the government should make desexing animals free. Until something drastic like that happens the problem of unwanted animals will continue to exist. Vets claim to care about animals but by being money hungry scum in my opinion they create the problem of unwanted pets in the first place.

  4. Romana October 6, 2010 / 8:29 am

    True, Chris. That’s why it is so important that we spread the message where to find good well-priced vet clinics. I use the one in Two Wells, north of Adelaide. There, de-sexing costs $52 for a male cat and $75 for a female, and small to medium-sized dogs cost under $150. Some animal shelters with attached vet clinics also offer cheap desexing to the public.

  5. Samantha Anders December 20, 2011 / 12:49 am

    I only just read this, I live in Mildura, I hope this is still not happening..Vets here charge $115 to have you cat pts, my poor cat was sick and I had to use that option and was shocked at the price. Also it is $130 to have your cat desexed in Mildura, the Vets here charge what they want, there is only two vets here, so pet owners have very little option but to pay the over priced fee’s.

  6. Romana December 20, 2011 / 1:49 am

    Sam, that desexing price in Mildura is actually not too bad at all for a remote region. Here in the Riverland, the vets charge $220 for spaying of a female cat and $180 for castrating a male, plus they require proof of full vaccination which adds another $200 or so to the bill, making it an average of $400 to get your cat “done”.

    I and several other people (for example, Susan from Loxton and Lola from the Morook shelter) regulary take cats and dogs to the vets in Adelaide who have much lower prices due to the overwhelming competition – there are some 200 vets or more in the Adelaide region and they are all desperate for customers.

    MY ADELAIDE VET CHARGES ONLY $65 TO SPAY A FEMALE CAT AND $45 TO CAST A MALE. Similar prices apply for ferrets and small dogs. It would really make sense if someone would set up a transport service for such animals in need between Mildura and Adelaide. I know it is a stretch for the driver, but if the pet owners add let’s say $10 each for the petrol and someone has a van big enough to accommodate 10 cats and would like to do some shopping or visit friends in Adelaide anyway, it can be done. Please give me a call at (08) 8582 5058 if you want to discuss this idea further.

    Alternatively, there is a lady vet called Leigh – I think she is Chinese – who calls herself a “mobile vet”. She comes to Waikerie regularly and desexes female cats for about $100 and males for $65.

    However, I think $30 more or less shouldn’t be the issue – go with your vet, I think his/her price is OK. It costs about $70,000 for a vet to complete a veterinary study; somehow they must earn their investment back in a reasonable way. And everybody can earn those $30 extra with 2 hours of cleaning, seriously. $130 is not a too high price for an open-body surgery under aneastetics.

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