Geelong Animal Welfare Society

This report summarises the situation at Geelong Animal Welfare Society (GAWS)– a Greater Geelong Council contracted pound facility. 26 September 2011

GAWS is a private animal welfare society with a 57 year history,  (although recent events suggest that we use the term “animal welfare” rather loosely.)

Over 12 months ago, when we wrote about incidences of bullying at the RSPCA WA Malaga Shelter, we were contacted by two staff members at GAWS who started to tell us about similar events at GAWS. Since that time other staff members, both current and now departed , have come forward with information.

What has emerged is a story that has to be told. Told for the staff who have suffered and importantly told for the animals that have been subjected to standards of “animal welfare” that are truly out of kilter with community expectations and standards that we should expect today.

These are the people involved:

Ian Walter – President and a vet with business connections to Kardinia Vet Surgery (who provide vet services to GAWS). Conducts the animal killings himself. We understand that he has given himself a seven year Presidentship at GAWS.

David Cecil – Vice President

Mark Osborne    Vice President
Board Members:

Elva Reeves

Helen Sykes

Pam Arnott

Gabi Gerardi
Sandy Murdoch
Denise Civelli
Nadine Williams
Lorna Scanlon
Catherine Gray
Rodney Duggan

  • Pound Manager – Robyn Stewart
  •  Staff members who for the purpose of this report will remain anonymous
  •  Greater Geelong Council

The stated objectives of the Society are:

  •  To prevent cruelty to any living creature, and encourage kindness to animals
  • To rescue animals from the perils of the streets
  • To give food and temporary shelter to lost, abandoned, wandering or starving animals
  • To restore lost or wandering animals to their owners
  • To endeavour by sale, or other approved means to find good homes for lost or unwanted animals
  • To humanely destroy those animals which, owing to old age, injury, disease, vice, being unwanted or unplaceable, or other sufficient reason it may be deemed desirable to destroy
  • To educate the general public to a just appreciation of animals and dispel ignorance, apathy and mismanagement likely to be detrimental to their welfare
  • To fully co-operate with the appropriate authorities, more particularly the police, in prosecuting the perpetrators of any proven act of cruelty
  • To hire or employ secretaries, clerks, managers, servants and workmen and to pay them and other persons in return for services rendered, salaries, wages and gratuities

 The big question is: how does a Society with the above objectives end up with practices like the following:

  • Positions not advertised to attract staff with skills and knowledge
  • Positions filled by family, friends, friends and family of friends, of management regardless of experience or lack of
  • The facility run like a personal family fiefdom with family and ‘friends” employed
  • A bullying and intimidating culture and environment
  • High staff turnover
  • Adequate training not provided
  • Volunteers with skills and knowledge turned away
  • Stray cats housed in boarding facility with no vaccinations, flea or worm treatments
  • Very small percentage of cats given a chance to be rehomed
  • Homes not actively sought for animals – no technology solution for marketing needy animals
  • Healthy social dogs placed  or ‘hidden’ in aggressive dog area and not made available for adoption
  • Healthy rehomable animals killed
  • Animals with treatable illness or injuries killed
  • Fearful animals killed
  • Animals killed to ‘make room’
  • no infectious diseases program – parvo constantly rife at GAWS due to lack of cleaning regime
  • Dogs with infectious diseases not isolated
  • Dogs, puppies, cats and kittens housed together with no vaccination, flea or worm treatments
  • Injured and sick animals wait for treatment until Tuesday when vet arrives for euthanasia
  • President performs euthanasia on behalf of contracted vet – a possible conflict of interests
  • Enrichment and exercise provided very rarely and sporadically, not regularly
  • Animals incorrectly assessed – no professional or independent temperament testing
  • Offers of free or discounted animal food and assistance from businesses rejected
  • Unwanted excess donations of bedding and supplies thrown out, not networked to other shelters and rescue groups
  • Cats and kittens killed in full view of other cats and kittens until public awareness recently raised
  • Limited involvement with volunteers
  • Zero relationship with Rescue Groups ( OK, just starting, as a result of the demonstration )
  • A low rehoming rate (ie a high kill rate)
  • Decisions to kill made by one person  (Robyn Stewart) – numerous errors made
  • Animals to be killed kept in cages with “I have found a home” signs on the door
  • Management in the dark ages and uneducated  about the role of rescue groups and volunteers in modern shelter rehoming practices
  • Every year GAWS have a public campaign asking the public to dig deep and donate cat and dog food. People donate so much. Children even spend their Christmas money to bring out bags of food. Every year however, considerable quantities of food gets thrown out

These are annual numbers for GAWS:

2009-2010    Dogs Received   2968   Rehomed  487   Killed    852

Cats Received    3141   Rehomed  546   Killed  2426

2008-2009    Dogs Received   2777   Rehomed  466   Killed    972

Cats Received    3729   Rehomed  538   Killed  2949

2007-2008    Dogs Received   2856   Rehomed  429   Killed    850

Cats Received    3401   Rehomed  419   Killed  2849

Earlier this year, 2 dogs were slated by Stewart to be killed. Members of the community intervened and the two dogs were subsequently rehomed.

Case 1) 24/5/11 JackRussellTerrier had been seen for a week in locked area behind chain mesh fence. Appeared friendly and healthy. When questions were asked, found out it had come in with another dog that was euthanised next day because it had mange. People showing interest in JRT told it was very dog aggressive. Homeless hounds made enquiries and were told dog was not available to be rehomed due to aggression. They offered to temp assess (qualified assessor) and were told no.  Public outrage via facebook and contact with council finally saw dog moved to adoption area on Weds 1/6/11.

Thurs 9/6/11 found out JRT had gone to a safe new home with another dog. No thanks to GAWS.

Case 2) Sunday 15/5/11. Phone call made to GAWS about rescuing white boxer in locked area. It had been seen in this area for approx 2 weeks. Caller spoke to Marie, who said boxer is deaf and due to legalities can’t be rehomed. It was pointed out that deaf dogs are rehomed by RSPCA, and in demand from the deaf society. Monday 16/5/11, Homeless Hounds allowed to put name down to rescue white boxer.  Boxer adopted from GAWS approx 20/5/11 and found to have no hearing problem. Rosy is now safe with a family.

The reaction by GAWS management? Obviously hiding the animals from the interfering public became more of a priority so they built a 12 ft wall at the end of the facility where there had previously been a chain link fence that people could see through to the kennels holding animals for destruction. Now the animals are out of sight from the road. When questioned about the fence, Council replied that it was to do with “health and safety” reasons.  Question: So there weren’t any H&S issues for the past 20 odd years, and suddenly when the issue of these two dogs came up, there were??

More recently we have been given evidence that dogs to be killed are drugged overnight with sedatives in their food , left unattended and then hauled off to the killing room the next morning semi comatose. We have reports of uneaten food and tablets left in the kennels through to the morning.

The evidence we have includes copies of dockets requesting supply of phenobarb/phenomav and acp. These dockets are sent to the vet clinic, and bottles of the tablets are sent back. Quite regularly.

We also have images of the ‘toolbox’ used to make the cocktails of these tabs, with written instructions on the lid for staff as to how many tabs to use for which breed of dog, regardless of age or physical condition.

We have videos of dogs taken an hour or two after being fed these cocktails, losing control of their bodies and unable to stand or hold their heads up.

We have videos of dogs laying dead the next morning, surrounded by yellow and white pills, uneaten food in bowls beside them studded with the same pills. These dogs have yet to be seen by a vet.  That happens after they are dead.

We have tried to find out whether these drugs are restricted, whether they are breaking the law by allowing unqualified staff to kill dogs with them, without a vet seeing the animals that are being killed or advising for individual animals what dosage etc to administer.

The dogs are fed these cocktails at the last minute before staff go home and then left alone all night unsupervised while they die of an overdose.

Then there is the issue that there is no record kept of how these tablets are used, no record of which dogs are given how many of each tablet. There is no accountability at all, and I know that one is a barbiturate, I am not sure but think the other is an amphetamine.”

When we reported this matter to authorities,  we received this information  in respect of this practice:

“The Acetylpromazine sedation is used to reduce the number of tablets of barbiturate required to produce unconsciousness and death.

The issue with anaesthetic agents and barbiturates in particular is that if slowly introduced the animal passes through an excitement stage. If left in a very quiet environment occasionally they may not show this excitement however most commonly they show thrashing around and vocalising. This activity is not a result of pain but uncontrolled nervous excitement. During this stage animals might well injure themselves by chomping and biting their tongues, elevating their heads and bang down on the floor etc. As the barbiturate levels increase the animal will cease this excitement period and lapse into unconsciousness and ultimately die.

 This process occasionally occurs when using injectable barbiturates when an animal struggles or is inadequately restrained and the needle comes out of the vein before the actual anaesthetic overdose is provided and I can assure you it is exceedingly distressing to anyone present. But at least in this circumstance the vet can quickly reposition the needle to produce euthanasia. ( I include this not to distress but to emphasise the distressing nature of the process)

 You may be aware that animals when they come out of an anaesthetic also pass through this excitement stage and it is important to keep them in a quiet space with no sharp noises, movement or handling that might trigger off the thrashing around & vocalising.

 I personally doubt that the Veterinary Board would venture an opinion about the humaneness of this procedure but they would certainly say it was not an appropriate veterinary act of euthanasia unless there were mitigating circumstances.”

(photos at end of this report)

 Is this really an acceptable practice for an “Animal Welfare Society”?

We understand that Geelong Council and the DPI have known about the overnight drugging since April, yet this practice still persists. Why?

Since these issues have emerged, and only since then, GAWS have started to allow some Rescue Groups access to some animals, all of whom wish to remain confidential. Call GAWS and ask them if they work with Rescue Groups and you will likely be told “of course we do”.

Since these issues have emerged and only since then. GAWS have started to publicise selected animals on the PetRescue website. We emailed GAWs to ask why they don’t have animals advertised on their own website and were told “Our IT people are working on it”.

An early meeting between concerned members of the public, Walters, Cecil and Council produced a commitment by GAWS that they would supply rescue groups with a weekly “kill list” of animals at risk. Despite the commitment from Walters, this list never happened, despite regular reminders and requests.

The pound manager is a known bully. Earlier this year a staff member who had been the subject of repeated intimidation by Stewart took out a bullying claim against the manager. The eventual outcome was the payment of a substantial sum of money by the Society in return for a deed of release for the bullying claim.    We have information to know that this deal was brokered by a union official and Geelong Council. This is a very large sum of member-donated money that should have been spent on facilities and the animals.

We have evidence that this character of bullying and intimidation goes back 30 years and we have evidence of other staff who have been the subject of the harassment  by this ‘manager’.

Earlier this year, members of the local community had started to become concerned with the situation at GAWS,  and in May held a public protest outside the gates of the facility

 In May 2011 we wrote to Walter and advised him of our concerns, and also to extend information and an invitation for him to attend the August Getting2Zero workshop in Sydney. This letter, copied to Cecil (and Geelong Council) , was never acknowledged or replied to. This is the letter – download here.

In June 2011, we wrote an extended report to each individual member of the GAWS board advising them that a) they were unlikely to being briefed correctly by management and b) as a board members they have a duty of responsibility for the running of the Society according to its charter.  We have not had the courtesy of a reply from the Board. This is the letter – download here. 

Following is an extract from a  recent letter from a staff member sent to Geelong Council:

“In my time at GAWS, I witnessed days when people ‘cleaning’ cat casualty didn’t feed the animals. I have copies of notes left by staff members that they hadn’t cleaned as it ‘wasn’t dirty’, dogs put in pens that sick animals had been removed from without those pens being cleaned or bedding and water changed.  I have proof of new admissions being placed in pens with dogs suffering from kennel cough, the problems are endless.

 The majority of them are occurring because staff have no training, and so no idea, that poor hygiene is the major cause of disease. If they are aware, then it can only be explained by laziness and lack of concern or supervision by management. The rate of disease at GAWS is very, very high. Not all instances are recorded in the bookwork. Most of the dogs that don’t suffer kennel cough while there, are sent to the vet for treatment after they go to their new homes.

 Puppies are often lost to parvo, and the cat casualty area is a haven for cat ‘flu. The animals at GAWS, because already stressed, are particularly vulnerable and susceptible to these diseases. And yet there is no instruction, no procedure, I believe no understanding, of how to control these disease epidemics. They are much more than outbreaks. At GAWS they are a constant.

 The issue of temperament testing is also an area of grave concern. There is no formal policy or procedure. There is no paperwork that is signed off to show an animal has been tested.

 Why? Because it does not happen. The decision on whether an animal lives or dies is made by one person alone.

 Quite often the way we would find out an animal was to be killed was 5 minutes after it arrived – still suffering from fear, anxiety and stress – and we would be told “That thing’s going nowhere”.

 That is not acceptable to me, to most of society, and I would hope you find it unacceptable too. These animals are not ‘things’, they are individual lives. The taking of one of those lives should never be allowed to be decided in a callous, thoughtless, or nasty way. 

 As a staff member who was subjected to severe bullying, I learned the hard way to keep it secret if there was an animal I felt very strongly about.  That should never, ever be allowed to occur. To kill an animal out of spite or as ‘payback’ is inexcusable and, to me, unforgivable.

 To a lesser degree the problem of staff bullying is also extremely concerning. I was subjected to it for over 18 months, because I spoke up about something that was wrong. I was bullied to the extent of having Robyn walking in to my home and yelling abuse at me. Her son was permitted to follow me, abusing and intimidating me. I was told by other staff members that they were afraid to be seen talking to me in case Robyn saw them.   

 I even had one of council’s officers bullying me and Robyn refusing to do anything to stop it. B and D had to help me get that sorted out. I was spoken about in a very derogatory manner while it was known I could hear. It was a very difficult part of my life. My brother passed away and I was allowed 3 hours off work to spend with my family. 

 GAWS made a large ex gratia payment to me on the signing of a deed of release. I would have preferred to take them to court, to ensure they would never allow Robyn to treat staff that way again. But my union advised me to accept the payment as a court case would be another 12 months of stress, on top of that which I had already suffered.

 I am also writing to the DPI, and making them aware of the evidence I have about many breaches of the code of practice. Cats are still killed in the cat casualty room, and no barrier has been erected to shield the other cats. After 5 months, what possible excuse can pardon that still occurring? Animals are sold with ‘vouchers’ for vaccination, and GAWS have no way of following up if these vaccinations are ever given. In fact, quite a few animals come back and they have not had it done. There is no disease control plan, no attempt ever made to isolate animals with infectious diseases, bookwork is often altered,  cats are left in cat traps and even small carry cages for 3 days or more before being killed. Even something as basic as water bowls – chewed up plastic containers DO NOT comply with the code of practice.

 Very little has changed at GAWS over the last few months, despite what I am seeing publicly stated. They have now made themselves an area where they can hide dogs as well as cats from public view, and never give the public even a description of these animals so that owners can possibly locate them if lost.

 The only reason Robyn wanted that wall erected was because rescue groups managed to get 2 dogs from the area when it had a cyclone mesh fence. There was no public access, it had nothing to do with OHS. It had everything to do with the public finding out she had marked 2 dogs to be killed that were perfectly re-homable. That continues, but she has now ensured the public can never catch her at it again.

 I have only listed some of the serious problems at GAWS. There are many, many more ethically and morally wrong acts being committed on a regular basis. 

 This is not going to go away until Geelong has a facility that cares for the lost, stray and unwanted animals of the community at a standard that is acceptable. It will not go away until COGG is seen to care, is seen to act, and is seen to ensure that if GAWS cannot do this, then the contract is given to someone who will. The community will not give up on this, and I am not going to give up on this.

 There has been too much unaccountability at GAWS for way too long. I have decided to step forward and speak, and I know that there will be others to follow me.

 I hope to hear soon that this is finally being treated with the seriousness and urgency that it requires. Every week animals are dying that should not be. The cats are not all feral, the dogs are not all vicious. A very large number of them are beautiful, loving animals that deserve a life.”

This is a recent communication from another staff member:

 “Work is still the same as you can well imagine. We are still understaffed and it is driving me mad. I have been complaining about the lack of trained staff so tomorrow M is coming out to discuss with us. N and K have had enough too and  I know deep down M feels the same. 

I am so disappointed the way the cats are cleaned on a weekend. There is shit and food all over the place and it just is heartbreaking. In the old days you would be ashamed to clean like that. Actually the cleaning was done 100% better. The workload has increased immensely and we can’t seem to keep up. “

And another:

“Another thing that troubled me immensely was seeing sick dogs with no signage warning staff or the public. While I was there, I had a number of ringworm puppies (4-5 separate occasions), and wasn’t even warned – each time I found out when I was holding a pup and saw the lesion, I would have been furious if I took that home to my animals. I also saw them put a suspected parvo puppy in with another puppy. Naturally when the parvo was diagnosed, both puppies lost their lives. Never did I see a sign posted on the front of the cages warning people not to touch the infected animals, let alone warning staff. I used to work at an animal hospital, so I know I have high standards of cleanliness, but this place would disgust just about anyone I’m sure. I was told to not bother changing water tubs between dogs, only when they were green. There was always a lot of bird poo in water dishes, and toys weren’t cleaned properly so they’d be mouldy. Use of bleach on cages that had held sick dogs was mildly discouraged – the general response was ‘hmmm fiiiiine’, like I was asking for something inappropriate.

The ‘cat casualty’ room is where ferals and sick and injured go straight away (all ferrets, regardless of temperament, go there too), and they are pts in that same room, despite the fact that they could put them in crush cages and take them to the actual euthanasia room. As far as I know, that’s against the code of practice, and I wonder why they’ve not received a hefty fine.

Just remembered – when I suggested again doing PetRescue for them, I was advised that most of the dogs are there only 8 days, if no one expresses interest in that time, they go on the next Tuesday’s cull list. Also, as far as I saw that ‘dangerous dog’ area now hidden by the fence was mostly just old dogs they didn’t think would be adopted. “

 And more…..

 “The next week I refused to take part ( in killing) , I walked away.  That marked me as a target for relentless bullying until the day I left.  Staff are judged on how good they are at destructions. That is when they prove their worth to the manager and the vet/president of the society. 

There was one young girl who could work magic with cats. While she was there, the cats and kittens we were selling were all confident, happy, affectionate cats. But when she left, the only comment uttered by the vet/president was “Good. She was no good at destructions.”

More still….

 “From there things got worse. I really got to see how the place was run. Healthy animals placed in  pens with sick animals, witnessing a small dog being picked up by the collar and thrown a distance of at least 8 feet, being approached by a distraught staff member who had just seen a gravely ill, but still living, dog being placed in a body bag to be put in the freezer.

 Pen floors covered in blood and diarrhoea from a dog with parvovirus left more than 24 hours before being cleaned. Puppies put in with other pups suspected of having Parvo, then all the pups killed when it was confirmed. Vomit containing live intestinal worms left in the animal transport vehicle for 2 days before finally being cleaned – with a dry paper towel. 

 Animals with wounds causing their limbs to swell to twice normal size while waiting 3 days for veterinary care. Animals being killed because the manager became aware that someone she didn’t like was fond of the animal.  Happy, healthy animals secretly marked with a big N/A, and an ‘I have a home’ sign placed on their pen for the 8 days they waited before being killed.  Snap decisions made to kill animals because the manager was in a bad mood, didn’t like the animal, or just didn’t like the owner of the animal.

 Good, caring staff leaving because they just couldn’t cope anymore. The manager deciding to only employ unskilled family and friends because staff started speaking up about what was going on.  The mornings at the shelter/pound/animal welfare society are busy. People who know how, clean. The manager’s family and friends fill in time. Afternoons are spent gossiping, bitching. About staff who aren’t present. About the rescue groups who are trying to save the animals.  

 About the president, and the other directors on the board.  No one is safe from the scathing, bitter tongue of the manager and everyone comes under fire at some stage. Hours, whole afternoons, spent listening – for some participating – while the dogs lay in their pens, filthy, bored, gradually succumbing to depression and anxiety.

 The cats hide in corners and try to make their selves disappear. Because no one is allowed to use this idle time to exercise, soothe, reassure or bathe these animals. They are going to die anyway, it’s a waste of time.”

Here is a Timeline of recent events and communications with President and Vice President and Council:

April 19th – GAWS public demonstration

April 28th – Meeting, attendees Joyce Doherty, Claudette Hudson, Ian Walter, David Cecil and Shane Scriggins

May 11th – Meeting, attendees Joyce Doherty, Tarsha Andrews, David Cecil, Ian Walter, Shane Scriggins, Steve Sodomaco (20 mins), Susan Taylor & Michelle Cranston (Homeless Hounds); agreement made for GAWS management to provide  a weekly list of animals at risk (“kill list”) For Robyn to provide a kill list on the Friday preceding the kill week (she has never complied and has refused to provide this)

Meeting was set up for Homeless Hounds to meet with Dr. Walter and Robyn for the following Wednesday 18th May (did not go ahead)

Meeting set up for TA and JD to meet with Board on 23rd June at Board Meeting

 Phone calls of relevance

May 18th TA rang IW to discuss and request kill list and temp testing

May 23rd TA rang SS about Doberman (not treated and a clear COP breach, and the heeler that GAWS claim bit someone in which council said unlikely as they would know about it, (see pound email for this conversation content)

June 6th TA rang SS regarding his amendments of GAWS/Council contract and discussed upcoming meeting council has with GAWS to present this; yet to hear feedback

September 9th, phone call from Steve Sodomaco to Deathrowpets – explained that new contractual arrangements would be insisted by Geelong Council

 Communications of relevance

May 7 letter from Deathrowpets to IW, cc DC and SS. No acknowledgement or reply from IW and DC (letter attached along with relevant attachments)

May 10 – email to DC alerting to Gettin2Zero workshop in Sydney with invitation attached – no reply received

May 15th from JD and TA to IW requesting kill list and highlighting the white boxer case

May 16th from JD and TA To IW, discussing qualified temp assessors at GAWS, attached 2 docs regarding this as well

May 16th reply from IW saying thank you and he has circulated the docs amongst staff

May 22nd from JD/TA to Ian Walter again requesting kill list

May 22nd from JD/TA to DC now asking him for kill list

May 23rd, reply from Cecil to us, “will look into this”

May 24th – got reply that via Cecil that Robin won’t produce a kill list for rescue as she says all dogs that are killed are not re-homable for various reasons

May 25th Ian Walter to JD and TA explaining ex employee Dr Nic Brnason has agreed to do temp testing and explaining he’s unsure of where council are at with the S84Y but GAWS have first draft of amendments to their contract

June 10th JD and TA to SS asking him to confirm he witnessed Walter and Cecil agree in our meeting of 11/5/11 to supply kill list

June 12th JD and TA to SS – re-sent above email as no reply yet

June 17th – letter sent to each Board member by Deathrowpets. Response received on 21st September.

 Note: Deathrowpets have sent 2 polite communications extending our hand of support to Ian Walter and David Cecil and have not had the courtesy of a reply.

At the time of writing, we understand that Geelong Council  are initiating a revised agreement with GAWS, but we are not aware of the detail.

DRP Comment;

What needs to be discussed is “who has the responsibility and accountability to fix things here?

Is it the President and vp? (Ans: Yes)

Is it the Board? (Ans: Yes)

Is it the Council? (Ans: Yes)

The staff members who have spoken up and members of the community who recognised the problem are to be recognised and congratulated. Without them, situations like this will continue and that is unacceptable.

We have seen that many people in situations like this are often reluctant to speak up and expose what is going on.  This is disappointing as that makes them part of the problem. In the case of GAWS 3 staff members have done the right thing and spoken up.

This is not the only shelter we know of where CEOs and Presidents have given themselves a job for life, stacked the Board with friends and supporters, and who “protect” managers who intimidate and bully their staff who disagree with their methods.

The Board will say “we didn’t know”. We know that in cases like this, the president or CEO will often “filter” information they want the Board to see, but it is no excuse. The Board MUST work out what is going on. The GAWS Board replied to our letter, but sadly their reply was all …..”you’ve got it wrong – you’ve been misinformed Deathrowpets”. Zero acceptance of responsibility, zero accountability for fixing the problems.

In 2012 new Australian  legislation is coming in that will make bullying a serious  offence, and management and Boards who are aware of the situation, but do nothing, will be liable for very large fines. GAWS Board and management, and Geelong Council,  take note.

If you have personal experience of the situation at GAWS, or similar situations in other animal welfare shelters, please let us know.

Question for you. If a Council contracts out pound services to a private charity, how much responsibility should the Council have for standards at the facility?

 If you want to write to Geelong Council: the head of the responsible department is Stephen Griffin:

Notes added 4/10/11

Photo of instructions to staff to sedate animals day before killing   

Photo of source of sedation drugs

Photo of 12 ft wall erected to obscure view of “dangerous dogs”section 


354 thoughts on “Geelong Animal Welfare Society

  1. What a shame September 26, 2011 / 10:54 am

    Right or wrong what you have said in this piece of information I do not support you naming people. You are lowering yourselves by doing that and it appears more like personal attacks on people rather than trying to make people aware and promote change. Very sad that you have made such a worthwhile cause look like nothing more than a high school drama.

  2. Shocked and distressed September 26, 2011 / 12:05 pm

    They dont deeseve protection, the people responsible should be named, and made accountable!

  3. New management required..... September 26, 2011 / 12:17 pm

    What a Shame……….. Executives of the Board and Board members accept their roles on the Board and the responsibility that is attached to that role! Board has a responsibility to ensure that GAWS operate at best preactise! For them to condone these practises for several decades and/or bury their collective heads in the sand and ignore requests time and time again from the public and professionals offering to help…………says quite clearly, they have either lost interest, have a no care attitude or are simply on the Board as seat warmers! Why should names be withheld…if one is prepared to operate in this way…. they should also be prepared to have their name attached to their actions!!!

  4. Shocked and distressed September 26, 2011 / 12:24 pm

    Couldn’t agree more, New managment required!!

  5. cherry Leonard September 26, 2011 / 1:26 pm

    animal organisation in WA also practice bulling and removing committee who are by the constitution are meant to manage the societies, staff always want free rein to increase amenities for themselves, standards of hygiene are usually good but heaven help anyone who speaks up against an unacceptable practice, for this reason thinking volunteers are a nuscience
    Geelong animal welfare need to start thinking political if this is a
    tendered contract, photos to councillors, get on council start a big media campaign. its not easy and it is draining but all must be tried
    cat sterilisation society WA

  6. Tell Me it Isnt Happening September 26, 2011 / 1:29 pm

    Whether this is how it is operated, names should not have been used. It is obvious new management is required, from top leval, to the bottom. If this has occured then it is scarey stuff, no animal should be treated this way when people are aware of it happening and doing nothing to stop it. Alleged treatment of the animals is disgusting, seems that a regime of terror has happened, totally unacceptable for the innocent animals concerned. Continual killing of living things must be investigated, as i am sure whoever does it needs to be assessed as to the callous affect way it occurs. It must impact their mind i am sure. This needs to be investigated !!! fast.

  7. Lynn September 26, 2011 / 1:46 pm

    I have shared this report on Facebook. I am shocked and disgusted at what is going on out there. It should be a NO KILL SHELTER. I would like to see animals going to foster carers until a loving home becomes available. It is quite obvious that the animals are doomed as soon as they arrive. The kill rate is very high compared to the adoptions. More effort should be put into adoptions. The Council should be made accountable and do an investigation. A change in management would be a good step. God help all the innocent animals there that are suffering. .

  8. Upset !! September 26, 2011 / 2:37 pm

    I am really concerned at to what is happening at GAWS. As a rate payer, am I contributing to having these animals destroyed ? It seems to me an awful lot of animals are dying, I have never seen an advertisedment regarding lost animals in papers, or heard anything regarding it elsewhere eg. Radio. If this report is totally correct, then GAWS must realize that a law is going to start that stops ALL bullying in workplaces. High prices will be paid, fines will be HUGE and the person doing the alleged bulling held accountable. If the treatment of animals is so bad, I would hate to know what type of people work there, as it would have to be a person wikth no feelings, compassion, care, or feelings of any kind. Snuffing a life is a terrible act. What is the mental state of the person who is doing this ? I think this is something which needs assessing as it must have some impact yo make them be able to go to a place, do it, then leave. Something very wrong there !!!!.

  9. Lynn September 26, 2011 / 2:43 pm

    To Upset I fully agree with you.

  10. Reality Check September 26, 2011 / 2:51 pm

    I think we need to put things in perspective – GAWS is never going to be a no kill shelter – nor should it be. Obviously things need to change – there is no doubt about that, but to want a no kill shelter is bordering on stupidity! The reality is some people who cannot afford to put their dogs down or pay for a huge amount of treatment take it to GAWS, and you want to pass these problems on to other people? Perhaps assssors are required. Proper assessors. Dogs require assessment with other dogs, with cats, with humans, with children and in a lot of other environments before it is either rehomed or PTS.

  11. Lynn September 26, 2011 / 3:24 pm

    To Reality Check. So you state that a no kill shelter is bordering on stupidity. There are lots of no kill shelters around. In the US there are lots of NO KILL Shelters. In WA animals go out to foster care till they can be adopted. They do not euthanize. You need to do your homework. Is that so that people who cannot afford to pay vet bills for a sick animal and leave it at GAWS. Well if the animal is beyond saving and is suffering the right thing to do would be to euthanize. Lets be honest here. There was 3000 animals euthanized at GAWS which was in the Geelong Advertiser early this year. That is a high number of animals. I am against PUPPY FARMS and KITTEN FARMS. Its the scumbags running these establishments that are over populating the pet market. If the authorities were to get off their butts and make these farms illegal I am positive that the number of animals ending up at the shelters would drop dramatically.

  12. Karma September 26, 2011 / 4:27 pm

    What i have read here is appalling., If any person can condone this then they need help. Animals being killed every week by the same person, people treating animals with such disgraceful attitudes and cruelty is unheard of. Whoever has witnessed this, i hope there are videos, tapes recording and all the necessary steps taken to prove what has been said. If this has happened, the Board should be ashamed of themselves, and the person killing, go and get help, you need it. Not all animals should go out to the public, but to kill them in that manner is like something from the dark ages. Any person who has known this has happened – go and have a look at yourself, then over your shoulder, and if you feel a tap on the shoulder that is KARMA coming to get you. It will!!!!!!!

  13. Zoe Melville September 26, 2011 / 7:49 pm

    To ‘Reality Check’ – Very few animals that get surrendered to pounds have ‘problems’. In fact for most, their only ‘problem’ is their owner.

    To think that a no kill shelter is “bordering on stupidity” beggars belief. Any animal that is healthy and safe deserves the right to live and be re-homed. The following successful no kill animal rescuers would like to have a word with you, I’d say.

  14. Catmother02 September 26, 2011 / 7:59 pm

    An absolute disgrace. why isn’t the Geelong council doing something about this??
    Put some decent caring people into the place to run it as it should be run & at least give these poor animals a fighting chance!!
    My disgust in you, Ian Walter & the GAWS board for these appalling & inhumane practices. Hang your heads in shame for a job so very poorly done!

  15. Deathrowpets September 26, 2011 / 8:04 pm

    I had to laugh at “what a shame’s” comment on naming names. All those aweful things going on for years at GAWS, and in this person’s eyes WE are the bad guys for naming names!!!! ….Give us a break…..

    Have you heard the expression “honey works better than vinegar”? Well, a lot of honey has been used on the Board, and if you bother to read the correspondence that has been sent to GAWS, you will see that we have really worked hard at the honey approach. With very little if any result. So, sorry “what a shame”, our conscience is clear on this one – we have tried the honey, that hasn’t worked and so now the vinegar is going in.

    And finally, what is wrong with people being held to account for their actions or lack of action? Why is an animal welfare charity any different to a public company? That is EXACTLY the problem with situations like this – people don’t want to accept responsibility or accountability.

  16. Deathrowpets September 26, 2011 / 8:05 pm

    On the subject of naming names – I have posted on the report the name and email address of the Geelong Council manager if you feel inclined to contact them.

  17. Ella September 26, 2011 / 8:23 pm

    I was going to share this article on FaceBook until I came across the ridiculous comments being thrown around. I will now not share it with a few more hundred people because I had hoped that without the “comments” individuals could form their own opinion about this institute. I would however suggest that anyone who has worked in a veterinary clinic or animal welfare centre will know that not all lives can be saved. Yes assessors are required and yes the relevant council should be acting on these accusations but to the creators of this site, this is most definitely not the correct way to go about it. I’d suggest contacting Oscar’s Law & writing a much more formal article that does not sound quite so biased. Even making up short & bullet-point flyers to leave in local letterboxes would help. I am happy to assist in any campaign but it needs to be legitimate and of proper manner. People need not reply to this comment as I will not be returning to the page for obvious reasons. Best of luck with your fight and I do hope that those leaving rather nasty comments could go out and spend their spare time on more productive things. Ella.

  18. Andrea September 26, 2011 / 9:00 pm

    Unbelievable all the people who think the issue here is one of naming names! Who gives a f***.
    The centre is being mismanaged by callous and horrible people and should be closed. End of story. And Geelong Council need to step up and stop it TOMORROW.

  19. Ellen September 26, 2011 / 9:17 pm

    This is sickening in the extreme. I cannot believe that I as a ratepayer have been supporting this dreadful treatment of these animals. It’s now time that us rate payers stood up and were counted. GAWS management must step down, they have gotten away with this for far too long.

  20. Animals need voices too September 26, 2011 / 9:39 pm

    Thank you for exposing what really goes on behind the facade of Geelong Animal Welfare Society. Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.

  21. Will fight this with you September 26, 2011 / 10:04 pm

    I’m from Geelong & i’m amazed and saddened :(

    i don’t know if it has been done, however i have forwarded this article to the Geelong Advertiser and posted it on the Geelong Advertisers facebook wall..

    I don’t know what else to do :( but I’ll try and help… i’ve put my website address as the Geelong City Councils contact page if any of your followers want to start helping these poor animals. the re-homing vs death rates are astonishing – what is the average re-homing numbers at a nicer shelter??

  22. Glenda Kelly September 26, 2011 / 10:07 pm

    I quickly read through this information & some of the content is horrific. Throwing an animal is animal cruelty & totally unacceptable. As for putting the poor little things in body bags alive, these people need to be charged. These poor little animals are in this place because nobody cares & then they are treated like this. Anybody that makes excuses for this behaviour belongs in goal with these individuals, it disgusts me. Abuse of animals, children & the elderly is totally unacceptable. Many of the behaviours at this organisation are criminal acts. The cruelty is sickening. People that hurt innocent animals disgust me. Glenda Kelly

  23. Les September 26, 2011 / 10:26 pm

    I suggest that “Reality Check” gets a reality check! The RSPCA shelter in the ACT rehomes 9 out of 10 dogs and 8 out of 10 cats. THAT is the way of the future. The “No Kill” way. It CAN be done. Why on earth shouldn’t GAWS become “No Kill”??? The term “No Kill” doesn’t refer to an animal that is totally beyond all medical help being HUMANELY euthanized (and MANY people ARE willing to take on elderly, sick and dying animals and give them the love they deserve) nor an animal that is totally beyond all behavioural help (after being assessed as such by several PROFESSIONAL behaviouralists) what it does mean is not treating animals as if they are disposable like garbage and killing them out of habit and laziness and neglect and even worse….spite. You need to move into the 21st century Reality Check!! Get one yourself!

  24. cathryn Levvey September 26, 2011 / 10:57 pm

    The issue is not whether these people should be named. They should be named and prosecuted for this blatant cruelty and obvious disregard to complying with the animal practices laid down.
    I was under the impression that people who work with animals were compassionate. This is obviously not the case. This organisation needs to be investigated NOW.

  25. Leanne September 26, 2011 / 11:06 pm

    Disgraceful!!!!! Always knew there was something not quite right with GAWS. We lost a dog we bought from there to Parvovirus – they should b vaccinating dogs on arrival. But am appalled by all the other claims. GAWS should b taken over by someone who is going to adhere to animal welfare legislation, as well as adhering to EEO laws! And shame on council who uses this facility as their pound and has done nothing!!!!!!’

  26. Dianne Heard September 27, 2011 / 12:21 am

    How sickening is this – Lynn I agree with you – go get them

  27. Paula September 27, 2011 / 12:29 am

    That Pound Manager should of been sacked a long time ago! Seems like new management and staff that are qualified to work with animals and that know and understand Infection control and the processes of it, to lower cases of infectious diseases within the pound. These animals deserve compassion and love, instead of cruelty such as not been fed of looked after properly. Its a disgrace Geelong, Get your shit together!!!

  28. karalyn bell September 27, 2011 / 6:22 am

    How very disturbing, authorities need to do something about this right now, have lived in Geelong all my life and support them every year with donations, something I’m very reluctant to do now, so very sad that the animals don’t get the care or the opportunity to be rehomed. Definately need a shake up of the staff and board, and qualified people to take over.Very very disturbing

  29. Sleepless In Geelong September 27, 2011 / 10:40 am

    I read this report last night and lost so much sleep over it. I cant imagine the terror these animals must feel every time someone come near them. I had 2 dogs put to sleep due to ill health a few years agpo. They went together- i was told that the last dod sensed death!!!! How do these animals feel ? It is something that i cry so many tears over, knowing one do knew what was going to happen. I hope all concerned with the destruction of these lives look at yourself and see what you are really like. You are ‘killing machines’, taking lives for money – I believe the vet is retired, but he is getting VERY GOOD POCKEY MONEY now. You are all a disgrace to human nature. One day, something will happen in your world and you will feel pain so intense it will be unbearable, just like these animals do when they see you.! But that is what is described as PAYBACK!! ………BIG TIME

  30. REFORM September 27, 2011 / 10:58 am

    Who are these people at GAWS? Clearly they have no heart. I had two black labs that were put to sleep together and unbeknown to us until after it happened, in front of each other. We trusted the vet as did our beloved and faithful dogs. We thought we were doing the humane thing by ending their suffering and pain. Now if only I could take that decision back, to even think they were scared in their final moments breaks my heart. Imagine what these poor animals are thinking and feeling out at that place at the hands of these people (and I use that term extremely loosely because I can’t imagine people with hearts could do this). For many people animals and pets substitute human friendship, this is the case for me. I am not alone when i have my dogs around me, yet i can walk into a room full of people and feel so alone. What an animal can bring to a person is undescribable. It makes me sick to my stomach that these people out there are in control. GEELONG CITY COUNCIL TAKE CONTROL, INSTEAD OF GOING ON CRUISES WITH MR PAPARAZZI AND GOING OVERSEAS ON IDEAS THAT ARE NEVER GOING TO EVENTUATE, LOOK IN YOUR BACKYARD. REFORM, REFORM, REFORM.

  31. sadly I am not surprised September 27, 2011 / 11:11 am

    I have never worked there but have had a bit of contact with them over the years…. I don’t think they are all bad but it only takes a few to bring the rest down!
    I have helped people adopt animals from there and also had the pleasure of finding my dogs after some problems with a neighbour letting them loose…I am so gratefull for them returning my dogs safely!
    I have allso witnessed the heartbreak of paying to adopt dogs from the place and watching it die from parvo…..after it had been desexed! The disturbing part is that there is no way the vet could not have known this dog was sick. It had lost so much weight and smelled sick! and was constantly vomiting…. That dog did not go in for its op healthy and wake up with parvo! If the vet did not notice someone else would had to have noticed the condition the dog was in.

    I often pick up lost dogs myself and try to find the owners and have found when you call and give them the tag number they are unwilling to help you make contact with the owner. I understand that they cant give out peoples details but dont understant why they cant pass my details onto the owner so they can contact me? Depending on who answers the phone they will tell you that you must bring the animal in. I usually respond with the fact that I would rather find the owner without there help than expose it to stress and disease unnesasarily.
    I do sometimes wonder what profit is in it for the council from fines and the vet… because they seem to want to do work that is not needed…. (operating on a sick animal knowing you will have to return and pay for another consult and wanting a dog to come in when it can easily be dropped of at its own home)

  32. Judy Addison September 27, 2011 / 1:20 pm

    This is an absolute disgrace in this day and age.I have heard constant complaints about GAWS over the years I have lived here.
    This CANNOT be allowed to continue, URGENT intervention is required and the whole system needs a masive overhaul with the present management replaced immediately.As a ratepayer in this area I expect a high standard of pet care for abandoned animals.
    I will certainly be in touch with the the City of Greater Geelong and will expect immediate action on this horrendous situation.It says very little for the vet practice involved and I will certainly be alerting my pet owning friends to avoid using Kardinia vet.

  33. Jetsetter - NOT !!! September 27, 2011 / 1:41 pm

    Refotrm, i just read your comment and i am feeling your pain also. To treat animals the way they are alleged is soul destroying. i am the same as you – i would rather be with a ‘gang’ of dogs as friends than with most humans that lie steal and are never faithful. Show love to a dog or cat, you have a friend for life, not the same with people. If geelong city Council has know about this shame shame shame or are you too busy going on your trips to New York , USA overt bloody bike tours or some whim that you make up to get the most out of your jobs. Not one councillor has dfone anything about this situation, how could they i ask? Probably because they have not wanted to do so,. Is the Mayor is geelong at the moment, probably not, but if you are go look at what you should be looking at GEELONG not overseas blowing OUR money. Look in your iown back yard before looking in someone elses. Do you have pets i ask, would you like someone to treat them the way these animals have been. City of Great Geelong – I think NOT. Fix problems here, and this sounds like one hell of a problem.

  34. karalyn bell September 27, 2011 / 1:54 pm

    Everybody needs to email the council and tell them this is not acceptable, i did this morning and they replied saying they were aware of the euthanasia rate and were working on a solution, i replied and told them that was not the only problem, they need to fix all the other issues the place has, i was born In Geelong and have supported them since I was a kid, this report devasted me

  35. Not nice September 27, 2011 / 5:19 pm

    Judy Addison – why should you alert your pet owning friends to avoid using the Kardinia Vets? They do not make the decisions as to which dogs and cats are going to be killed. I have been taking my pets there for over 10 years and am delighted to say that each vet there has shown care, professionalism, humanity and dedication in every encounter had with them. Shame on you for attempting to ruin the reputation of this veterinary clinic.

  36. Anna Castanelli September 27, 2011 / 9:07 pm

    The Council are responsible for this situation. There are laws in place. This is completely unacceptable. I cant believe that this situation needs to go to the media before action is taken. If action has even been taken at the stage.

    Im disappointed, horrified and angry that this can occur in 2011. We ALL know better!!

  37. Christine Young September 27, 2011 / 10:44 pm

    Of course people need to be named – what a stupid comment to say they shouldn’t. Cruelty like this needs to be exposed and those responsible held to account. How is this sort of abuse to be prevented without exposure. Hiding behind closed doors and pretending that it isn’t happening will achieve nothing. Everybody blames someone else and the animals keep on suffering.

  38. Mary DeMarchi September 28, 2011 / 8:53 am

    This is very wrong. Nepotism is unlawful and in this instance there are animals involved that are needlessly dying. Shameful.

  39. Adele September 28, 2011 / 9:26 am

    Why on earth are people saying that the board should not be named? thats absurd. They are the ones who are responsible at GAWS and should be held responsible, To suggest that they should remain anonymous in this report defeats the purpose. So ‘no-one’ is held accountable? How heartbreaking for any animal that ends up at GAWS.

  40. Go by the law September 28, 2011 / 9:53 am

    Until this is PROVEN FACT by law, names should not be made public. Heaven forbid if some of these things are not as accurate as portrayed in this publication – you should look up some very good legal representation!!!

  41. Innocent Until Proven Guilty. - No Names September 28, 2011 / 10:35 am

    I have to agree with Comment 41, until all these things are shown to be correct, naming people is totally wrong., !!I do not condone animal cruelty and will be as shocked and angry as everyone else when these thing are PROVEN, but it is the always innoent until proven guilty theory we must follow. . I amazed how everyone is so anti the words “there will never be a NO KILL SHELTER” in Geelong. rehoming an aggressive dog, and sometimes a dog that has shown no aggression at all, will do as they are meant to do attack. I hope this never happens again, but will each and everyone of you feel sadness for any child or human that is killed by these animals ? Will you excuse this and place the blame on the person killed? If you do, i feel sorry for you as you have not got things in correct order. Would you be so anti a No Kill Shelter if your child was attacked and killed whilst walking ing the street? Some comments are just unbelievable.

  42. Deathrowpets September 28, 2011 / 10:55 am

    I need to make a few things clear, based on some of the comments above. The first is that none of the points we make in the report are “made up” – we have evidence on every point set out. Documents, observations, photos. Why would we be daft enough to make them up?? Secondly, there are people who clearly do not understand what is meant by the term “No Kill”. It is “No Kill of healthy and rehomable animals”. The No Kill Matrix sets out clearly the criteria for animals that are unhealthy and not-rehomable.

  43. Zoe Melville September 28, 2011 / 11:34 am

    ‘Jumping In The Air’ – when someone says that anyone who supports a No Kills Shelter needs a “reality check”, how would you like Deathrowpets to reply?

  44. Andy September 28, 2011 / 12:48 pm

    I was denied adoption on a dog that I visited for 3 months every week. They told me he’s not all there. It broke my heart that I was not allowed to adopt a poor puppy taht needed a family. They are a bunch of heartless pigs!

  45. saddened and disgusted September 28, 2011 / 1:54 pm

    .. am waiting with bated breath to hear how Jack the Boxer is today..

  46. Anne Greenaway September 28, 2011 / 4:10 pm

    I don’t know the full details of everything in this blog but I do know that at least some aspects of it are correct.

  47. Anne Greenaway September 28, 2011 / 4:43 pm

    Go by the law –

    Just so you know, I am aware of a number of people who have publicly criticised GAWS and received “lawyers letters”. As far as I am aware, these people have continued to speak out about the practices at GAWS.

    The problem with those starting an action like defamation is that the defence of TRUTH can be used by those in defending such an action.

    Defamatory material is published regularly. It can be published if the publisher can prove that it is substantially TRUE (and Deathrowpets has stated above “…..we have evidence on every point set out. Documents, observations, photos……”).

  48. Susan Irwin September 28, 2011 / 5:54 pm

    Some of the comments here have been gobsmacking!
    I am a recent employee of Geelong Animal Welfare Society, and I am prepared to stand up and offer any proof that is needed to show that all these claims are true. What goes on is disgusting, and it is not only the animals that suffer. I am one of many people that have had their heart broken by what I have seen, and how I have been treated whilst at GAWS.

  49. Anne Greenaway September 28, 2011 / 6:12 pm

    Good on you Susan Irwin. Much respect to you. I am sure you must have suffered great trauma while working there.

    A pity some of the people commenting on this blog hide behind “handles” where they can’t be identified. Does not show much strength of character in my opinion.

    I am not sure how GAWS can get away with calling themselves an “Animal Welfare” Society if even a fraction of what has been stated in this blog is accurate.

  50. Australia's disgrace September 28, 2011 / 6:59 pm

    Karalyn, at least you received a reply from council. I emailed them twice last year, (waiting a couple a months between emails to allow more than adequate time for a response) making polite enquiries for information about puppy farms in the region. They did not have the courtesy to reply either time.

  51. karalyn bell September 28, 2011 / 7:46 pm

    you didn’t mention your name, I didn’t list any issues, i did not mention child trafficking, you have me confused with someone else, and I do not appreciate it, put your name to your comments

  52. karalyn bell September 28, 2011 / 7:57 pm

    sorry, have reread your post, and it was To Think About It ,not to me, excuse me for getting my “back up”, honest mistake

  53. sue hewat September 28, 2011 / 10:33 pm

    @saddened and disgusted….JACK IS SAVED!!!!

  54. Shocked and distressed September 28, 2011 / 10:53 pm

    Thankyou Sue :) I just read this wonderful news on the GAWS reform page.. so so happy!

  55. Maryanne oscars law Scott September 28, 2011 / 11:23 pm

    What a disgrace!

  56. Australia's disgrace September 29, 2011 / 12:38 am

    To Karalyn, sorry about the misunderstanding. I actually admired the things you have to say. “Think about it” disgusted me (along with several others) but I don’t think my response clearly expressed what I am thinking – basically, that we can care about the suffering of these companion animals as well as other world issues.

  57. Leesha Payor September 29, 2011 / 3:16 am

    This is a scandal and sadly, GAWS is not the only case I’ve heard about; I’ve heard and read similar accounts from volunteers working in some NSW shelters too. GAWS deserves to be nationally exposed with TV and print media and I commend everyone’s courage in bringing this forward. I hope you will continue to do so until change is brought about – it can happen.

  58. Living proof September 29, 2011 / 3:41 am

    It was GAWS AGM tonight……and their President (pure as the driven snow) announced that as of today….. they won’t be drugging the dogs the night before they are killed, leaving them for 16 hours to convulse in their pens ALONE, as of today….. they are only going to drug them one hour before they kill them!!! If you had any cause to doubt what you have read in the blog…. perhaps you should have come along to the AGM and heard it all for yourselves first hand!! Oh, and incidently….. the President (who blamed everyone else for the short comings at GAWS) stepped down from the Board tonight…. applause from the auditorium was heard! And not before time…. bring on some Animal Welfare please!

  59. Tarsha September 29, 2011 / 4:07 am

    I was also in attendance tonight at GAWS AGM to hear their President did admit to drugging the dogs the day before euthanasia as per this blog report, in fact the dogs are drugged 16 hours before they are dragged into the killing room. The President claims they will no longer do this. Why were they doing this to begin with? We were told by the President “the staff drug the dogs, not all, they just pick the dogs they are uncomfortable with and drug them” so when it comes time to kill them 16 hours later there is no struggle. “An occupational health issue” he says…..A new President is needed, the new president should be elected based on a platform of change. A new President with the right mindset, one who can take the reigns and never condone the animal abuse, staff bullying and endless injustices over the years. Let’s not forget new management is also needed.

  60. Dianne lynch September 29, 2011 / 5:13 am

    How disgusting to have this happen cruel and barbaric practices intervention needed ASAP please support this is happening in Geelong not a third world country!!!!

  61. Dianne lynch September 29, 2011 / 5:30 am

    Omg who cares about naming names THEY SHOULD BE NAMED AND SHAMED .this is about the animals thete suffering not people! We need to take action this is happening in our iwn backyard not in a third world country.Will do all i can to bring justice to these defenceless animals while some bicker over other issues. For gods sake wake up STOP THIS TREATMENT OF ANIMALS!

  62. Susan September 29, 2011 / 8:17 am

    Shame, shame, shame….Name and Shame I say!
    And for God sake close this place down!

  63. nic September 29, 2011 / 9:34 am

    why not name them… the deserve the same treatment they give to the poor animals in their “care”

    name, shame, charge them, ban them from animal interactions for life

  64. Lou September 29, 2011 / 9:53 am

    The mindset of most of the Board members at GAWS are archaic and terribly outdated. I too was at the AGM last night, and for God’s sake it was a painful thing to sit there and listen to the stats and the screams of Board members saying “Well what can we do, other than kill animals?!” They had no idea, nor any desire of the potential of becoming a no-kill shelter, or at the very least owning up to their mistakes.

    For those who are ill-informed of what a no-kill shelter is– it is a shelter that euthanises less than 10% of the animals that come into their care. Animals who are deemed that euthanisation is more humane are then put to sleep… Of course there will never be 100% no-kill… that is just unrealistic.

    Regardless, GAWS need some massive changes, and it is fantastic to see that there are so many compassionate, caring individuals willing to say something and stamp their feet until changes are made. This inquest has been happening for many, many months and it is far from over. Stay strong, and speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.

  65. Judy Addison September 29, 2011 / 10:17 am

    Susan, I hope you are able to stick with it because it’s so important for people to speak out on behalf of the animals who land up in this shelter.
    There are plenty of people behind you so please don’t give up and keep us all up to date with everything.
    Thanl you for speaking up.

  66. Carol G September 29, 2011 / 11:40 am

    Geelong council should be ashamed. Changes must be made, animals deserve our respect and kindness.The board members should be dismissed and caring people should replace them. Not people who enjoy their blood money.

  67. fenella September 29, 2011 / 11:42 am

    i too believe that if you accept the responsibility that these positions involve you accept the the consequences of not fulfilling them. regardless if the cruel situations here arose through mismanagement or those concerned feel they are adequat they have to be made accountable the facts cannot be denied. This is not what the public want for our shelters & not the way animals in need of our support should be treated. Fight the fight, those involved to improve the situation. The fish rots from the head down which means without good management the situation will deteriate through every level of responsibility.Come on Geelong fight the fight, band together support each other for your animals sake, make the needed changes happen!

  68. Phil English September 29, 2011 / 1:30 pm

    This document was basically put together by a small group of uneducated protesters. Most was made up by Susan Irwin, who sued GAWS for unfair dismissal, she didnt want to fight the case she just wanted the cash!! A figure that would have feed hundreds of animals.
    Hope you send it wisely. Its something that has happened a couple of times apparently with her employers.
    Fight for the animals rights…totally with you there, but be very careful who supplies your information.

    For me the document it 95% rubbish, sadly they tell one side of the story and stretch the truth. I have boarded animals and adopted 4
    dogs over the past 14 years. My company has also donated
    thousands of dollars to GAWS and Rotti Rescue groups.

    Most educated people that I have spoken to have seen though the
    lies you have seen fit to publish.

  69. Zoe Melville September 29, 2011 / 2:03 pm

    Do you work there, Phil? What is your affiliation with GAWS?

  70. Susan Irwin September 29, 2011 / 2:14 pm

    Hi Phil. I did not sue GAWS for unfair dismissal, but that is something I could quite easily have done. My union was going to sue them for bullying, Yes, I did receive a payment after agreeing to not proceed with the court case. GAWS admitted that going to court was going to cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars because they were guilty. The payment I received was a very small fraction of that. The reason I accepted the payment was that after 18 months of extreme bullying, I just could not face another 12 stressful months of a court case. GAWS were very lucky. I have never received such a payment before, I have never been in a workplace where such behaviour by management was tolerated before.
    Uneducated and ill informed. Pot/kettle, Phil?
    If you truly do care about the welfare of the animals in GAWS care you will research and arm yourself with the correct facts. Dr Walter admitted in print media in April this year that he was killing cats in a room full of terrified cats. He admitted last night in a room full of witnesses that he has been overdosing dogs then leaving them unattended for 16 hours, during which time they convulse, choke on their own vomit, and slowly die in terror.
    You may try to discredit me, Phil. You may repeat any nonsense you hear or think sounds good. But you can not deny the proof from Dr Walter’s own public admissions.

  71. Zoe Melville September 29, 2011 / 2:23 pm

    Well done, Susan. I am happy with the way you have responded to Phil’s suggestion that you regularly sue employers. I am glad you have responded truthfully.

    It is the way of the guilty to try and discredit people at a personal level and refer to others as ‘uneducated’.

  72. Lou September 29, 2011 / 2:35 pm

    Phil. If your company donates so much money to GAWS, where were you last night at the AGM? Is it not in your company’s best financial interest to see where you money is going, and get a general feel for how the organisation you’re donating to runs? So, please before you banter on about things you clearly have no idea about, educate yourself, do your own research and come back again and say the same dribble you just said.

    Ian Walter dug himself into a very deep hole last night, admitting to many, many things to the Public… I, unlike you, applaud Susan’s efforts in stepping away from GAWS. No need to be condescending to her, or accuse her of things you had received through second-hand sources.

  73. High Flyer September 29, 2011 / 2:41 pm

    Gee, i just read that GAWS would have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to go to court to fight the case!!!! What exactly was your level of work at GAWS to give you such an inflated ego to think you are worth that amount. If this has been done before, i would really tread very carefully, because it will bite you right back. To fight a high profile case would cost that amount, or less maybe, but please, i hope you are dead right because it will catch up with you. If this is true, have a ball wioth your money and enjoy it, you deserve it !!!!

  74. Phil English September 29, 2011 / 2:44 pm

    No Zoe, I do not work there. My company has been donating money
    to GAWS for 9 years now, around $3-4k per year through my
    employees and my last 4 dogs have come from them. We also
    board them twice a year for a week.

    It is not a deseased ridden place or a concentration camp for animals.

    The information about the ex employee was obtained from “loose
    lips” the people that represented her. In their words she wanted the cash and certain staff heads. Geelong is a small place,
    if you are full of it you generally get found out.
    But I do wish all rehomable dogs and cats get the best of care and
    chance to share their lives with a loving family.

    I also think there is always 2 sides to a story, hence the reason I now have more than an interest in some of the groups and people.
    Being semi retired I will spend more time on this as I am pro-GAWS because alot of good people do some excellent work and articles like this can be very negative if only certain people feel its their right to make assumptions rather than pure facts. I will take onboard both sides of the story for sure.

    But what I will do will be done much more ethical than what I have seen to-date with alot less commenting on rubbish like this and other social media groups. I will not hide behind a fake name or FB profile picture of an animal to take pot shots at people, my best work will be done away from the limelight many are seeking.

  75. Here Here September 29, 2011 / 2:47 pm


  76. No Moron Here September 29, 2011 / 2:50 pm

    Oh and Lou, why be so rude? You really don’t help the cause with such rudeness. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and who are you to call someone an uneducated moron? Keep it up and the shoe might just fit you!

  77. Patricia Grey September 29, 2011 / 2:50 pm

    Phil…….More money than sense??? Surely you can find a more worthy cause than to provide GAWS with thousands of dollars to run a below standard animal welfare facility, where they view killing as waste management and management considers the day to be ‘a good day’ when a record 30 dogs have been killed! If you truly want to “fight fior the animals rights” Phil…….. take off your rose coloured glasses and take a good hard look….. all is not what it seems at GAWS!!

  78. Educated September 29, 2011 / 2:52 pm

    By the way – if you do read up on sedation (or druggning as you say) prior to euthanasia you will see that it is quite a common practice.

  79. Susan Irwin September 29, 2011 / 2:53 pm

    GAWS annual figures released last night.
    Dogs and puppies. Rehomed 582. Killed 811.
    Cats Rehomed. 205. Killed 1132.
    Kittens. Rehomed 411. Killed 1227.

    Net Assetts. $3, 875, 421.

  80. Patricia Grey September 29, 2011 / 3:02 pm

    Thanks Susan……………..audited annual figures SAY IT ALL!!!!!!

  81. Zoe Melville September 29, 2011 / 3:05 pm

    Hey there, Educated: It is NOT common practice to leave a sedated dog unattended for 16 hours.

    I have worked at both the Animal Welfare League and the RSPCA, and any animals that were ‘aced’ ie- sedated prior to euthanasia – were monitored and promptly put to sleep as soon as they were rendered unconscious.

    Thanks for your reply, Phil – I can see that you’re trying to be as informed as possible, but I lost respect for your argument when you spread unsubstantiated gossip about the particular staff member.

  82. Susan Irwin September 29, 2011 / 3:15 pm

    I’m not wanting to encourage the silly comments, but I would like to clear one thing up. The hundreds of thousands of dollars were fines. Company and individual fines the court would have imposed. I have no idea what court costs GAWS would have faced as well.
    Your ‘loose lips’ are proving a very unreliable source Phil, and taking away any validity from what you are saying.
    You seem to wish to turn this in to a personal attack on me, for reasons I can only guess at. My concern is for what I witnessed and suffered at GAWS. Take a deep breath and try to be rational and factual if you truly wish to debate the problems at GAWS.

  83. Lynn September 29, 2011 / 3:19 pm

    OMG that is a staggering amount of animals euthanized. Sadly not too many rehomed. GAWS should get to work on advertising etc to find more homes. Pictures in the Geelong News and Independant free local newspapers would help. Get a column set up. So 3070 animals euthanized and only 1198 found homes in the annual figures released last night. Something very wrong here. What in hell is going on out there? The whole place needs to be investigated.

  84. Lou September 29, 2011 / 3:23 pm

    to everyone here… this inquest has been going on for many, many months. Many, many months of questions, video evidence, email evidence, AGM PUBLICLY SPOKEN evidence, research done and conducted by various educated and well-versed individuals, and not to forget the staff that had endured GAWS’ reign of power and abuse.

    By the way, there is also a MASSIVE difference between BOARDING your animal at GAWS and dumping it there… at the end of your holiday, you are coming back to COLLECT your pet… Not leave it there forever. Of course they need to be treated with respect and kindness.


  85. Charlotte September 29, 2011 / 3:26 pm

    The way GAWS is currently being runs is totally unacceptable. It is time for new management and a change in rehoming practices and reducing the high kill rates.

    I attended the AGM last night and saw what a badly organised and sham it was.. Most questions raised were met with unclear replies or did not know or was not sure.

    They said the work with 16 rescue groups but could only mention about 5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The shelter manager did not bother to attend. Shame.

    Lets hope the three new board members will beging implementing massive change – they would know the truth.

  86. Tasha September 29, 2011 / 3:28 pm

    Sounds like somebody has been getting their psycopathic urges satisfied through a high position in an animal shelter and a god-like ability to sentence masses of animals to death. It’s so sad that some horrible people are attracted to shelters and helpless animals.

    As they say, many arsonists turn out to be volunteer fire fighters as their interest in fire leads them to ‘volunteer.’ That’s not to say all volunteer fire fighters are arsonists just as not all animal shelter volunteers are psychopaths. It’s just unfortunate that these people have managed to work their way into being in control of a shelter. Good on you guys, we need to keep these kinds of communities accountable and transparent.

  87. Kathryn September 29, 2011 / 3:30 pm

    Up until a few months ago GAWS claimed it was illegal to release animals to rescue groups… Phil you would have received Ian’s letter about this …. all lies, and now they say they do?? Do they even know the laws … or care … I think not. Like the doberman that was put down because it had cancer … no blood test, no vet work done other than looking at it – disgusting that they think its easier to kill than rehome … I hope you end up at a hospital like that!

  88. Off Again !!!!! September 29, 2011 / 3:36 pm

    If this has all happened, staff bullying, dogs and cats dying needlessly, then who is really responsible. This is a bit like a dog chasing its tail, it is going in circles. If council paid for animals to be destroyed, i think they should explain to rate payers why this amount of money was spent on this disgraceful act. Why is council wasting money instead of doing what is meant to be done, roadworks, not that the workers work , 9 people to fill in a hole is a bit much to me., but the essential things for our safety. The people from the council who are aware of the killings, where were they, sittting there getting fat on their pay check , not using their brain to wonder WHY this was happening and doing nothing to stop it. GAWS would have paid rent, but paying out that amount to kill animals of money should have been investigated years ago, then none of this would be happening today. Did the train driver go to the meeting, the part time Mayor, or was he away on an overseas trip ‘looking for something to help geelong’. All the Mayors go overseas to help Geelong but one plave they forgot to help was GAWS. and the taxpayers. No wonder Geelong is called SLEEPY HOLLOW – whe just havent woken up tio anything going on here. Spend our money the proper way, do something for US not YOURSELF

  89. Carmel September 29, 2011 / 3:38 pm

    Not every animal that goes to the pound is re-homable, feral cats, dogs that have killed livestock etc or even worse things.

    I work for Human Sevices and we estimate we have around 60 feral cats at just one nursing home. I dont have an answer but wouldn’t advising good animal ownership help reduce the rate of animals that are killed there? No one else in the Geelong district takes in animals other than the pound. Our maintenance crew reckon they have trapped 100’s of cats over the past 18 months…just terrible! There is no way you could re-home them in my view
    Out in the real world feral cats is a massive problem for our clients. What can be done?

  90. Lou September 29, 2011 / 3:47 pm


    I agree with you wholeheartedly. Community education is a massive part of this issue, as well as costs of desexing etc. That is something that the COGG and GAWS can potentially do concomitantly as a community education session. The problem is though, that GAWS have had numerous offerings from foster programs as well as rescue groups, many of which have been turned down. In addition to this, there is no qualified temperament assessor at GAWS who can independently assess a dog (or cat’s) temp.

    There ARE alternatives, and the aforementioned rescue groups/foster programs are well versed in raising feral cats and kittens. It’s just about GAWS saying yes to them and allowing them in to participate.

    It is a very frustrating and pressing issue, however there are always alternatives– never say never! ;)

  91. Judy Addison September 29, 2011 / 3:49 pm

    This is a massive problem everywhere Carmel and a sad state of affairs.I agree these cats cannot be rehomed and can’t even be tamed, unfortunately they have to be euthanased.
    They are great destructors of our wildlife and a menace in every way, not their fault.Responsibility lies with the callous humans who put them in this situation by dumping them and not desexing their pets.It’s time we all took responsibility.

  92. Edith September 29, 2011 / 3:54 pm

    A lot of people support organisations by handing over larger sums of money and washing their hands, thinking they have done their part.

    The sad part is that no one asks where that money goes, and even less hold these organisations to account.

    The same thing goes for the RSPCA WA – compare their Malaga facility to the volunteer run Shenton Park Dog’s Refuge – the RSPCA is a 3rd world equivalent. Yet people hand over their money, are lifetime members and think they are doing a great thing. All because they are oblivious to what really goes on. People see the TV show and accept that its all cute puppies and success stories. Its not. When failures/negatives out weigh the positives, things are going very wrong. People need to ask questions.

    Phil I would encourage you to spend a week at the facility for your own peace of mind. If what you see and hear is acceptable to your conscience than that is your own choice. The fact that there is physical evidence and NUMEROUS people speaking out would suggest otherwise. But handing over thousands of $$$ does not mean a thing if those $$$ are not used for the benefit of the animals. Maybe sending in physical gifts such as toys, leads, flea treatments, beds, blankets would ensure a better way of the money being spent?

    Are you perhaps friends with those at GWA? (friends with those who call the shots that is).

    Ask the difficult questions, and do the right thing for the animals. Admitting being wrong is the first and hardest step, but the most important for these animals. Please Take Take The Step.

  93. Lou September 29, 2011 / 3:58 pm

    Edith, I give you my most sincerest cyber hugs. That was perfectly said.

  94. Carmel September 29, 2011 / 4:03 pm

    Thanks Judy, it certainly is sad. Most owners don’t really care and that the problem and reason so many cats are killed at the pound.

    Lou, not sure how a temperament assessor would help the situation or even fostering feral cats to forster carers, seems ridiculous.
    I can now see why the cat deaths are so high. I feel for the staff that face this day in day out. I thouhgt my job was bad sometimes!

  95. nic September 29, 2011 / 4:07 pm

    Well said Edith

  96. Lou September 29, 2011 / 4:09 pm

    How is it ridiculous? Less cats would be euthanised, less cats would be on the streets and GAWS would gain more profit once said cats are actually adopted out… seems like a win/win situation. When there are people who are willing to give a hand, why not take it? If that is ridiculous in your eyes, so be it. I am sorry you feel that way.

  97. Sad but True September 29, 2011 / 4:13 pm

    I can only put forward this comment as i see both sides of the coin.To kill an animal is a dreadful thing to do reapeatedly, week after week, after month , after years etc. Does this seem to be a pattern to anyone else or is it just me. People should step up, de-sex their animals, but some dog lovers just cant afford it. How would it be if GAWS offered much much cheaper de-sexing of animals , helped cull the amount of dogs and cats in a humane way, and offer euthanasia, when the animal is sick or old and unwell, not unnessary killing, a lot cheaper so everyone could have pets. I saw yesteday that vet fee have gone up 500% – that is one huge amount.
    Cant GAWS be used FOR the people who are paying for it , not against the people. This is why so many dogs get dumped, people cant pay to have them put to sleep nicely, instead they open a car dor, thow a ball and say fetch – except there is no one to bring it to. Tragic i feel,a totally tragic way to end an old dogs life. !!

  98. Judy Addison September 29, 2011 / 4:20 pm

    You have highlighted a major problem in our sosciety.Vet costs have gone up astronomically in the past few years and unfortunately they now look on their practices as a business not a service to the community.Of course vets have a right to earn a decent living but there should also be an obligation to offer heavily reduced rates to low income families who love their animals but struggle to find enough money for vet fees, desexing etc.
    Rescue groups have the answer, they are not allowed to rehome pets without desexing and microchipping them.Animals can now safely be desexed at an early age and this should be done prior to sale.

  99. Zoe Melville September 29, 2011 / 4:27 pm

    Many places DO offer subsidised desexing, and most local pounds and ALL shelters will rehome a dog already desexed.

    It is backyard breeding an owner ignorance “I don’t want to get his balls chopped off”, or “I’ll let her have a litter” kind of crap that means puppies are bein bred and dumped in a 6 month cycle.

    Also, if you offer free euthanising, it takes away any ownership or obligation from the owner.

  100. Anne Greenaway September 29, 2011 / 4:28 pm

    Can someone explain to me why there was not one single person from council was at GAWS Annual General Meeting held last night, especially, as I understand it, there have been numerous complaints to council about the practices at GAWS.

  101. Zoe Melville September 29, 2011 / 4:30 pm

    Hey Lou, your idea for fostering has a great deal of merit. I work with a lot of animal rescue organisations and unfortunately there aren’t enough people to foster the cats that ARE rehomeable, let alone the ferals.

    It’s either trap – desex – release or euthanise, I’m afraid.

  102. Judy Addison September 29, 2011 / 4:34 pm

    Absolutely staggering Anne.I used to think Geelong council was quite proactive, this has left me seriously disillusioned.
    They had better lift their game there are some seriously angry people out there.

  103. Judy Addison September 29, 2011 / 4:40 pm

    Yes, Zoe there is a lot of ignorance out there and a large dose of irresponsibility too.
    Many people are completely hopeless about pet ownership but then we still have supposedly educated people buying puppies bred in puppy farms.Why doesn’t EVERYONE know about puppy farms by now, there has been enough publicity about it.Trouble is they simply don’t care they just want what they want, they don’t stop to consider the life of cruelty involved in the breeding of their precious bundle.
    As long as the kids are happy, who cares……..

  104. Tarsha September 29, 2011 / 4:51 pm

    We asked if a council representative was present at last nights AGM. Steve Sodomako has been aware of the issues at GAWS for well over 6 months. GAWS President Dr Walter said council was invited to attend the AGM but declined. Perhaps they are busy with the footy?? Very poor effort from Geelong Council and clearly shows where GAWS are on their priority list!

  105. Zoe Melville September 29, 2011 / 4:52 pm

    *High Five, Judy*

    I was pretty impressed at the amount of publicity that all the Oscar’s Law rallies attracted over the last fortnight. I guess some people don’t want to see what is right in front of them.

  106. Phil English September 29, 2011 / 4:58 pm

    To answer some questions firstly;

    Yes we donate, in the form of can food and animal toys.
    No, I will not tell you my company, I am responsible for the employment of 42 workers and their families…it wont take long for you to find out if your that interested. Most have worked there for 10+ years.
    No, I don’t know anyone who works their personally but I do know a few by name and face.
    Yes, I believe in a fair go for all hence the reason for defeading the pound and the actions of past employers.
    Yes, if all animal owner were like the people on these sites then GAWS would not have to kill so many animals. Not everyone has the same thoughts about being a pet owner.
    Yes, I will spend time down there before I comment any more and see with my owns eyes the troubles they face. Not sure if this will help the animals in any way but fingers crossed.
    No, I wasnt at the AGM but my wife was her friend became a board member.

  107. Very Sad September 29, 2011 / 5:03 pm

    I have left alot of emails in the last month with GAWs asking if they would release animals to a rescue group and I NEVER get a reply – I thought it was all about saving animals!

  108. Jane Meier September 29, 2011 / 5:19 pm

    Comment # 92, Kathryn. The doberman you write about, do you know his name? And how long ago he was put to sleep due to “cancer”?

  109. Judy Addison September 29, 2011 / 5:33 pm

    I think you are right Zoe but I never give up! I talk to heaps of people about this issue without being antagonistic about it as this always gets a negative reaction whatever the subject.
    Oscar’s law are doing a great job, I support them whenever I can.

  110. Sad but True September 29, 2011 / 5:40 pm

    Zoe Melville, how is offering greatly reduced fees on desexing or euthanasia taking away owner responsibilities? I can not understand where thar is coming from. Taking away families pleasure of owning a pet by reduced fees, cheaper vets fees isnt taking away obligation. Having a loving familt, plenty of food and wayer, a warm bed, arms to givwe hugs a gentle hand on the head. They are owners responsibilities – giving cheaper vets fees is a BONUS. Cant you see that??

  111. Barbara Reeves September 29, 2011 / 5:41 pm

    Glad to see you’ve taken that suggestion on board Phil, I hope you’re not too upset by what you see and make sure you see it all. When you demand change from people who don’t want to leave their comfort zones there will always be backlash that is cruel, untrue and personal. The threatened fight anyway they can, including dirty. Facts are facts and you have a very good memory if you’re going to lie.
    Regardless of whether those currently on the Board or Staff think we need change, it is demanded by the public, both in Geelong and across the country. How can offering to volunteer or foster possibly threaten their positions? Unless they have something nasty to hide.
    This is NOT an attack on anyone who wants better for these poor homeless pets – this is about improving the situation for firstly, the animals and secondly, all of the people who work with them or for them. Stop trying to make this into an attack by ‘uneducated’ people – we don’t spend the time trying to improve a sad situation because we have nothing else to do.
    Roll on the winds of change!

  112. Barbara Reeves September 29, 2011 / 5:44 pm

    Also, my endless thanks and admiration to Susan for doing what no one else wanted to and alerting people to this situation.
    Re the Council staff – the new Vice President said they were an improvement on previous staff and keen to make improvements, but didn’t see fit to attend the AGM?? Write, email, call – if there are enough of us demanding reasons for their inefficient and baffling overseeing of GAWS they MUST respond as we demand.

  113. Charlotte September 29, 2011 / 5:47 pm

    Phil English – yes I think it will be good if you do visit GAWS unannounced. The staff are very dedicated – it is the management that must be moved on. The shelter manager has a fair few of her relatives employed and that is not a good look is it?

    Read the blog again – all the incidents have been witnessed and documented. It is not a fairy story and paints a very poor picture of an organization that holds out its hand to receive donations yet the majority of its practices are an abuse of the Code of Practice.

    The AGM was a real mess – I am sure your wife would have told you that. Let’s hope her friend will join in moving GAWS into the 21st century – the staff seemed keen to move away form the current practices.

  114. Zoe Melville September 29, 2011 / 6:07 pm

    Sad But True: I only said that free euthanaisia took away some of the responsibility from owners. It means that when things get tough, no matter, just put the dog to sleep. When you’re back from your holiday, you can get another ‘free to good home’ puppy, and you’ve not spent a cent or been obligated at all to do the right thing.

    While working at the AWL it was discussed in length the benefits of not just giving animals away. Sure they’d find homes, but when you put no monetary value on something, some people see it as having no value at all.

    If an animal is sick or can not be rehomed and you surrender it to the pound, it gets put to sleep anyway. At least with healthier animals that are surrendered, they get some chance of a new home through adoption or rescue groups.

    Animals that are put to sleep for free do not have those chances.

    I think you may have misread what I had written.

  115. Ellen September 29, 2011 / 6:56 pm

    If you had been at the AGM last night Phil English, you would have heard that GAWS themselves didn’t even deny what was said, just stuttered and stumbled their way through, looking totally out of their depth. This organization is so out of step with current animal welfare and have no idea how to improve. Hopefully the new members that were elected last night will breath new life blood into this sad organization. I’d like to suggest to you Phil (whoever you are) that in time your eyes will be well and truly opened.

  116. Helen and Fred September 29, 2011 / 7:11 pm

    In reply to your comments asking what they should do with unwanted pets ‘Guest’ how about this for a start…
    Working with rescue groups, REALLY working with rescue groups.
    A foster care program and welcoming volunteers.
    A computer system to put them in touch and bring them into this century. GAWS have over $2 million in cash alone, it should be spent where it is needed, to see that animals are given a second chance.
    Employing animal behaviourist/training to properly temperament test animals. Hear staff last night that did not even understand the basics of today’s animal welfare terms such as what ‘no kill’ means was very sad….’NO KILL’ that no healthy, rehomable animal is killed.
    Actively seeing that animals have a chance to be adopted. eg advertising and working with local newspapers with a ‘pet of the week’ program and working WITH the community.

  117. Judy Addison September 29, 2011 / 7:20 pm

    What a desperately sad comment! Lots of animlas could be rehomed if given the chance and of course there are a few that can’t be.They should be the ONLY ones euthanased.

  118. Sad but True September 29, 2011 / 7:40 pm

    Zoe , you have taken out of context what was written and manufactured an entirely different meaning to it. No, not if things get thought was mentioned, that is your take on things. Financially, cheaper fees would be a bonus, but you have taken it as right out of context and made up some stupid comments to make yourself look right!! Dont change what people say to suit yourself, it does not come of well. the comment from you is totally irrational, NO i did not misread your post, same as everyone else didnt. DONT blame me.!!!

  119. Julie September 29, 2011 / 8:14 pm

    Ah yes, Phil English, the usual well worn tactic of discrediting the source of the information, accusing them of doing it for money, accusing them of lying, of doing it because they disliked the people they worked with, etc, etc. Attack the messenger, cast doubt on the message. No point, I’m afraid, don’t bother trying that angle – the truth is out. It would be better if you informed yourself of what has really been going on there for so many years. Change is never easy, but it must come, and the sooner we all accept that GAWS needs to change and work together on this, the better.

  120. cathryn Levvey September 29, 2011 / 8:30 pm

    I’ve just read a comment that mentioned human euthenasia, maybe it was meant to be “humane” To leave an animal overnight plied with barbituates to die a slow and terrifying death is quite deplorable as is most of the practices I have read about G.A.W.S. I have shared this report with other reputable welfare organisations and hope it is investigated widely.

  121. Edith September 29, 2011 / 8:40 pm

    The fact that animals are in this situation in the first place is a whole other topic. Irresponsible ownership (not realising the time, money required to keep a pet etc) not to mention backyard breeding is a HUGE problem. Then theres the over supply in general from puppy mills —> pet shops and the list goes on.

    The fact that sterilisation is not mandatory for the average pet owner is a huge issue in my opinion. People are stupid (for the lack of better words). I met a lady once who didnt get her dog sterilised as there werent any dogs of the same breed in the area – ie. dogs cant cross breed – this made my head hurt literally.

    There should be no reason for the average person to breed their pet. The health risks it poses to the animal, the financial costs associated with breeding is incomprehensible to some people. People dont realise the costs of an emergency cesarean etc etc. The list goes on. Breeding should be limited to the professionals. The people who do it for the love of the breed, and for the betterment of the breed, not for the fun of it – or because of the ‘cute’ puppies. Responsible breeding is at the heart of this, people need to take responsibility for their actions.

    But the issue at hand here is that GAWS is not doing the right thing – at all. They are deceiving people, and more shamefully playing God with the lives of these creatures. These animals have more than likely already experienced abuse, starvation and other things I dont want to know. Their responsibility should be to these animals that have been abandoned and to find them new homes. They obviously have the funding to do this but are lacking morality and humanity. The fact they arent even cooperating with rescue groups suggests they are lazy and dont give a crap.

    It makes me mad that the government is not taking responsibility either. It makes me ashamed that a developed country like Australia allows things like this to happen. We have the education, funding and heart to know better than this.

    Phil – good luck. I hope it doesnt break your spirit like it did mine when I became involved with the RSPCA here in WA. Its not what you see that should concern you, its the whisperings you cant hear and the deeds you cant see.

  122. Edith September 29, 2011 / 9:00 pm

    Oh and before anyone makes the wrong call – my favourite breed is adopted and I am the proud ‘pawrent’ of a Mastiff X something beautiful. I also foster rescue dogs – all crosses and all absolutely beautiful animals.

    And No – not all registered breeders are good, or responsible. Which is why I think only RESPONSIBLE breeders should have the privilege of breeding dogs. The only way to ensure that breeding is done responsibly is for the government to have tight restrictions and checks on breeding practices. To do this they should consult with rescue groups and experts in the field of animal welfare. Sooner rather than later, before the problem becomes too much to handle.

  123. Zoe Melville September 29, 2011 / 9:51 pm

    Sad But True: I honestly have no idea what you are actually saying. My apologies if you think I manufactured an answer to ‘make myself look good’. I was being honest and serious. I thought I explained myself well.

    Either way, no need for personal attacks. Simply ask what I mean or ask me to clarify my point rather than making accusations, please.

  124. Susan Irwin September 29, 2011 / 9:57 pm

    Mastiff X Something beautiful.
    Love it, Edith :)

  125. cathryn Levvey September 29, 2011 / 10:02 pm

    Great comments Edith. I belong to a rescue group also and I know the great work they do.

  126. Judy September 29, 2011 / 10:05 pm

    It’s quite depressing to see people attacking each other on this blog and I’m disappointed. I feel sure we should all be working towards the welfare of the animals in this shelter.I feel sure Zoe that you are being unfairly attacked for your comments.
    Lets work together NOT against each other.
    If any of you are unclear on comments then say so and have them clarified.
    Don’t lets turn this into a slanging match, lets work to improve the situation, that’s what this is all about……isn’t it?

  127. Lou September 29, 2011 / 10:36 pm

    Aye, that is very true Judy. It is hard though when there are so many passionate people in the one place. We all have opinions, and because it is via text, messages can often be misconstrued.

    Anyway, let us all keep in mind that we are here to improve the way that GAWS is currently running and that we want to give the best possible chance of rehoming and furever homes to these beautiful creatures.

    PS, Edith I loved that mastiff/something beautiful comment too <3

  128. Patricia Grey September 30, 2011 / 12:51 am

    Susan Irwin… are a modern day hero for the animals of Geelong and you have stepped up for the animals when many have stayed silent. For all of those who stood there, witnessed the barbaric treatment and often cruelty (you know who you are) and said nothing…… remember this adage…. “if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem”!

  129. Charlotte September 30, 2011 / 8:51 am

    Phil English – you have made a personal attack on Susan. You seem very well informed about the issues she had at GAWS yet you conveniently deny knowing anyone at GAWS – just faces – very funny that don’t you think?. I think you know a lot more than a few faces.

    You also state that you employ 42 staff – then surely you must be fully about the workplace bullying laws and how it is totally unacceptable and against the law to personally bully or to allow or this to take placae in the workplace? Perhaps you could enlighten the GAWS management all about workpace bullying – that would be better use of your talents than leaping to their defence when you are only aware of their side of the story. Get you facts right first before attacking Susan.

    If not for Susan, the shelter manager and her relatives who run GAWS will continue to operate in a totally unacceptable manner.

    The people who have worked to expose the cruel and horrific practices at GAWS are to be contratulated. Well done to you all – keep up the good work.

  130. Helen and Fred September 30, 2011 / 8:53 am

    Yes Susan Irwin is an absolute hero! It took enormous courage to stand up and be counted when so many others turned a blind eye to the cruelty and neglect that they knew was going on. Your bravery will be rewarded Susan and will be the pivot of all the changes that WILL take place at GAWS. Take care Susan and know that you have enormous support from people who are right behind you and will never let you down.

  131. Anne Greenaway September 30, 2011 / 9:51 am

    Phil English – your personal attack on Susan is a disgrace.

    You say your information was received from “loose lips” (from those who represented her). You also claim not to hide behind fake profiles or names. So please name these “loose lips” who represented her, as without doing so, you are no better than any of those you criticize on this page and social networking sites who hide behind dog photos and fake profiles.

    You say you believe in a fair go for all, yet are happy to launch a personal attack on Susan Irwin. You claim that 95% of this blog is rubbish yet admit you really have not had a great deal to do with GAWS or its day-to-day operations.

    It is not uncommon for victims of workplace bullying to settle court matters so they can “heal” from the damage inflicted by the bully and move on.

    If all Susan wanted was “the cash” as you state she would not be being extremely proactive in raising issues about the treatment of animals at GAWS. She would not have attended the GAWS AGM. She would not continue to raise concerns about the horrors she witnessed.

    She would have walked away and spent her cash.

    Shame on you for attempting to sully the name of a decent animal loving lady who has bravely spoken out for those who have no voice. I suspect NO amount of money would be enough to compensate her for the horrors she witnessed at GAWS and the subsequent bullying she is said to have received when she raised legitimate animal welfare concerns.

    Actions speak louder than words Phil English.

  132. Hero is sacred September 30, 2011 / 9:56 am

    I think the word hero is being used quite “loosely”. Susan merely stood up for what she believed in, that is not a hero. Hero’s are the diggers that are on putting their lives on the line every day, they are the diggers who fought for our freedom before many of us were even thought off.

  133. Charlotte September 30, 2011 / 10:08 am

    Anne Greenaway – excellent post – thank you.

    Deplorable that Susan was attacked on a personal level.

  134. Helen and Fred September 30, 2011 / 10:12 am

    Heros come in many shapes and forms ‘Hero is sacred’ Have you ever tried to stand up to a work place bully??? it takes an awful lot of courage, especially when your living depends on it. We all have respect for servicemen and women, but have a look at the dictionary definition of a hero….’Hero, one admired for his strength and courage’ and we know that Susan Irwin has heaps of both

  135. Behind Four Walls September 30, 2011 / 10:22 am

    I am a person who experienced workplace bullying of the highest degree. This is a terrible thing to have done and it has endless repurcussions, like throwing a pebble into a pond, the ripple effect. There is no self respect, no communication with the outside world, live in a vacuum, cant sleep, do not like crowds, hate being looked at, nor being centre of attention. Feelings of inadequacy all the time and unable to carry on a conversation due to lack of concentration and ‘brain fuses’. Cant speek due to dry mouth, and shun everyone even those closest to you. If your bullying was so bad , how can you put yourself out into the spotlight and stay there, why didnt you keep fighting and not go for the cash. How can you work, i am unable to after a severe nervous breakdown. It seems that you are enjoying all the attention you are receiving, but if what Phil says is true, and i do not know him as I am sure his name isnt real, i hope it all doesnt come back at you.

  136. Zoe Melville September 30, 2011 / 10:26 am

    People’s reactions are different to different situations. I’m sure we all have stories about the way we reacted in a situation that differed to another’s.

    This does not make Susan Irwin any less of a victim. Please do not discredit her for not breaking down, instead applaud her for continuing to fight.

  137. just a point about free euthanasia September 30, 2011 / 10:28 am

    It is not so much the cost of euthanasia but the heartbreak when the pet you love has 3 options…. pay $10000 + for an op that may work… live with ongoing pain or be euthanized… Most people arrive at the decision to euthanize after numerous vet consults after they have spent all there available money…. In the case of many bigger animals such as horses it is cheaper to have someone shoot the animal and take it away than use drugs…(and that is still very expensive) I would like to see some sort of $ help with this painful decision that people make…. The decision to help financially would need to be made by the vet and if he or she has morals then they would only offer this to genuine people not people that just cant be bothered to deal with an issue… It would also be great if there were more vets willing to do payment plans or reduce rates.
    I have dealt with many vets over the years and most are fantastic but there are a minority who really do only care about how much money they make and don’t care enough about the animals they treat and I hope that anyone working with animals is doing it for the right reasons… The day that it does not have any emotional affect on you to make the decision to end an animals life or see one suffering then you are in the wrong job and need to move on!

  138. just a point about free euthanasia September 30, 2011 / 10:33 am

    Well said Zoe nobody should be put down for coming out of a tough situation still having the strength to fight it!

  139. Anne Greenaway September 30, 2011 / 10:34 am

    Behind Four Walls –

    I don’t know the full details of Susan Irwin’s bullying claim or legal proceedings but one thing I do know is quite often victims of workplace bullying are advised by medical practitioners to remove themselves from the bullying and leave the employer who is subjecting them to the bullying.

    It makes no sense to stay fighting in any workplace where there is a huge power imbalance and intense bullying over a sustained and prolonged period. In many of these cases a complete nervous breakdown is inevitable.

    I can see no evidence of Susan “enjoying the attention”. More like her finding comfort in the company of other like minded animal loving individuals.

  140. Charlotte September 30, 2011 / 10:35 am

    Behind Four Walls – if you know ANYTHING about bullying, you KNOW cannot continue to work in that environment.

    Why should anyone’s life be ruined by some perverted person or people?

    Do you know the laws about workplace bullying. If GAWS were so ignorant to continue bullying a staff member, that staff member has EVERY RIGHT to stand up and speak to the relevant authorities.

    GAWS obviously were very guilty and paid the price. Silly Silly management. Let’s hope that by Susan exposing them they cannot move on to the next staff member they would have liked to bully.
    Susan is fighting for the animals – she has been very brave to do this.

    if you were so badly bullied and did NOTHING to stop it, then that is your issue.

  141. Zoe Melville September 30, 2011 / 10:38 am

    Valid points, Just A Point About Free Euthanasia. With a euth generally costing between $80 and $150, I would prefer to see monetary help going to the treatment of the animal rather than it’s destruction. I do take the point you are making, but after working in shelters, I always imagine the worst kind of people and how they will abuse such an offer of help.

    The facts are that animal ownership costs money, whether we feel the vet fees are justified or not. I would like to believe that owners would not opt for a ‘cheap, easy way out’ of paying for the treatment of a dog and simply euthanise their animals, but my experience has taught me to never underestimate the depths that human beings will stoop to.

  142. Wolf September 30, 2011 / 11:08 am

    Not good enough Robyn S.
    What goes around comes around.
    Justice will be served.

  143. carol G September 30, 2011 / 11:40 am

    Australian s are becoming very laid back when it comes to animals. I know because I help animals in the streets whenever I can. This sounds like something out of Nazi Germany. RSPCA has become criminal or so it seems.What is going on? Can we have some investigation into this by the Government ,that is if they are not corrupt as well.. There has got to be some good animal people in the Gov. YOU? Do something now.

  144. Charlotte September 30, 2011 / 12:08 pm

    This is about the shameful way that GAWS treats both its staff and the animals. The board have chosen to turn a blind eye –
    they have been negligent in allowing this to continue unabated.

  145. ? September 30, 2011 / 2:50 pm

    Helen and Fred, who was found guilty? Did it go before the Courts? Or is that your assumption?

  146. Charlotte September 30, 2011 / 3:09 pm

    Very sorry Nic – I musunderstood what you meant. Some of the posters are so full of tish – this is all about GAWS.

    Susan was brave enough to stand out and be counted and expose GAWS –

    To? Do you condone the bullying that was dished out to Susan – ask Phil – he says she was paid – he is the one who said Susan received money – and if she did and GAWS had to pay a settlement – who do you think is guilty – they simply had no leg to stand on. Hope that answers your question – whether it went to Court or not what difference does it make. The bottom line is that GAWS were guilty

  147. Helen and Fred September 30, 2011 / 3:12 pm

    Refer to number 71 by Susan Irwin.

  148. Catmother02 September 30, 2011 / 6:02 pm

    Zoe, don’t listen to the negative feedback. Yes, we’re all entitled to opinions… but don’t let the bullies get to you. Stand up for what you truly know is right & the truth will always come out in the end.

  149. Susan Irwin September 30, 2011 / 7:49 pm

    The personal attacks on me don’t concern me, they are based on such wrong and nasty information that I have no doubts where they originated.
    I can confidently say what I do, as I know it is the truth. Apart from anything else, some of the most distressing claims have been confirmed by the President of GAWS himself.
    We do need to get this back on track, concentrate on what is happening at GAWS and discuss ways to bring GAWS back to the objectives of it’s own charter.

  150. Helen and Fred September 30, 2011 / 7:55 pm

    Exactly Susan. Let’s not allow GAWS bullying to disrail this very serious topic.

  151. Richard Martin September 30, 2011 / 9:58 pm

    It is a common tactic when a person or organisation is exposed for wrongdoing to try to discredit the whistleblower by spreading disinformation and casting doubt on their motives and claims.

    Thank you Susan and keep up the good work

  152. Tarsha September 30, 2011 / 10:05 pm

    The GAWS AGM was on 2 nights ago. A member queried the GAWS President, stating he had read this blog and was concerned that dogs were being sedated many hours before euthanasia. The GAWS President confirmed this is the case, saying “staff put sedatives in the dogs dinner bowls just before they leave for the day”, please note this is done just prior to 4.00pm. The President, (also the practicing vet) would then arrive at 8.00am, a total of 16 hours later to drag the dogs out of their pens for euthanasia. All confirmed 2 nights ago. An hour is all that is needed to sedate a dog before any procedure, be it surgery or euthanasia. To leave a dog heavily sedated, unattended to bash itself around its cage, convulse, choke on its own vomit is of the poorest inhumane standards to say the least. Not only are the claims in this blog backed up, the President confirmed one of these deplorable issues himself in the AGM.

  153. cathryn Levvey September 30, 2011 / 10:27 pm

    I agree with you Tarsha and I think those people involved should have charges of cruelty laid against them or at the very least be removed from their positions.

  154. Helen McNamara September 30, 2011 / 11:17 pm

    Very true Richard Martin.

    Another common tactic is to arrange for lawyers to send “shut up or we will take you to court” letters.

    GAWS seems to be ticking all the boxes for an organisation in damage control trying very desperate measures, including further bullying techniques to attempt to silence critics.

    Too late GAWS, the genie is out of the bottle!

  155. Julie September 30, 2011 / 11:18 pm

    I feel sorry for the people who have donated over the years, with good intentions, to what they thought was a caring animal welfare shelter. To find out what has actually been happening is a real kick in the teeth. Shame on GAWS. To the GAWS staff reading this blog and trying to derail the discussion with sniping and personal attacks – you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. Your bullying tactics won’t work here.

  156. Tarsha September 30, 2011 / 11:24 pm

    I am a recipient of a lawyers letter from GAWS, a letter emailed to me months ago to try and frighten me into silence. Apparently I am a bad guy for trying to right GAWS wrongs. Return to Sender!!!!!!!

  157. Richard Martin September 30, 2011 / 11:42 pm

    Doesnt look like the letters had the desired effect.
    Good on you Tarsha for refusing to be frightened into silence.

  158. Deathrowpets October 1, 2011 / 1:13 am

    We appreciate serious on-topic comments by anyone, but we are removing comments of a personal nature that don’t add to this debate. Thanks all.

  159. Joyce October 1, 2011 / 1:30 am

    I too was the recipient of one of their ‘shut up’ lawyers letters. What a shame, from the day of our public demonstration outside the gates of GAWS…. GAWS have spent much time and money on covering their tracks and protecting what they are doing, rather than correcting the wrong doings and lavishing some of the funds spent on Lawyers, on the animals. New locks on certain rooms, 12 foot wall erected to continue to hide dogs behind. You can fortify all you like GAWS…..your walls are tumbling down!!! We…. the ‘agitators’ have nothing to fear, for we speak the truth!!! You on the other hand…. keep fortifying!!

  160. Joyce October 1, 2011 / 1:35 am

    @ Helen and Fred… 135…… I agree totally. And Annie….. excellent post @ 132

  161. Patricia Grey October 1, 2011 / 1:51 pm

    The resident ‘bully’ at GAWS has been ruling with fear and intimidation for YEARS!!At last, she has been taken to task and exposed to the authorities!! Why the Board…. and Council continue to support the confirmed bully at GAWS beggars belief! The fact that she is a bully is not up for opinion…….it has been proven and consequences have been dealt. It is time for the Board AND Council to step up and remove the bully from her post! If I was a business owner, I wouldn’t take any further risks, for we all know….a leopard does not change it’s spots! Remove the bully, keep the staff free from harrassment and allow them to work in a bully free environment!

  162. Lou October 1, 2011 / 1:55 pm

    Patricia that is exactly what needs to happen– however it is hard when 95% of the workers at GAWS are either related or close family friends. There are only a minority of workers there who are not related or friends with someone there… But alas, more and more each day things are becoming exposed and now there are three new board members with fresh ideas and new hope to change the old ways at GAWS.

  163. Patricia Grey October 1, 2011 / 2:09 pm

    Lou………this is not a decision for the staff…….this is a liability issue for the Board and Council!!! Protecting a known bully is bad business practise and they take a risk, EVERY day that this bully won’t be investigated again!!!! Remove the bully NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

  164. Tarsha October 1, 2011 / 2:18 pm

    As of 2012 new Australian OH & S laws come into effect. Heavier penalties for organisations, board and management that are aware of bullying and do nothing about it are are amongst these new laws. Corporations can face up to 3 million per offence, individuals can face up to $600,000 or 5 years in jail. Geelong Council, GAWS Board and Management are all aware of the bullying and intimidating culture at GAWS so I believe these new OH & S Laws could eat into their profits soon if they don’t remove the problem.

  165. Julie October 1, 2011 / 3:07 pm

    Get her out NOW. She and the vet should both be prosecuted for animal cruelty, neglect, and breaches of the Code of Practice.

  166. Phil English October 2, 2011 / 7:35 am

    There are problems at the shelter, it is treated poorly by council, they drug dangerous dogs etc.
    My last 2 days at the shelter have been an eye opener and I thank everyone who was so keen to help me get an understanding about the facts. It seems sadly that like most thing in soceity these days, animal ownership is not the privilage it once was.

    My little team will continue to try and make a difference and I welcome the ex staff who have joined to help…thanks girls!!

  167. jan October 2, 2011 / 2:25 pm

    Phil Im glad you are taking the time to find things out for yourself and want better for the animals at GAWS but as was said over and over again at the AGM lets work together!!!

  168. Get Things in Perspective October 2, 2011 / 2:45 pm

    To Phil, using the Freedom of Information, you would be able to find these things. I think that Phil is seeing 2 sides here, and he is at least being honest

  169. Amazed October 2, 2011 / 2:55 pm

    To Zoe Melville, i read your reply to behind Four Walls. No, it is clinical fact, by a qualified psychologist that these are the symptoms of bullying.

  170. Barbara Reeves October 2, 2011 / 3:04 pm

    We too are trying to work together, however any volunteer assistance at GAWS has been shunned. I’m not sure if you’re accussing the pro or anti change group of ignorance but facts are facts and the situation desperately needs to change to help the homeless animals.

  171. Daniel Smith October 2, 2011 / 3:59 pm

    Patricia Grey, where is the evidence? No pictures or videos have been produced so, as far as the public is concerned we have the right to question the content of this blog. Until we see hard factual evidence that has been independently verified to be correct, there are always going to be questions raised as to how true reports such as this blog are.

  172. Richard Martin October 2, 2011 / 4:24 pm

    One fact that cant be disputed is the fact that the President who is also the vet stated at the AGM that dogs were drugged and left alone all night and that in future they were going to be drugged in the mornings an hour or so before the vet arrived.
    How much more evidence do you need than from the mouth of the man himself.

  173. To Pebbles and Bam Bam October 2, 2011 / 5:06 pm

    Daniel Smith, you have a great point there. Have videos been produced, photos with GAWS names on pens been shown. ? I have not seen anyone tslking about these things yet. I would like to see these if possible.

  174. Judy Addison October 2, 2011 / 5:13 pm

    I’m not sure whether it’s helpful or not but I have sent this blog onto Darren Cheeseman, Federal member for Corangamite. I think he needs to be alerted to this if he hasn’t already.

  175. Patricia Grey October 2, 2011 / 5:27 pm

    OK………. lets examine the facts that cannot be questioned at this point in time…..
    1. As announced by the President and Vet himself……….. Cats are killed in front of other Cats. Breach of the CoP.
    2. Dogs have been drugged overnight and left in their pens to die a slow painful death before being dragged to the killing room the next morning.
    3. Manager is a known and proven bully!
    4. Management has refused to work with Rescue groups to save the animals and volunteers, becasue they can speak out!
    5. Management refused to advertise the animals online.
    Is that not enough???? There is something consistent in the above points….. THE MANAGER!!! Get her out before she creates more problems for GAWS!
    If the Manager was proficient in her role….. firstly, she would insist that GAWS was run by Best Practise and secondly………. she would not abide a bully in her team, let alone BE THE BULLY!!! Wake up!!

  176. Daniel Smith October 2, 2011 / 6:16 pm

    What about the so called “dockets” and “videos”, where are these? How has the manager been a “proven” bully? Quite frankly if some of the people on here are part of the rescue groups, i don’t blame the manager for not wanting to work with them. T Have you ever stopped to think that perhaps it was in the interests of the Geelong public that some of the dogs have been put down. As a born and bred Geelong boy, I do not want a dog out on the streets that has attacked another dog.

    Oh, and you have all the plans to stop the killing but have you considered where all these dogs are going to be kept? What will happen when GAWS reaches capacity? Allow dogs to double up, triple up? Put aggressive dogs in cages with one another…well there is a dog fight which i am almost sure you would all be against, it is all good and well to have these grand ideas, but sometimes the whole thing has not been thought through.

  177. Patricia Grey October 2, 2011 / 6:37 pm

    y MOST ethical shelters….. shelters that actually care about their animals involve volunteers, rescue groups and foster carers! To enhance and extend the animals’ chance of finding a forever home! If rescues and foster carers were welcomed at GAWS………. over crowding would be a thing of the past!

  178. Susan Irwin October 2, 2011 / 7:12 pm

    I am not the only staff member who has been quoted. However at this stage I am the only one who has made their name public.

    All of us are telling the truth. You have to be very careful about that when what you are saying is so public. You also need to have evidence to support what you are saying.

    As the ex president of GAWS has already confirmed, in the media and at a public meeting, a number of the claims being made. If DeathrowPets say they have evidence of more, I don’t doubt that. I would have thought that people associated with GAWS would be finally trying to fix these problems rather than pushing to have more damning evidence made public.

    We are passionate about GAWS. About seeing it turn around and become the model shelter it has the potential to be. A model shelter that shows the rest of Australia just what can be achieved when people work together with a common aim. A shelter where the lost and abandoned pets of Geelong are safe, well cared for in every instance, and kept alive to find a home.

    The kill rate for GAWS over the last 12 months, for animals that were not claimed by owners or DOA was,

    DOGS & PUPPIES 58%
    CATS 85%
    KITTENS 75%

  179. Sad October 2, 2011 / 8:21 pm

    Everyone knows so much, dogs must not be destroyed, rightly so if they can’t go to a loving home.. But it would be interesting if everyone looks at them selves and ask the same question – would i work at GAWS? Would i go and clean up the poo every day, spend my day with dogs barking all the time wanting to go home to someone who does not want them. With all working together it would be a great place for these animals to be at. Until the humans get it together the dogs suffer. How many dogs have died because of all the above, count them up – you are responsible for the stalling !! So Be It.

  180. Tania October 2, 2011 / 9:17 pm

    I worked at GAWS for almost 8 years about 7 or so years ago. Post 186 is right it is a tough job, people lying about the reason they are bring their animal to us ie not mine i found him walking the streets, he bite a kid….etc etc. Most of the times we were seen as the easy way to dispose of their pets. Im not paying to get him out, kill the bastard….. it really was sad. I worked mainly with lost dogs.
    GAWS was a place for the not so nice people with pets to dump and run. In my time, there was no bullying by anyone nor family and friends working there. Most of the staff are and were long-time employees. It was never glamourus or well paying but everyone there was always trying there hardest to help the animals.
    Council never really want to help back then so I see nothing has changed.

  181. Julie October 2, 2011 / 9:30 pm

    Dog trainers, animal behaviouralists, photographers, IT specialists offering to do online profiling, volunteers offering to clean pens, groom animals, walk dogs, – all have offered help, but so far those offers have been refused. They remain ready to help at a moments notice. Yes, people do want to work there. I know people who have applied for jobs there, unfortunately they have not been accepted. Please do not accuse any of us of stalling. We are all ready and willing to give GAWS every assistance they need. Let the past be the past and let’s start improving things together, immediately.

  182. givemebackthatlast30min October 2, 2011 / 9:32 pm

    I think they are rapt that they got the drugged dog part right on their blog. Lucky as it seems everything else is a made up disgruntled ex employee tell tales story. Some lady try to shove this down my throat today whilst I was out there. Silly girl I have adapoted several animals from the shelter over the years and the theory about the high fence….please did I look like an idiot??

    She painted a picture that this was gosspel and written fact -the blog.
    After reading it I now understand this is not fact at all. Please anyone else at the shelter today that had this forced onto them like me will see the truth is plan to read.

  183. Charlotte October 2, 2011 / 9:48 pm

    Sad Most staff who work in shelters know what is involved. There are some wonderful dedicated staff who contribute to a clean and happy shelter. Unfortunately, the practices at GAWS are atrocious and need to be changed.

  184. Charlotte October 2, 2011 / 9:56 pm

    This blog is about GAWS and the dreadful practices that occur – we do want to see change, but unless there is a change in management I cannot see that happening.

  185. Chris October 2, 2011 / 10:38 pm

    Charlotte, I would think he has every right to publish what he wants, its a blog. The owner of the blog can delete what they want.
    The blog posted names and personal issues….double standards?? No of course not your the only person with the right opinion here.

    Also have you worked at this pound Charlotte? If no, thats what I thought.
    I bet you don’t even live in Geelong or been to the Lost Dogs Home?
    Another one sounding like there are after the manager!!!

  186. Rhonda October 2, 2011 / 11:27 pm

    I am sure DRP, Susan Irwin, and the other people that have spoken up have considered the legal consequences if they don’t have evidence to back their claims. For those of you making your own malicious claims about people, I hope you have evidence and have considered the consequences of slander or defamation as well. It’s a mistaken belief that a false identity can prevent you being identified. Be careful.
    The evidence I have seen is the admission of Dr Walter about his killing of cats in view of other cats, his admission of the horrific drugging of dogs and the numbers of animals killed compared to those rehomed. That is enough to demand an overhaul of GAWS.

  187. Patricia Grey October 2, 2011 / 11:37 pm

    @ Chris………….we don’t have to go after the manager…..the manager is destroying her reputation and GAWS along with it! Why would you openly defend a bully….. were you a bully at school Chris??? Do you feel a need to defend your behaviour of the past?? Bullies…. whether they be in the playground or in the office or workplace… are not welcome and should not be protected! Finito!

  188. Charlotte October 3, 2011 / 7:58 am

    Chris – were you at the AGM to hear what the now retired President said – I was – don’t bet on anything – you know nothing of what I do.
    This is about GAWS and its horrific practices – there is no need to discredit the staff who have spoken out.

  189. Tis October 3, 2011 / 8:55 am

    …. they should ALL be named & shamed. These innocent animals have no voice & such atrocities make me so angry.
    Justice for these poor animals is a MUST

  190. Julie October 3, 2011 / 10:29 am

    Post 189 – you were there, you saw the wall for yourself. The facts are: after concerns were raised publicly about GAWS, a very high solid wall was erected, blocking off access and viewing of a number of dog pens. Dogs behind this wall cannot be seen at all, therefore the public and animal rescue groups are unable to help them. GAWS did not have permission to erect the wall at this height, and subsequently had to lower it. However it still obscures all view of the dogs behind it. Is this the actions of an animal welfare society that wants to work openly with the community? Why hide dogs from public view?

  191. Daniel October 3, 2011 / 1:36 pm

    What was the reason given for the constructions of the high fence?

  192. 186 October 3, 2011 / 3:16 pm

    To 187, I think is is a shame you are not at GAWS now, you seem like a person who had compassion for the animals. For someone to work seeing a dog there one day hone to Rainbow Bridge the next must have been terrible. It is a shame someone like you is not still there. There are plently of lost dogs that need love and a gentle hand. Thanks for what you did for them

  193. Opal Gypsy October 3, 2011 / 3:46 pm

    We are ALL here for the same reason, TO SAVE THE ANIMALS TAKEN INTO GAWS, who MOST DEFINITELY has a duty of care for ALL animals taken there… This has NOT occurred at all from what I have read so far on a number of sources, not just this blog…. I am appalled at the kill rates and the methods used in almost all of them.. DISGUSTING!!
    The manager, and I don’t know her or her work standards, nor am I interested in her bullying ( my point being is that the bullying is secondary to the real issue here) she IS GAWS face and the only one responsible for the misconduct, the mistreatment and the ignorance that has gone on for so long – she is has to take responsibility for the poor ethics & standards of her vet and other staff who fail to comply with the COP and the COE… The COGG may or may not be aware of the problems/issues over at GAWS, but the bottom line is the Manager is the one who has to answer to ALL the allegations, face the music, so to speak, and ensure that her facility follows ALL RULES AND REGULATIONS.. Code of Practice, Code of Ethics and ALL legal obligations… the ex president admitted the facts on the methods used to euthanise the animals, the killing of cats in front of other cats, the medicating of dogs 16 hrs prior to any vet attending.. OMFG, how is this ‘manager’ not aware this is happening?? Of course she is!! How has she let this go on when the COP and the COE state what has to happen??? She likes the power and the $$ the council is providing? Or is she really just that cruel?? She MUST ANSWER all charges now!! Her reign of terror, both for the animals and the staff is coming to an end and the changing of the guard will be welcomed by EVERYBODY that is concerned for the animals welfare whilst they are at GAWS.
    With everybody working together for the greater cause, the welfare and safe rehoming of suitable animals, this is potentially one of the greatest pounds in Australia…The sooner the manager, the staff, rescue organisations members and the general public volunteers work together, the sooner the animals who are unfortunate enough to be there, can be correctly assessed, photographed, advertised by the appropriate rescue groups, as well as the GAWS website and ultimately be rehomed in their loving forever home :) There are hundreds of options, all better than the current situation, that are available to these lovely furbabies and the NO KILL IS ACHIEVABLE, less than 10% PTS is a fantastic rate compared to what is happening down there right now!!
    It can’t always be a perfect world, but things can definitely be a great deal better for the tortured souls (both human and animals) out at GAWS with some help, understanding and common sense and compassion!!

  194. Judy Addison October 3, 2011 / 4:18 pm

    Unfortunately “hot flushes” I have only recently become aware of the problems at GAWS otherwise I would happily have wrtitten to Darren sooner.
    I am trying to do what I can to help.

  195. Sick To My Stomach & Fed Up With This Crap October 3, 2011 / 5:23 pm

    Have you no conscience? When did you lose your compassion? People shouldnt be working in these facilities if they are burnt out! Which is obvious because Im sure there was a time when it wasnt ok to do this kind of thing to animals. Im gobsmacked by what is happening & I demand it to stop! Get another job! Work with computers.. dont work with living sentinents! What is WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!! Do us do-gooders have to continuously clean up your mess! This world that YOU seem to think is a daily occurance & normality! Get a backbone & do what is right! You obviously knew what that was once apon a time when you went into it. With every breathe i have i will make sure you ALL get closed down. It may take the rest of my life but I will see it thru! You are ALL pathetic!

  196. Sue Hewat October 3, 2011 / 5:59 pm

    @Opal re post 201….Great job in puting this all back into perspective…All we (well most according to this forum) want, is the animals welfare and rights considered and do be able to do whatever we can to unite and make the kill list drop considerably (of course, a no kill is ultimately what we want and will aim for). There are so many of us out there that are puting our hands up to offer assistance in so many ways to get these animals adopted out. I myself have contacted GAWS and offered free grooming (professional groomer), walking, cleaning etc, but have been knocked back. And I know i am not the only one.
    The current way of running GAWS needs to be changed. There is proof out there that pounds etc can be successfully operated, for the good of the animals, if only the right management was in place.

  197. Kim October 3, 2011 / 6:13 pm

    Name and Shame I say….The public need to know so that they can put pressure on these people to stop this behaviour towards those in their CARE…..Make these people ashamed of themselves……

  198. Facts & Figures October 3, 2011 / 8:27 pm

    Just some facts from Annual Report;
    Dogs and Puppies;
    Total Received was 3119
    Made up as follows;
    Council Rangers 1801
    Members of the public 602 (Dogs found by public and brought in)
    Via Animal Ambulance 72
    Unwanted by Owner 644

    Dogs adopted to new home 582
    Dogs claimed by owner 1704
    Dogs destroyed 811
    Died and DOAA 22

  199. Facts & Figures October 3, 2011 / 8:37 pm

    This doesn’t seem to add up to the 50% odd stated, closer to 26%
    of the animals (dogs) are destroyed. The place is also used by the elderly who can’t afford a vet to have their animal destroyed for various reasons- old age etc
    Hopefully your rescue groups can help get this closer to 10% and that would make the place world class compared to others.
    If this is a money spinner for council to destroy animals then GAW done a pretty ordinary job for council. They re-homed 300+ dogs more than 2010 and destroyed 161 less dogs than 2010.

  200. Rhonda October 3, 2011 / 8:42 pm

    Facts and Figures, you need to remove animals claimed by owners and DOA from the calculation, as these animals were never looking for a home. It is the animals for whom GAWS accepts the responsibility of rehoming that we are concerned.

  201. Garth October 3, 2011 / 8:58 pm

    Fact and Figures how do you get a copy of Annual Figures for the pound?

    If want you state is correct they should be appaulled for the result. I thought they killed everything that moved reading this.

    Either way that is alot of dogs! Hope the re-homable dogs get the chance to experience a loving owner soon. I doubt people in Geelong region would think to adopt from there. Spread the news to friends that there is dogs that need homes!!!!!!!!

  202. enraged October 3, 2011 / 11:14 pm

    I am absolutely appauled.
    I recently applied for the jobs they advertised and was so excited to work there. Not now.
    I did work experience there a few years ago, Monday afternoon I was helping prepare the dogs food and saw a list of pen numbers and pills next to it. I got told they were for the dogs to be put down the next morning, and they were to make the dog sleep easier and lessen the stress.
    My question is why are all these people involved with animals if they obviously don’t give a damn about them. I for one would be privilaged to work in a CORRECTLY ran facility. It’s my passion as for many other people. So why and HOW are these people still in charge?
    Animals don’t have a voice. It’s about time they had people to speak for them.

  203. Rhonda October 4, 2011 / 12:00 am

    Enraged, that is unbelievable. They are so relaxed with the way they drug them the night before that they even openly let a work experience kid see it? What they do is so horrific, but they don’t even realise that it is.

  204. Patricia Grey October 4, 2011 / 12:21 am

    Enraged………… that must have been dreadful for you,particularly when you were there to help them,or so you thought! Sadly, the management at GAWS have forgotten they are in the business of ‘animal welfare’ for they operate as if they are in ‘waste management’. You can see them all posting on this blog like they are offended by the accusations!!! WELL,I am offended by their acceptance of mediocrity and cruelty and as we all know…………it starts at the top!!! from President of the Board……………and Manager…. down to the staff! New compassionate management for GAWS!!!!

  205. Lisa Matlock October 4, 2011 / 12:37 am

    203. Enraged, how horrific as a work experience student to have to witness such a poor uncaring blase standard. To see so many pills lined up ready to put into the dogs dinner the day before they were to be killed obviously sparked alarm bells in your head as well, despite your youth. GAWS told you it was to keep the dogs calm and less stressed! Sure, this is the case when done supervised an hour before euthanasia – but NOT 16 + hours. Leaving a dog drugged to the eyeballs, disorientated, some choking on their own vomit, some dying, all alone unsupervised in their pens is deplorable and shame on GAWS for trying to tell you they are doing the dogs a favor by drugging them the day before! The Manager and the vet should be making sure this NEVER happens, yet these people are the very ones authorising it. The Manager and the vet should be euthanising the dogs AND cats humanely, and if sedation is necessary for some dogs prior to euthanasia then one hour is the required time to pre-medicate them – not 16!!!

  206. Deathrowpets October 4, 2011 / 12:40 am

    Hello all. As the author of the original report, I have been reading the comments with interest. This blog is about the situation at GAWS – not about individual people posting comments. I am therefore deleting comments that attack people commenting, or are of a derogatory nature, or of an intent to discredit anyone. I have modified some comments to moderate them and apologise to anyone if I have changed their message too far.

    We have no problem with people having contrary views, but this is not a site where we want any “flame wars” between individuals.

    Please understand that the “evidence” people are seeking may not be entirely for public distribution. We have no doubt that positive change will take place now that these issues have been made public; the first line of communication must be with the Board of GAWS who now have new members who recognise the need for change.

    I would like to assure people, that if they read the letters that we sent to the Board and the president and vp, they will see that we tried very hard with a reasonable approach first. ( you can access these via the blog report). It was only when a reasonable approach – along with meetings by concerned members of the public- were not accepted by the board and management that we resorted to a more public position.

    If you have concerns, please write to Geelong Council and GAWS themselves. Paul at Deathrowpets.

  207. Catherine (@crash_clu) October 4, 2011 / 12:56 am

    How long would it take for COGG and other relevant bodies to act if this was a human shelter rather than an animal shelter? I’d hazard a guess it would be acted on a lot quicker.

    Another question I have is why, if there are so many animals coming into GAWS, is GAWS not affiliated with all of the Geelong pet shops with the adoption programs? I adopted my kitten (at less than 3 months old and only 2 days after she was spayed, which was shock enough considering how gorgeous she is!) from a Geelong pet shop that gets their kittens and puppies from the Lost Dogs’ Home in North Melbourne. Not to take any credit from the LDH at all; it’s great that they will liaise with pet shops even this far away but it struck me as odd that GAWS didn’t have a program in place with this pet shop. They had around 8-9 kittens come in at the start of the week and on the Friday night when I went in, there were only 3 left. This seems like a relatively successful way to find new homes for kittens and puppies. If it weren’t for my restricted budget and regular travels, on which my cat accompanies me 99% of the time, I would consider adopting another cat.

    I hope that this situation can be turned around for these animals to give them all a chance to lead happy, healthy, long lives with new families who will care for them.

  208. Sad October 4, 2011 / 6:48 am

    Im not 100% sure, but i have a niggling bad feeling that there is something suss about the Animal Pound in Melton.
    I went there with my young son during the short time they are open to offer myself for volunteer work if they need any.
    When i walked down the path i noticed every window and door were locked except for the front fence. (all dogs are kept inside the building and the windows on the path side of the building are small high up windows with sliders that shut light out when closed). I couldn’t hear any noise of any dogs which i thought was strange coz i have been there before to see if my dog had been picked up and the only reason i knew she was there was coz i know her bark and she could hear me, so the other dogs were very stirred up. (From the outside you cant see anything except for a small building. You cannot see inside at all). But this time it was weird. Then when i came to the door, i could see a lady coming out of a room and she was a little shocked by me being there. I was very polite and smiley as i am, but she was not happy at all that i was there and opened the door only slightly to speak to me, like she was scared of me and so i couldnt see into the place behind her. She asked me what i wanted, and i explained to her that i wanted to volunteer. She told me to go to the council and speak to the HR department and put your name on a list. I was like ok. And then she told me in a really rude way that if i wanted to do volunteering with animals i should go to a boarding kennel. And then she shut the door on me and i was like ok, thanx, see ya later. Oh.. i also asked her if they do foster care for the animals and she said “No, we only adopt directly out to people or other shelter places.”
    So then i went to the council and asked to speak to the HR department and the lady at the desk was like “ummm… ok…. ill just ring someone to confirm that coz i dont think they are the ones you speak to about the pound.” So she made a phone call infront of me and they sounded very confused about what i was told so the lady ended up coming out to talk to me. I told her what i was told and she said they dont do volunteer work at all, EVER. The lady at the pound shouldve known that. She also seemed a little taken back at the fact that the lady at the pound held the door 6 inches open as if i was a threat and wouldnt let me in, especially during opening hours. She was very sorry that I was sent on a “goose chase” for nothing and that the lady at the pound lied to me about a few things, but they just dont do volunteer work.
    I made a phone call to an animal rescue when i got home and spoke to a lady there and apparently (she told me this with sadness) most council controlled pounds work that way coz they make up their own rules and whatever. She couldnt explain to me much else coz she didnt understand it herself.
    But now reading this i am very afraid.
    I hope someone who has better knowledge and is much better prepared than i was, is able to go there and see if im wrong. I hope i am wrong. But i hope someone with better knowledge of it all can have a look into the place.

  209. Karen October 4, 2011 / 9:03 am

    Paul at Deathrowpets, how can we validate what you are saying in this report if you do not provide us with the evidence? It appears there are a lot of accusations but you will not produce the evidence to back up what is being said? So the ex President admitted to the sedation of animals the night before, that is only one aspect of your blog, if you are throwing these accuasations into the public arena then the public deserve to see the evidence.

  210. Karen October 4, 2011 / 9:06 am

    Rhonda, why should Facts and Figures remove the claimed animals from the data list? It is important the public get all the figures and not just some. Providing the public with all the data shows people have nothing to hide, provide as much data and informatino as possible and allow the public to make up their own mind.

  211. I know who i am October 4, 2011 / 9:23 am

    To the work experience girl, there is no way that you should have experienced such horror while doing that job. You should have been able to make a correct assessement of the work you have wanted to ckose, taking the good with the bad, but certainly witnessing that happening. It is so sad Ronny, not Rhonda !!

  212. Julie October 4, 2011 / 10:00 am

    To Sad, yes it’s certain there are other pounds like this. I have personally heard of another with serious problems. The person concerned is too afraid to even say which pound it is, as the people carrying out the horrific treatment of the animals are frightening, apparently. This should never be allowed to continue. It is 2011. Workplace bullying laws are in place. We should never tolerate bullies and psychopaths in our pounds, in charge of vulnerable animals. To those that know of these places, whether staff or the public, I beg you to confide in someone who can help. You have so much support, as you can see. There are many people willing to help, and reports can be made anonymously. The animals have no voice. We must speak up for them. To be silent is to be complicit.

  213. Enraged October 4, 2011 / 10:33 am

    Being only 16, I obviously trusted what they were saying was true. I also got told to come in later after the vet had been, thinking they wanted to “protect” me from seeing animals being put down. Obviously, it was to cover up something worse.
    I find it so hard to believe that so many people were involved in this and haven’t spoken up sooner. Most people have/had a pet at some stage, imagine if it was your pet on death row.

  214. Judy Addison October 4, 2011 / 12:33 pm

    Paul at deathrow pets, thank you for deleting inappropriate comments.I can’t believe how vindictive people have become. How is this going to improve anything for the animals?
    Some of the comments were horrendous and some commentators were unable to construct a decent sentence.
    This all needs to be kept in perspectiveand everyone needs to be working towards the same goal, that is, to improve the situation at GAWS.

  215. Judy Addison October 4, 2011 / 4:38 pm

    It’s very disturbing to read the comments about problems with various pounds, you would think in this day and age there would be an acceptable level of care and that it would be mandatory.
    If anyone would like to look at how things work in Mildura it’s worthwhile going to the petrescue website.Sunraysia Animal rehousing Group (SARG)are doing a wonderful job due to the dedication of a group of fantastic volunteers who work in conjunction with the Mildura Pound.They have saved so many animals since they started up and the 2 woman who organise the bulk of the work are absolutely amazing.
    Look at their petrescue website, it’s heartening to see such a fantastic group

  216. Rhonda October 4, 2011 / 4:39 pm

    Karen, the animals claimed by owners should not be included when looking at the kill rate figures, as those animals were never GAWS’ property to rehome. They were merely lost, after a storm or a gate left open, and collected and taken home by their owners.
    It is the homeless, unclaimed animals that GAWS has promised to find a home for. These are the animals that are being killed. These are the animals that GAWS calls on public support to look after, and receives a lot of money (almost $4million in assets) and other donations from the public for. A kill rate is based on rehoming and killing, not dogs that pass through and are merely there overnight waiting for their owners. We should hope these dogs are not at risk!

  217. WEAREGEELONG October 4, 2011 / 4:40 pm

    No evidence available to the public??? Then it is must be taken that
    this is purely one person verdict and some help from Deathrowpets.(DRP note: no, it’s a team effort with past members of staff, current staff, concerned members of the public with support from DRP)

    Im sure Fairwork Australia would have a field day with this. I might send it thought to them…..bullying is their favourite topic but at least they will find out the truth either way.

    Fancy being so caring for the animals that you would walk away with the cash and not truely fight the allegations you have made. (DRP note: you have no idea as to the fight that has been taking place..) Then feel its your right to pen this blog and take pot shots at peolpe that can not comment nor defend. ( DRP note: The report was compiled from a number of sources based on information and evidence provided from a number of sources; no one is taking “pot shots”- read the report and read the letters that have been sent to the Board and President plus meetings that were held with the President and VP that produced nothing but hot air)

    Good luck to the people that are trying to make it an even better place for the unlucky animals in Geelong that find themselves there. (DRP note: thank you yes, that is exactly what we are trying to do…)

  218. Helen McNamara October 4, 2011 / 6:19 pm


    In answer to your request for further information, Paul may wish to keep his powder dry………………….

    Admitting to sedation of animals by the previous president, a vet, is shameful. Although I am told the previous president did attempt to deny this initially………..

  219. Deathrowpets October 4, 2011 / 7:08 pm

    To those who emailed us to alert us that the links to the letters in the report don’t work – thank you! Now fixed! I had moved the dropbox location and forgot to update. You can download them now.

  220. Sue October 4, 2011 / 9:31 pm

    Thank god someone has finally spoken up about the atrocities, cruelty and manager at GAWS. This place has needed this to happen for a very long time, thank god Susan has had the guts to stand up to the bully that calls herself a manager. I have been employed at this place and was shocked many times by the practices that were followed at this place eg: lies told to people when they had lost their pet telling them it has never been there but in fact had been euthanaised by mistake, people ringing to see if the animal they had dropped off (for many different reasons) had been rehomed when they had not even tried and has euthanaised it the day after it was left, staff taking animals off the street to be rehomed by other staff members, pure bred animals being destroyed when animal clubs have approached them and told them they will take a certain breed and rehome it in any condition, staff helping themselves to food and other supplies. These are just a few of the things that I can remember happening while I was employed there. This publicity is long overdue, one family has run this place for long enough.

  221. Deathrowpets October 4, 2011 / 10:24 pm

    We have posted photos of the instructions board to staff for dosage of sedation tablets for animals night before kill day – at end of the report.

  222. C October 5, 2011 / 12:32 am

    Yet another instance of lies about the existence of a dog in GAWS’ ‘care’…. A female liver and white German Shorthair Pointer was photographed on Friday 30th Sept, in a pen at GAWS. She was also sighted yesterday (Mon 3rd Oct). However, today at least 2 people phoned GAWS about this dog, and were told she doesn’t exist. Now maybe we were too late and she had been PTS this morning, but then why did GAWS staff tell the callers that there had been no German Shorthair Pointers at GAWS since August? We know this is a complete fabrication.

    Unless their staff are so incompetent they can’t even identify a pure bred, very distinguishable breed?

  223. Far Away As Possible October 5, 2011 / 10:30 am

    I am amazed that in 2011 people are not able to use computers correctly. Are they unable to put a log on to the computer telling each and everyone what is happening with a certain dog, where it is, what is happening to it and understanding the word STATUS. If they ‘lose’ a dog eg. shorthaired pointer, what kind of hope do all the other animals have? If this is all true, i think i have never heard of anything run do disgustingly, with incompetent management which would not be able to run a hot knife through butter. If someone has been at a job for 35 years, it is then claimed that things go their way!! Sometimes these people should step aside and let in new blood. Obviously the current management think THEY own GAWS and wont let anyone else in. It is unbelievable with so many complaints put against this place it has not been investigated by RSPCA, Geelong Council Higher Management, or anyone. I think that GAWS forgets that they are working for the rate-payers, as that is who pays their wages, not themselves. GET OUT NOW.
    I guarantee they would not be able to get a job at any decent pound. RETIRE, GO AWAY, GET LOST anything, but just GO
    Also, what was done 35 years ago, 20 years ago is not acceptable now, GET OUT

  224. Christmas is Approaching Us. October 5, 2011 / 10:48 am

    I am amazed at the stories coming out about GAWS. Why is this place like a family OWNED, family run business? There is no problem employing families, but it seems a little bit different when Geelong Council is running this ship. Geelong Council Please work on GAWS.

  225. Deb October 5, 2011 / 3:41 pm

    Those photos aren’t what I expected.
    Is this the proof your claiming this document on?
    Every animal shelter in Australia would have those images!

    The fact they are able to link lost animals back to their owners seems to be extremely successful. Rego and microchipping are great inventions, just ashame more owners aren’t so well versed in knowing the true reponsible owner criterias are simple methods in reducing lost animals.

    How about going down there or spreading the word that animals need new homes and adopt or foster or do something.

    I doubt many animals will find new homes with this sort of publicity, indirectly you are causing more harm than good. Lobby for animal welfare, but don’t make it harder on the animals currently confined.

  226. Helen McNamara October 5, 2011 / 3:53 pm

    Yeah Right Deb????

    Every animal shelter in Australia would have a chart showing staff how to over sedate dogs before they are killed 16 hours later.

    I certainly hope not!!!!

    Plenty of people have tried to foster with GAWS. 99% get told to go away. Great for the animals (NOT!)

  227. Deathrowpets October 5, 2011 / 4:03 pm

    @Deb (Garth) “these photos aren’t what I expected” – sorry, but this campaign is not about managing your particular expectations! Evidence we have a-plenty and it will go to the right channels and not necessarily all for public distribution. If you don’t believe our report – well that is your choice and your right.

    “How about going down there and spreading the word that animals need a new home” – Yes a VAST amount of that has been going on for many months now. The fact is that even though the ex President Walter agreed that GAWS would provide Rescue Groups with a weekly “at risk” kill list, the pound manager continually reneged on that agreement.

    GAWS is now speaking to some Rescue groups and has allowed some Rescue groups to take animals – but this has only started since this public campaign commenced. Also, Geelong Council has announced that it is now going to take a greater role in managing the pound which is very good news. Again, this is only happening because of the public campaign.

  228. Charlie October 5, 2011 / 4:21 pm

    And these photos are “evidence” – evidence of what? The so called “instructions” could have been written by anybody, different colour marker has been used, the paper looks how old, it does not state that the tablets being referred to are for sedation, simply use white and yellow tablets, oh and how do we know it is not a disgruntled employee/former employee that has drawn this up. Just saying! There are quite a few holes in this piece of evidence.

    And as for the tablet jar – yeah so what? It has clear instructions on it.

    You cannot, and i know that you want to, link those tablet containers with that “chart”. Take that before the court and you will be laughed at!

  229. Helen McNamara October 5, 2011 / 4:32 pm

    The evidence is in addition to 1st hand evidence of two employees (or ex -employees) of GAWS who saw the note there and were familiar with how it was used to overdose the dogs.

    I think first hand evidence of witnesses along with documents would not be something that a court would laugh at.

  230. Lou October 5, 2011 / 5:02 pm

    Too bad the (now ex) President of GAWS openly admitted to unqualified staff drugging these dogs 16 hours prior to euthanisation… Charlie, this is a work in progress. Believe what you want to believe, see what you want to see. It’s no skin off our backs.

  231. Helen McNamara October 5, 2011 / 5:03 pm

    Credible witnesses and contemporaneous notes (over an extended period of time). All good stuff for court :)

  232. enraged October 5, 2011 / 10:27 pm

    You obviously don’t know what is going on. I also witnessed the drugging first hand, and as Lou said, the president has admitted to this happening.

  233. matt October 7, 2011 / 11:19 am


  234. jan October 7, 2011 / 12:11 pm

    @Matt,thankyou for taking the time to tell us all of your personal experiance with GAWS,did you make an official complaint about this??

  235. Dionne October 7, 2011 / 2:31 pm

    MATT…………..thank you for telling us your experience, If I had seen them hosing my dog………..I would have reported them! Disgusting………. animal bullies!!! Seems like GAWS thrive on bullying either fellow workers…………..or animals! Why don’t you show these animals some respect GAWS! Kind, caring welfare workers……….my ass!

  236. Les October 8, 2011 / 2:43 am

    To Phil English and others. Please understand that those of us who are horrified at the goings on at GAWS volunteer in the field of animal rescue. We deal with pounds and shelters on a routine basis. We know what is to be expected. But GAWS won’t release ANY information on the animals inside. No impound numbers. No descriptions. No impound dates or information on where they were found. No notice as to when they are scheduled to be killed. This is PUBLIC information!! The public has a right to this information! And it is VITAL to rescue groups in order for us to save animals. Other pounds, even the worst, make SOME attempt to release these details to the public and/or to rescue organizations but GAWS makes virtually none. A few profiles put up on Pet Rescue recently after much public pressure…but where are the weekly lists from which we rescue from which they have been ORDERED to provide yet still refuse to do so? What exactly are they hiding? And if we ry to go in and photograph the animals in order to try to find homes for them we are treated like ‘the enemy’ by most of the staff. We have complained to the RSPCA, the council, the police. Council say it is a GAWS issue, police say it is a Council issue. Please tell me exactly WHAT you would do in our situation? Try ringing up anonymously about one of the animals currently in GAWS Phil. Then tell us what response you get. You will probably get told that that animal HAS A HOME (GAWS speak for ‘it is earmarked for death’), has been rehomed (oh yeah…details please?) or it has never existed. And yet every week a truck will back up there and be filled up with the bodies of approximately 17 dogs and 46 cats. Many of them could have been saved. Why won’t they liaise with rescue groups? Why don’t they trust the expertize of rescuers to rehabilitate animals and screen adopters carefully? Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that GAWS make more money out of killing animals than they do from rehoming them could it?

    GAWS kill virtually all the cats that come in for being ‘feral’ when in fact they are just scared. That is their only crime. They do not even bother to check to see if they have a microchip. GAWS do not actually own the equipment necessary to be able to handle cats correctly in order to do this. And ANY cat in a foreign environment will become scared. Pity the thousands of beloved and calm family pets who have ended up at GAWS and been killed because they were distressed at being in a pound. Pity their owners who are donating to this hell hole at Xmas every year.
    Dogs that we have seen to be perfectly lovely are deemed to be aggressive. Or they say ‘they bit some one or something’. Ok then,…where is THEIR evidence? Where are the police reports of the attack? Do you really think HALF to dogs that end up in GAWS are irreparably aggressive? If so, where are the reports from independent qualified animal behaviouralists stating this? There are none. The manager takes one look at a dog that comes in and orders its destruction. Some expert. Furthermore staff that are not “good” at destructions are held in contempt. I suppose all this has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that the council pay GAWS $45 to (only) rehome a dog yet they pay them $60 TO KILL ONE. I guess that’s just a coincidence hey? Despite the fact that you may have adopted a few lucky ones from there Phil if you really love your dogs then hug them tightly to your chest and thank your lucky stars that they have not become lost and ended up in GAWS again because their luck may not hold a second time around.

  237. matt October 8, 2011 / 4:01 pm

    they have no right to hassle a poor animal that cant deffend its self just think . To the people on this page saying we dont know whats really going on, think for one second. if your mum or kids were locked in a cage and wet non stop how would u feel?. Oh and i mentiond it to the lady out the back she said “oh, she would not have meant to” and my mrs talked me out of it. But now i read this group i would have not hesitated to do it . These animals cant do or say anything. I heard a lady the other day in there asking about taking a cat. The lady who worked there got really mean saying u cant have that one can only have one with out collars.I have seen my fair share of people go in ask to take a dog and nah u have to fill this stuff out.

  238. Dionne October 8, 2011 / 4:02 pm

    Great comment Les!!!!!!!! Just about summed this hell hole up! Well done!

  239. Jane meier October 8, 2011 / 10:37 pm

    Everyone here who is outraged, follow gaws, take it upon yourself to check them out.follow a dog, watch them hide out then kill it.the manager likes labradors but not jack russells for example. Please look up the definition of a sociopath, very interesting. Speak out for the animals, they can’t speak our language. Get involved. These animals that find themselves at gaws are the ones paying with their lives while we sleep soundly on our warm beds and these people continue the carnage. Geelong animal welfare reform on facebook

  240. Dionne October 9, 2011 / 10:56 am

    Matt???? Believe it or not……….. these ‘people’ are supposed to be there to HELP, CARE and RE-HOME these animals! Is it just their laziness that permits them to hose down an animal in it’s pen??? Anyone who truly cared about these animals, would ensure their pens were clean and dry before placing the animal back inside!! Come on GAWS……….. put in some effort especially when dealing with lost and scared animals!!!

  241. Dionne October 10, 2011 / 12:48 am

    For further information please visit….. Geelong Animal Welfare Reform on Face Book. All welcome.

  242. enraged October 10, 2011 / 12:29 pm

    They dont take the dogs out at all when they clean. Simply take the blanket out and only change it if its soiled. Fold bed up, then hose away. One scrubbing brush used for water tubs and for scrubbing hard to remove faeces from the floor. Every kennel i cleaned out, every dog huddled behind me for protection. A pressure hose is scary for anyone looking down the nozzle. They hurt.

  243. carol Maroun October 10, 2011 / 12:59 pm

    When is Australia going to stand up to protect our animals both wild and domestic? Pounds are sometimes the only alternative we know, but why do they have to be cruel? Its not the animals fault its their the owner after all. We are more kinder to prisoners than our animals, lets do something fast.

  244. Dionne October 10, 2011 / 1:51 pm

    ONE scrubbing brush for water bowl and to clean faeces on the floor, you HAVE to be kidding me! No wonder so many of the dogs in GAWS get sick!! How could management condone this lazy, care less attitude to hygeine??

  245. Judy Addison October 10, 2011 / 2:08 pm

    Of course dogs would NEVER soil their runs if they could avoid it.All that has to be done is to take the dogs out for a little while each day then they can do their business OUTSIDE.The time taken to give them a little walk would be no longer than it takes to clean out the run.Yes….. it’s as easy as that if you bother to do it.Obviouly the GAWS staff don’t bother.

  246. perspective October 10, 2011 / 10:47 pm

    I’m sorry but I feel that I have to speak up. I agree with many posts saying that there are many accusations here, but little proof despite it being mentioned repeatedly.

    First of all – Yes absolutely these are some high kill rates, but are you really saying you’re surprised? this is the only major shelter in the area, and in case you didn’t notice almost every shelter unfortunately has quite a high kill rate. As mentioned, many people who can’t afford to have their pets put down by their local vet do come to the shelter. It’s the sad reality but people are focusing on shutting down shelters rather than stopping the inappropriate breeding in the pet population – deal with the problem first, then come after the shelters.

    Secondly, I HAVE volunteered there and I have not seen a single thing as appalling as what is listed here. I am just as passionate about animals and believe they are just as valued as humans and understand shelter life is a sad reality (I’m sure many will be scoffing now saying yeah right you obviously don’t care – no. you’re wrong. I have the sense to look at the world as it is, not as we wish it to be).

    A few things yes, the dogs pens are hosed down with a hose – but it’s not high pressure – it’s a garden hose.. sure some dogs don’t like the hose, I won’t deny that – and I am not a staff member so I don’t know what goes on every day, but when I cleaned the pens most dogs were playing or at least coming up to say hello – yes some where scared of the hose, but some dogs are scared of the kettle so you can’t claim negligence because an animal is scared of a hose.

    This business about sick or injured animals not going to the vet until tuesday is nonsense.. GAWS make vet runs at least once a day, and in many cases needed euthanasias (on severely ill or injured animals) don’t wait for the vet, they are taken to the local clinic. There is a quarantine procedure for cats, I won’t claim for dogs as I do not know. Stray cats were definitely not kept with boarding cats, the quarantine facility is on the other side of the property to the boarding cats.

    In my time there I did not witness any illness other than kennel cough. I did however see three RSPCA rescue dogs that came in starved, and were rehabilitated very well by staff, with special diet, extra care and medical treatment (and I mean treatment, not sedation so please do not twist words here). Also – they clearly have established a relationship with the RSPCA.

    The only euthanasia that occurred while I was there was one of a 22 year old cat with neurological problems which was taken to a local vet. I don’t know anything about the release of kill lists and I didn’t witness any canine sedations and so won’t comment on any practices – I too agree that if the practices undertaken are indeed true, it is not acceptable, but first I ask for proof.. not simply blindly agree.

    So these are just my observations. I do understand where you are coming from – and I will not say that the shelter is perfect/great/good/adequate, in fact the majority of shelters are not. I believe that the cat adoption is the most promising part of GAWS they have incredible enrichment, and are definitely not killed off just for being there over a long period of time – I know for a fact that at least 3 or 4 cats had been there for a few months, and were on no list to be killed – and 2 of were adopted as far as I remember.

    I also do not believe that it is fair to criticise GAWS specifically for euthanising ‘fearful’ animals, ‘aggressive’ animals or that ‘healthy and re-homable animals are killed’ – this happens in all shelters, and while the healthy re-homable animal euthanasia is indeed very very sad, it is not uncommon once animals have reached their 28 day stay limit or whatever it is in most shelters that they are killed. As much as I wish this was not the case, it is – and it’s the result of irresponsible people. When we have dealt with that issue, I will be more than happy to condemn shelters for euthanasia, but until then, until the day shelters are not receiving dozens of animals a day and little funding I believe there is a greater problem to be dealt with.

    Just a question in closing.. what is your solution if GAWS is closed down? To put the load on existing shelters elsewhere, increasing the risk that they too inherit these same problems? May I suggest in addition to some legal representation (as previously mentioned in posts, as accusing people publicly is indeed a legal minefield), you come up with an alternative.. perhaps if a solution was available, the need for a shelter such as GAWS would be eliminated completely? I wish you the best of luck in the pursuit of the perfect shelter, and I hope one day that it exists.

  247. sad October 10, 2011 / 10:53 pm

    perspective, I think you are right in that we need to go after the problem of the over population, or indeed create an alternative and prevent the need for GAWS altogether. Maybe in recent times when volunteers are present they clean up their act? It’s possible. On the other hand, maybe you’re a person who tried really hard to see the good in people and because you missed the euthanasias and the druggings you missed the cruelty altogether.

  248. perspective October 10, 2011 / 11:20 pm

    sad, you’re absolutely right maybe I did miss it and maybe they were hiding it – but until I have seen proof with my own eyes I won’t make an accusation.

    I also didn’t mean to sound as if I was claiming this blog was full of false information, as I mentioned – I don’t know a lot of things about GAWS. I just wanted to add my observations and suggest that maybe there is hope for GAWS. The problem? maybe it’s management, maybe it’s the situation as a whole – but there is some hope there, in some staff at the very least. I know the people behind DRP are raising awareness for the best, and as an animal lover I appreciate their work – I just hope we can come up with an alternative so that no animals are subjected to the cruelty listed, whether at GAWS or any other organisation.

    Good luck with improving the situation, I hope it does improve immensely for the animals.

  249. Brooke October 10, 2011 / 11:23 pm

    ^ Well said.

    We need to make this better for our animals they depend on US!!!

  250. Taryn October 11, 2011 / 12:29 am

    GAWS this is sickening if your not there for the animals then get out, all animals deserve compassion just saw the GAWS EXPOSED video well not all of it, as just horrific, and Geelong council step in I would be livid if my rates were going towards such cruelty. SHAME SHAME SHAME

  251. Jan October 11, 2011 / 12:45 am

    Only one thing to say… “After viewing the GAWS EXPOSED video”
    How could any feeling person post anything negitive to the people bringing these atrocities to the attention of the caring public?
    If you “DARE ” to attack the messenger & not the guilty.. then may you rot in hell. cos you obviously have no heart for the poor animals who are enduring this torture.

  252. Helen McNamara October 11, 2011 / 12:54 am

    Warning Distressing Images

  253. ...... October 11, 2011 / 12:59 am

    I’m pretty lost, from the way people are reacting i thought this place was violently torturing animals or something! Yes some of the things could be done with more care but hey what do you want them to do? They don’t have the space to home 9846293849238 animals. Maybe you guys should work on a petition or something about how the government should lower the price of getting animals desexed to stop over breeding and therefor this sort of stuff wouldn’t happen in the first place. It’s good poeple are so involved with such a cause though, good job guys! I wont be reading any replies to this either so no point replying.

  254. Edith October 11, 2011 / 1:12 am

    …….. – whatever, your comment shows just how involved you are with animal welfare – and your lack of knowledge. “you guys” are actually petitioning relentlessly to stop overbreeding, irresponsible breeding, pet shops selling live animals, backyard breeding and puppy mills. Oscar’s Law. Google it.

    Even if it was subsidised I doubt many people would do it. Backyard breeding is a HUGE problem “just one litter, awww she would have cute puppies, just once before I get him fixed” the excuses go on and on. Many people even do it for the money – not realising the costs that they will incur – emergency ceasarian $1500 +. Not to mention special food for the mum poochy, and ongoing needs….although I know most backyard breeders dont even pay attention to these basics.

    Lowering the cost of sterlisation wont solve the problem – what happens when the animal needs major surgery but the owner’s cant afford it? The animal will get put down. I feel paying for vet bills is part of responsible ownership, if you cant afford basics such as sterilisation, then owning a pet maybe not the right thing for you.

    My heart broke seeing that footage. I have my 3 babies (my own dog, and 2 fosters) lying at my feet – they heard the barks in the video and started barking also. The youngest even started whimpering – gut wrenching stuff.

    You dont have to be a genius to realise that drugging an animal for the whole night before being eauthanised (also, we are using the term wrong, euthanasia means voluntary and more specifically to animals it means that they are NOT re-homable) is wrong. Even if its not illegal (pretty sure it is) morally it shouldnt sit right in anyone’s mind.

  255. Edith October 11, 2011 / 1:27 am

    This is NOT ok.

    However you look at it. No not every animal can be re-homed – but the No-Kill Movement is proving to be incredibly successful. We just need to re-train our thinking, and rather than people such as yourself …… having a negative outlook, we should be aiming to save every life we can. What is more upsetting is that we have the resources and means (media, internet, facebook, newspapers, etc) to advocate pound animals and rescue.

    GAWS receives millions in funding every year, where is their website with available animals (they have 10 animals listed atm….one dog)? Where is their facebook page listing current animals on death row, where is their link with local rescue groups working to re-home these animals????????

    They say on their website: “To fully co-operate with the appropriate authorities, more particularly the police, in prosecuting the perpetrators of any proven act of cruelty”

    I wish for the day the authorities are prosecuting GAWS.

    Also in their Oct Newsletter:

    Welfare Stats: May – July

    Dogs Claimed 367
    Homes 129
    PTS 274
    DOA/Died 1

    Cats Claimed 75
    Homes 44
    PTS 344
    DOA/Died 13

    Kittens Claimed 2
    Homes 83
    PTS 177

    Does it not worry people that the PTS statistics more than DOUBLE the HOMES stats….they are in charge of rehoming these animals. What chances do they have if people dont even know that they are there – I would also love to know how many of these are beloved pets that were not given the chance to reunite as there is no ‘impounded’ section on the website detailing were the animal was captured and a photo as well.

    Here in Perth, Wanneroo Council for example straight away lists animals with a brief description and photo. No surprises that they re-home more successfully and have better stats too with animals being re-united with their families.

  256. Cindy Knowlton October 11, 2011 / 4:15 am

    Things need to change. And for the person that commented that the perpetrators should not be named to protect them… I think the public should point their fingers and verbally tell animal abusers in public so EVERY ONE knows of their cruelty. If animal abusers at all levels were publicly denounced for their crimes I think it would go a long way to stopping such horrid things from happening to animals in the future as people would be afraid of being outed.

  257. Marlowe October 11, 2011 / 7:36 am

    This is disgusting these ppl should go to prison. This place should of been shut down along time ago . So sad I cried when I watched the footage . All I have to say is close that place down and this should go to the news on tv to make everyone aware of this

  258. Yvonne October 11, 2011 / 9:40 am

    No more letters, meetings, get rid of them and put people on the board who care – do it now – animals are suffering. What is the Geelong Council doing – turning a blind eye – why does this not surprise me

  259. hsvgts11 October 11, 2011 / 9:47 am

    I am discusted in the fact that they are allowed to this this barbaric practice. YES YOU ARE BARBARIC AND INHUMAINE AND YOU KNOW IT TOO!!!! these poor animals didnt ask to be drugged or euthanaised the next morning if they survive and you need to be shut down NOW!!!! the only crime these crimes these poor animals were guilty of was being born, being drugged by you as*holes, and being surrended by there owners. Someome could have easily reloved these animals and given them a good warm loving home but NO INSTEAD YOU BARBARIC A**HOLES DECIDE TO DRUG THEM AND LET THEM DIE ALONE, SCARED AND CONFUSED. How can you do this i hate you and you need to be shut down now!!!!

  260. Mel October 11, 2011 / 9:56 am

    I have just seen some of the most horrific footage I have ever seen and to know that it has occurred in my city, a city where I have grown up and lived for 29 years is disgusting.

    To all those that are sceptical about any of the above, I beg you to log onto You Tube and look up GAWS Exposed. No one can make excuses for these pathetic excuses of human beings after seeing this.

    I would like to think that I could be ojective and attempt to see two sides to everything, I would try and find a reason for why such things were and are being done, probably because I didnt want to come to terms with the fact that this was going on, but there is simply no excuse for what has happened and I dare say is still going on at GAWS.

    These are creatures, living creatures with a heart and soul. I am just so shocked and distressed and what i saw on this footage I am lost for words.

  261. K.S October 11, 2011 / 11:27 am

    I volunteered at GAWS and as a result witnessed first hand a lot of cruelty and misconduct during my time there.They do sedate some dogs the night before through their meals, especially the larger and potentially aggressive ones. Most cats that come in are taken to the ‘casualty’ area and are kept for a week before they are destroyed. The way they’re destroyed is absolutely appalling and inhumane -not only are they killed in front of other cats, cats and kittens are simply grabbed from their cages, quickly jabbed in the abdomen with barbiturate and thrown back into the cage where they writhe and cry and scream for over 5 minutes until they die. When I asked why it was done this way I was told that it’s too difficult to locate the veins. This is disgusting. No living creature should have to suffer such a long, painful and protracted death.
    Many afternoons there were spent sitting around and eating and chatting, when we could’ve taken the dogs out for walks or cleaned and groomed them to make them more appealing to the public for adoption.

  262. .Big Counter - NOT October 11, 2011 / 11:43 am

    To number 255, i am disgusted at your blaise attitude to the death rate at GAWS, but not as surprised as at the act you can count to such a high number so easily.!! No torture, what the hell do you want? are you a sociopath who wants more than you saw, some bent fiend who enjoys seeing animals the way we saw them. I am surprised that you even bothered to read or write on this post, albeit all crap though What the hell do you think people are working on you arrogant imbecile, get of this page if that is your attitude, there is no place for a dickhead like you. Go count your fingers again, i am sure that is how you got to 10.

  263. Opal Gypsy October 11, 2011 / 12:10 pm

    I don’t believe that for one minute, closing GAWS doors would even come close to what the group on facebook is fighting for….
    They are fighting to have the current management made accountable for their deplorable actions and face the full extent of the law and it’s punishments!
    I am 100% sure that the group is providing more than enough information AND evidence to give the appropriate authorities a reason to investigate ALL allegations thoroughly and comprehensively, there is no place in GAWS, or in this world for that matter, for individuals who are so intent on control over everything.
    They must be stopped, new management at GAWS, one that will employ staff who are trained in various aspects of animal husbandry, a manager that will employ a vet who truly looks after the welfare of all animals he sees and treats, a manager who works in conjunction with rescue groups and volunteers to manage and coordinate accurate online listings of ALL animals bought onsite, for whatever reason, so that they have a chance at being loved & cared for in a real home, staff that truly have the animals welfare in mind when feeding, cleaning the cages & ones who will interact with the ‘lost souls’ to minimise their fear and discomfort at being left so alone.
    I don’t believe, for even a nanosecond, that this is not achievable. Enthusiastic, passionate people who have the talents and resources to make this vision a reality have shown by their tenacity and their belief that the world can really be a better place for the animals who find themselves lost in the systems that WE ARE THE VOICES of all those that can not speak out in their own defence.
    OSCARS LAW will change the way puppies are bought into this world and GAWS REFORM GROUP will change the way animals will grow into adults and most certainly, change the way they are taken from this world!!
    This is NOT about closing GAWS at all, this is about justice for the animals that have lost their lives unnecessarily in the past, we are sending a very clear message “GAWS CAN BE the best damn facility on the coast, maybe even the state!!”
    For all those lovely furkids who have crossed the Bridge at the hands of such a cruel, nasty mindset, ‘THIS FIGHT IS FOR ALL OF YOU!! RUN FREE LITTLE ONES, YOU ARE AT PEACE NOW ANGELS”

    And to all the 2 legged fur kid lovers reading this: –

  264. BiggestRegret October 11, 2011 / 1:37 pm

    A few years back, i was forced to move into a home where i could not keep my cat. I put fliers up and asked around but was unable to find a home in time. Due to my niavity, i contacted GAWS and asked if my cat could stay with them and see if he was able to be rehomed that way. He was a very good looking cat, young and very sweet. They said that was fine and i went there and spoke to a young girl advising her that i would take him back if he wasnt unable to be rehomed. She told me that was fine, and that he should have no problem due to his physical appearance. I gave them some money for the situation aswell. She told me to call back in 3 days to see how its going which i did and was advised that there were alot of people interested but noone had yet grabbed him and to call back in another 3 days. Which i did. This time i was advised that he was put down the previous day. I told them that wasnt supposed to happen, that i spoke to a lady who had told me i would be able to pick him back up in week if they were unable to rehome him. She continued to simply say “im sorry” as i cried on the phone. Obviously there was nothing i could do.
    I know i made the wrong choice here and looking back, i have no idea why i thought they would have wanted to help me. This is my biggest regret and my stupidest mistake that cost the life of someone i loved who deserved so much more. I will never forgive myself or the a$$holes at that place who couldnt care less about the amazing cats life they just destroyed for absolutely NO reason.
    I hope this situation is changed and other animals lives are not ended because of it.

  265. Everyone Knows Who You Are October 11, 2011 / 2:27 pm

    I watched the video of the happenings at GAWS and can not understan how this has been allowed to continue without being fully investigted bfore now. It seems that there have been so many complaints about this place, but nothing has been done. I found it hard watching that video, i felt for that poor bewildered dog, some persons pet at some stage, and the voices of the people woman and a man, laughing at the distress it was in .I find that this sort of behaviour is totally unacceptable and if any vet, or person in authority has been aware that this is happening, then they should suffer serious consequences also. The manager of this place has been there for 35 years, 35 yerars too long. The vet – he has been killing for way to many years too long. This is shown for everyone to see , and by the reaction this video has no one acceepts that this can go on any longer. To the people i mentioned before – whould you like your animal to end its life in this manner?. Does the vet enjoy killing in this manner? If any answer is yes, we are in serious trouble. The rumbling are that this vet iks going to continue to ‘volunteer’ to keep killing. What the hell??? how can someone think they are doing a favour to the community by killing??? Maybe he should be MADE to seek a psychiatrict assessement over this, along with the women involved.
    I am deeply distressed about this, dont let children see this, as they will think that it is the correct way to treat an animal.! I thought that sort of behaviour belonged in the film”Deliverance”, by uneducated hicks, but it seems not. I hope everyone who is working to have this stopped succeed , the vet goes, the women goes and ANY OTHER PERSON who knows of this cruelty also goes. Time will tell what happens now. Get out you terrible people, you will be pushed and punished i am sure, or hope.

  266. Times Will Change October 11, 2011 / 2:55 pm

    I have been following this GAWS place for many years, but never realized that sort of behaviour occurred there, but the video i saw today proved it does. I find that a vet is meant to respect animals, but clearly this video shows the opposite. He must need an assessement mentally, and the manager of this place, who every Christmas takes accolades for the wonderful running of this animal shelter needs to be taken by the scruff of the neck , shaken, and chucked onto the trailer along with all the killed wonderful dogs and cats, that should have been rehomed to loving familes , go. How would you like to be on the trailer, sitting in one of the antiquaited pens, no heating or cooling, disgusting food to eat for one week. by the looks of you all , i think you would manage it quite well. to the council, you are a dam disgrace, and the vets who de-sex, so are YOU. Have you no idea this is happening or are you turning a blind on to what your collegue does? If you do, you are no better than he.Not all dogs can be rehomed , due to a shocking experience, but most can. The old saying ‘the rich get richer’ and the dogs and cats DIE> But CHANGES ARE A COMING!!!!!!!

  267. SICK October 11, 2011 / 3:58 pm

    If someone “volunteers” to do this what sort of sicko bastard are they? How about animal cruelty charges get laid, and these sicko bastards get stuck in a cage and treated like animals. You are fucking sick bastards, and those who have known about this and can stick up for this place now after seeing this footage, you are sick bastards too.

  268. larissa t October 11, 2011 / 5:06 pm

    I am so very sad to watch this footage. I have been to GAWS to fine a dog for may family in the past and been told to have a look around. When i went into the office to ask about some of the dogs, the staff didnt realy want to help us pick an animal. I sit here I think I could have save one of these lovely dogs a painful and unhuman death. I just hope and pray the city steps in and puts a stop to this how sad Geelong has such a place

  269. Paul October 11, 2011 / 5:11 pm

    Poorly written and speculative. I’m not on either side but you might be looking at defamation here.

  270. Julie October 11, 2011 / 5:50 pm

    Oh, for goodness sake, the old “defamation” cry again. Always screamed out by those with the most to hide, and the most to lose. This pound has already spent donated money getting their lawyers to send out letters to those speaking up, accusing them of bullying, etc. This was some months ago. Their intimidation didn’t work then and it won’t work now. The truth is out. Deal with it.

  271. trisha October 12, 2011 / 12:55 pm

    The G.A.W.S needs ” Qualified vets and Staff ” to put animals down not just some people who think they are. It hurts to say that GEELONG has such a place that puts cruelty to such animals they have lives to!!!!!!

  272. Helen McNamara October 12, 2011 / 5:53 pm

    COMMENT on facebook today allegedly FROM PREVIOUS OWNER OF (non aggressive) DOG ON FRONT PAGE (known as Brock). More comments on the GAWS EXPOSED Facebook page from the lady who says she is previous owner of this poor dog. How heartbreaking for her to see this. Anyone could tell from the way the dog wagged its tail it was not an aggressive dog right to the end.

    And GAWS will not work with rescue groups who want to help find homes for these dogs. UNBELIEVABLE!

    “Anne-marree Davies I’m in shock and don’t Evan have the words to describe how angry, hurt and upset I am. All I can hope something will be done. I hope my big beautiful baby didn’t have to go through this for nothing. He was great dain x and had a huge heart of gold. He loved everyone and everything. My son was able to get “pony” rides and they curled up and snoozed with each other. He was a big boy but not a single nasty bone in his body. To see him in those condition has made me so mad. I hope they pay for what they done to him”

  273. CMG October 12, 2011 / 6:25 pm

    This is absolutely disgusting to read. I can’t believe the government hasn’t done anything!! These bastards should be locked up for life!!!

  274. Deanna Sims October 12, 2011 / 9:56 pm

    Any animal welfare place that abuses their animals that are going to get put down due to being abandoned,abused left or from a deceased owner should be shot!!!! You unhumane aresholes,,,, you should be dealt with by the public!!! Those poor inocent animals that have done nothing to anyone and just have no homes, if they need to unfortunatly be put down should be done in a respectful loving… way,,,, they pay the final price due to us humans. Adopt a pet it may cost a bit but think of what you have just done, you have saved a little soul from the abuse from arrogant lowlife animal centres that are out of control and as for the vets that see this and allow it to happen, SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!! Pass this on so people start to think and realise what is happening in “some” animal centres. I don’t know how you sleep at nights!!!!

  275. Helen McNamara October 12, 2011 / 10:26 pm

    Another installment. GAWS blames the high kill rate of cats on cats being FERAL. These cats don’t look too feral to me

  276. Taryn October 13, 2011 / 12:03 am

    Well said Deanna

  277. Ashley Greensill October 13, 2011 / 9:37 am

    I cannot believe that they allow someone so harsh, severe and heartless, not to mention obviously under qualified to run something that should be taken so seriously. These are lives that are being dealt with. Not objects to torture, mistreat or to use against others as revenge. These beautiful creatures deserve justice and since nothing has been done so far, and i cannot believe it took so much outrage to force the council to come to a point that they are starting to just intervene now, it is the job of the community to step in and try and do as much as we can to put a stop to this. Honestly i think the manager should get the death penalty herself. This is disgusting, even employees of GAWS should not have to put up with what they do.

  278. Natalie Vervest October 13, 2011 / 11:10 am

    I just want to scream! we ALL know theres a better way, we can forum talk til the cows come home but we’re all saying the same things.
    its 2011 people, time for a change!
    Look forward to seeing all your faces at the protest this saturday!

  279. Geoff Birkbeck October 13, 2011 / 1:31 pm

    This is why I am constantly calling for regulation and licencing of all animal welfare and rescue groups both private and government Australia wide.

    The biggest opposers are the groups themselves and certian individuals that think they know better and form splinter groups and tell local government how to conduct thier business.

    Not all animals can be saved. Not all people can understand that. You need to actually see some of the situations to understand why.

    This matter, as most others need to be viewed FACTUALLY not EMOTIONALLY. Making threats and childish comments is only going to give the alledged offenders a defence in court and prejudice any further investigations.

    Contact the council and lodge a formal factualy complaint. Lobby the councillors.They are mostly under educated volunteers with political asperations so most will take up the cause. Attend council meetings and put up a proposal at question time. Write to the state government minister. All ministeral requests have to be acted upon and replied to. Contact mainstream media and put a valid case forward. TV shows like ACA and Today Tonight will only act on stories that are rating worthy. Be mature and factual in your approach to all parties. No one likes a greenie actvist. Ask Dr Bob Brown that.

    Join the organisation that you dispise so much and vote the committee out. The police, the military, various countries at war thoughout history use covert and undercover means to achieve thier task…and it still works. I joined law enforcement because I hated coppers at the time.

    Go raise money and retain legal advisors to deal with the organisation or find an advocacy to assist.

    Both GAWS and the facebook group are at fault in this matter.

    This is why an independant inquiry and regulation of this industry is required.

  280. John October 13, 2011 / 1:45 pm

    How are the boarding facilties for Dogs and cats?????

  281. dan October 13, 2011 / 1:46 pm

    Just to let you know that ‘Serrefa Safira’ who has made threats to you on Facebook.
    Her name is Rebecca Bride.

  282. ? October 13, 2011 / 1:49 pm

    Why would she do that Dan?

  283. Geoff Birkbeck October 13, 2011 / 2:48 pm

    I have been threatened by actual known criminals in the past, so a faceless facebook threat by a nobody is nothing.

    The GAWS protest has the earmarkings of failure all over it. i had disccussions with the RSPCA Vic yesterday and today in relation to my formal complaint and apparently the police did contact the RSPCa inspectorate in relation to the illegally gain footage and alledged break in.

    By staging a “PEACEFULL PROTEST” at a council office on a saturday when it is closed, seems to be a waste of time and effort.

    Woundnt the “PROTEST” be better held in a larger public arena such as a shopping center to gain exposure for the cause and inform members of the community of the concerns therefore petitioning the Greater city council to investigate this matter.

    I am in WA. I have sent off emails, made calls and cashed in favours from past jobs in trying to assist in this matter so the truth can be made public and justice is seen to be done. i am 3000 klms away.

  284. Lou October 13, 2011 / 3:08 pm

    Geoff, Facebook is not the be all and end all but in the current envirnment we live in it is one of the easiest and quickest ways to spread the word. People have taken compaints to the Geelong City Council, to local MPs, to the RSPCA and yet nothing has happened. Now it is a case of letting the people of not only Geelong but all over the place see this barbaric practice in the hope that “going public” means something will be done. Facebook is a utility that has the capacity to engage so many people and I for one think in this instance it should be applauded for exposing Gaws.

    P.S. Why the negativity about the Protest?

  285. Helen McNamara October 13, 2011 / 7:37 pm

    Geoff please remember Facebook Supported and helped facilitate the Egyptian Revolution.

    Please do not forget this.

  286. Opal Gypsy October 13, 2011 / 10:52 pm

    @ 282 – For many months the members of the Reform Group have been calling for the authorities to investigate the operations at GAWS and all of their pleas have fallen on deaf ears. The excuses fly thick and fast, ‘it’s not happening now’ , ‘we have been audited and all is well now’ , at the AGM, the President, who just happened to be the vet operating at GAWS, stood down due to personal reasons and admitted that ‘animals were being drugged the previous night to them being PTS but that this practice had been stopped’, ALL LIES according to documented evidence presented online for the public to see… Please keep in mind also , this vet is and always has been, affiliated with Kardinia Vet Clinic, which just happens to be the main vet clinic for all vet work coming out of GAWS. Even though he has stepped aside as President, he is still the one and only vet who does the vet work at GAWS on a voluntary basis we are told.
    I have a problem with him being a vet on any basis in there, not only for an obvious conflict of interest but his lack of empathy toward animals which in my opinion is a suspicious omission in a person dealing with any living creature’s health and life…
    Facts DON’T lie and if the authorities, whichever wants to take the responsibility, had investigated the allegations and examined the evidence months ago when this issue was first raised, hundreds of animals would still be alive today and many more would have been rehomed into loving homes. The Duty of Care lies squarely with GAWS, but without proper monitoring and reporting to the governing bodies, how would this be even remotely possible? The management of GAWS have been left to their own devices and obviously they are not of the right mindset to be guardians of animals in shape or form. The complete lack of sympathy, empathy, whatever you want to call it displayed in the footage released online, is disturbing to say the very least and even more so when I think about them in total control of poor animals who are lost, frightened and just need some compassion to ease their confusion and fear. I feel that the COGG council has let the animals down as well for leaving GAWS to run so amok in the past. The council is very guilty of not monitoring GAWS to ensure that the Code of Ethics, the Code of Practice and POCTA were all adhered to nor was it concerned enough to call in the DPI who are the governing body to enforce these codes are followed to the letter.
    The tragic events we are all witnessing now could so easily have been avoided had the authorities investigated thoroughly and acted swiftly to correct any problems immediately. Instead we have been shown distressing footage of animal murders and the medicating of animals in much higher quantities than prescribed, given within a time frame that would maximise the suffering of animals without giving them any chance of human intervention for over 15 hrs,
    Personally I can’t believe that every one of the authorities, the COGG council, RSPCA, Dept of Primary & Industry, Aust Veterinarian Association, had all declined to investigate by handballing to each other… Now that the issue has become a major newsworthy topic, they are still pointing the finger at each other but are finally, at long last, investigating all allegations and hopefully, will come to the conclusion that those who have experienced the heart wrenching situation at GAWS have known for years.
    That conclusion is the current GAWS management, the veterinarian, and all of the uncaring staff have made it impossible to run GAWS efficiently or ethically and MUST BE DISMISSED from their positions.The time is now for new management, new staff and a new veterinarian who is compassionate, caring and responsible (all qualities that one would expect in a person in charge of an animal’s health) to take the reins at GAWS, to operate the facility ethically, legally and in conjunction with rescue groups, volunteers and trained professionals to care for, interact with, assess temperament and health on, all animals bought into GAWS.
    If people are still sceptical about the evidence provided or the facts as they have been presented, please get down the COGG council offices this Sat between 12noon and 3pm and talk to people down there, ask people that have experienced all of it first hand as employees of GAWS, talk to some who have experienced it as adoptive parents to animals from down there, meet some of the animals who have been lucky enough to have escaped the terror of the killing room, talk to some have experienced it as volunteers and of course, there will be those who are passionate about animal welfare in general but most importantly they are all people who believe in GAWS as an animal welfare facility with enormous potential to be one of the finest G2Z pounds in the country.
    I also know that there will be many more supporters for the new GAWS management after Saturday, everyone who attends will be given the opportunity to get as much information as they want on how to help get GAWS back on track to being a No Kill Shelter, which is very possible in the near future.

  287. John Smith October 14, 2011 / 11:25 am

    As a former victim of bullying from a well known rescue organisation in Perth while I was employed there I commend what you guys are doing to expose GAWS. In reading the list of problems highlighted as occuring at this so called rescue in Geelong, it is sadly similar to the many complaints I had about the protocals and treatment of both animals and staff at the shelter I worked at including the manager of the facility bullying staff/committee, even members of the public and condeming animals to death unfairly. The manager even went so far as to slander me to other staff members telling them I was mentally unstable! However voicing these complaints got me fired and god forbid you showed any initiative at this rescue and you were out the door. Friends were kept on regardless of clear actions of malpractice and the animals suffered as a result. 5 of us were either forced to quit or fired in the space of 4 months and a 6th is still going on in court as we speak. We all wrote to the committee with our concerns for the cats welfare and incidences of malpractice and were met with threatening letters from their lawyers claiming that if we took the matter any further then legal action against of us would be pursued. None of us were in the financial position to go through this and so we all had to drop our complaints. These lawyers are now being investigated for malpractice and falsifying evidence in the current court case being carried out against the rescues manager by the 6th employee who was unfairly dismissed so hopefully they will get what is truely deserved. It has been three years since I worked at this rescue and I certainly hope that things have improved but as the same manager is still in place there I highly doubt it.

    So to all the Phil’s out there and others who claim to know what they are talking about within rescues, unless you have worked there and know what is going on first hand then you have no right to criticise this campaign because it is happening in rescues all over the world and you have no idea what really happens unless you experience it. The fact that these employees have had the courage to come out and say something about the injustices going on is wonderful and they should be commended and supported the way they are being now unlike the way myself and the many others werent here in Perth.

    Instead of dwelling on it I have created my own rescue and hopefully one day more people will want to come to us because we are doing the right thing by them and the animals leaving the other rescue in the dust to clean up their act and start doing what their motto actually stands for!

  288. Deathrowpets October 14, 2011 / 4:18 pm

    Thank you John for this .. we know it goes on and it’s time to say “enough”

  289. April October 14, 2011 / 11:35 pm

    Name and shame! People NEED to know who these people are and what they are doing to innocent animals.
    This makes me sick, and if the city council won’t do anything to change it, the public should; and this is what you’re doing.
    Keep up the good work!

  290. Ann October 14, 2011 / 11:37 pm

    Geelong Council should clean this place out asap.Employ only suitably qualified people eg – a vet that is available every day, veterainary nurses and suitably experienced kennel hands and then perhaps some volunteers to exercise, pat and socialise these animals when time permits. Hygeine standards equiviant to that of animal hospitals should be adhered too. Then for the admin work office staff that spend their time recording everything correctly and working with rescue groups and other rehoming agencies and maybe the local newspaper to help make people aware of the lovely animals that are awaiting a new home. BUT I highly doubt this will happen because it would cost money!!!!and they wont get anything out of it, no overseas trips, no long lunches, no celebrities, no sporting heroes….just abandoned animals that they dont give a sh** about.

  291. Dionne October 15, 2011 / 8:55 pm

    @ John, I am sorry you had to be subjected to all of that. Sounds very similar to GAWS!! Thank you for letting the public know :)

  292. Geoff Birkbeck October 16, 2011 / 3:14 pm

    To the comment “Facebook is not the be all and end all’ you are right. I totally agree.

    But making threats and accucassions not based on fact does not help the matter. Actually it give the accused a right of defence.

    If the allegation is true about ‘several government departments not acting and handballing” (words to that effect), it is because the informant is not willing to be identified, or has an uterior motive, for the information has no merit. What the community does not realise the PAL (Police Anonymous Line) and Crimestoppers dont not act on one complaint alone. What they dont advertise that the large majority of calls are not acted upon for various reasons.

    In WA Facebook recently, comments were used in evidence in obtaining a conviction in a criminal matter of carnal knowledge.

    The matter of GAWS and the City of Greater Geelong needs to be investigated. There is prima facie evidence that serveral offences have occurred, but that is for a court or tribunial of law to decide, not a trail by Facebook or by a jury of faceles peers on a computer screen.

    I wrote to the CoGG and made a strong suggestion to them to investigate and review the current pound operations before this matter is referred to the statuary authorities or the mainstream media. I also pointed out that due to the current situation where another local government failled to act on a dangerous dog that resulted in a fatality of a child, that any publicity would be deemed negative to any local government given this current climate. To date, I have yet to recieve a reply.

    I too have experianced workplace bullying in the Shire of East Pilbara and currently preparing a legal case against them, however, this is not the forum to discuss it.

    There have been several rangers in WA that have walked away from the industry or their jobs due to practices they have witnessed in pounds and local government. Many are good people and highly trained and with solid experiance. Believe me when say “Police work is much easier than ranger work,’ several other ex police say the same. A recenlty retired I/C Sgt from the WA Police who spent most of his career in regional policing in remote towns remarked to me that he could not do what i do. We lived and worked in the same town. This man wanted to become a vet but took on policing instead. Another copper who was an intergrated indigionious officer with strong animal leanings said the same. She was remarkable in assisting me in my work. another female officer who was a former mounted unit officer would take on any animal welfare issues for me and we both did co-ordinated operations together. if the house she was serving a warrant on had animals, i would go with her.

    I call once again for a state inquiry into the whole of the animal wefare industry and demand the regulation and licencing off all parties, local government, welfare groups, breeders and carers alike.

    Until this happens situations like the allegations about GAWS and RSPCA as expressed on this forum and many others will continue. Self regulation and no applied standards are not working.

  293. Helen McNamara October 16, 2011 / 5:35 pm

    Dear Geoff Birkbeck

    Are you aware of what is happening in NSW? Clover Moore is trying to have an enquiry into Companion Animals and guess what?? Now vested interests are on a TASKFORCE to look into companion animal issues. Not good at all.

  294. Geoff Birkbeck October 17, 2011 / 1:48 am

    A Taskforce(no capital letters required) is not a state inquiry. A state inquiry is headed by a judge of high standing. There are terms of referance for the aims of the inquiry.

    An Inependant review is chaired by a person who of good character is also a fit and proper person to conduct such a review. In WA and inquiry by a independant person was conducted in relation to a recent fire. this was conducted by a former NT and AFP commissioner of police, Mick Keelty who has no ties or association with the State of Western Australia. This 300 odd page report was factual and honest.

    This report resulted in the termination of the CEO and Chief fire officer of FESA and the appointment of an Assistant Commissioner of WA Police to head both positions terminated.

    There will never be a federal government inquiry of animal welfare in this country. This is the responsibility of the states. The states will pass the issue down to local government after making a staturary desision.

    Each state will have to take responsibility for the inquiry.

    I am recieving little support and a lot of opposition for my calling for an inquiry and regulation of the Animal welfare industry.

    Apparently the “vested interests” not identified as Ms McNamara referred, do not appreciate any investigation into their operations.

    These persons/groups etc are not only the local government pounds or large scale organisations or the backyard breeders this meduim tends to refer to, but the smaller groups, the breed specific “rescue” (a much misused discriptive word to describe the activities of the organsastion) and the “carers”.

    One organisation who I support is having an issue with its own breakaway fraction using its name. this same organisation refuses to do criminal record checks on prospective volunteers. the cost of a background check in WA for a community group is $10.

    As a public officer as defined by the Criminal Investigation Act (WA) 2004, I have to supply each year a National Police Records Clearance certificate at my own expence to my employer if requested Everytime I apply for a job, do firearms training courses or refresher, i have to provide a current clearance. I volunteered for the ambulance service, i had to do the same. the certificate is valid for a year but most organisations ask for one no older than 3 mths. But for me to be an animal “carer” or foster carer for a domesticated animal I do not have to prove my character. There are no safeguards as such. Some organisations such as the RSPCA WA, Cat Haven, Native Animal Rescue I have to be interviewed and assessed to be a volunteer, other organisations I will not mention do not have this sort of vetting.

    By regulating this industry and disallowing self regulation will place minimal statuary requirements and instigate monitoring. By accrediting industry providers by licencing will place control measure on organisations and its individuals. Non compliance will suspend accreditation. The Victorian Drink Driver program is a fine example of this. Sub committees can be formed by persons or organisations to have imput into standards, training and other applicable matters.

    The bottom line (the folsky expression often used by the corporate world0 is that animals are suffering and we as a community need to address this in a factual and proper manner.

    No more talk of “i am forming my own rescue’ or “work is being done behind the scenes’ or my all time favourite “its a new era, wait and see”. No wait and see, regulation is a priority now.

  295. Reality Check October 18, 2011 / 2:32 am

    I’m completely horrified at the goings on at GAWS and I’ve read with interest the many comments on this website. A particular comment I have read on here regarding another welfare organisation, is very onesided and the writer actually has some facts wrong. The public reading this article would think it horrifying however it is extremely misleading so all comments on this page should be read with an open mind (obviously including mine!).

    I have volunteered for many years fundraising on a committee for an animal welfare organisation. I work fulltime in a very busy, well respected role for a large company however give up many hours of my personal time to assist raising money for homeless animals. Through my voluntary work, my company also provides some financial assistance to the welfare organisation I volunteer at.

    During my time at this particular shelter, I have had to listen to many a staff member’s complaints (generally onesided) however those same staff members refused to follow workplace rules and Worksafe practices and then got upset when they were reprimanded. (I certainly would not have hired them to work for me at my company). Many of them thought because they worked for a not for profit organisation that general workplace regulations didn’t need to be followed. There are many, many wonderful and dedicated staff that work in animal welfare (that I have the utmost respect for) however I found that the ones that made the complaints were the ones that wanted to do their own thing. I met with other committee members from other welfare organisations and found they had the same issues with some staff. Yes, management can do the wrong things BUT SO CAN STAFF! I lost count at the many times staff told me that they were dedicated to the animals but then would always have sickies on a Saturday and Sunday, turn up to work hungover or in some cases still drunk, lie on their timesheets to get paid extra that they didn’t work taking valuable money from the animals. A lot of their behaviour would not be tolerated in a “real” workplace. Numerous staff that complained about management, only complained because they didn’t get their own way. As a manager myself in my paid job, I know what it is like to make decisions that not everybody is happy with but that comes with the territory of management. The difference is, in “normal” workplaces, staff don’t start vigilante behaviour if they are not happy.

    Let me tell you, if I thought the organisation I volunteer at was dodgy or the management mistreated animals or staff, I certainly would not give up my time to raise money for it (and my employer would not provide financial assistance to it). Other volunteers that also work fulltime and give up their personal time volunteering at the shelter feel the same way as me – vigilante staff can often be the problem – not management but its easier to blame management and not look at themselves. Just confirming, this comment is not regarding GAWS but a welfare organisation that wears the brunt of complaints from disgruntled staff.

  296. Not true October 20, 2011 / 9:23 am

    I am a previous employee of Geelong Animal Welfare. I worked there for 11 years. I have never ever seen acts of cruelty to any animal. The staff that work there have shown nothing but care and compassion for the animals.Sure things are not easy there sometimes, but the staff have to deal with many problems that you are not aware of. Lying owners, people that don’t give a stuff about their precious pets and expect the staff to take their problems off their hands.
    To label these people “murderers” is apalling . You take notice of two previous workers who claim they want to save the animals, yet they are happy to hold out their hands and take financial payouts. Money that could of gone to feeding and housing these unfortunate pets. If they were serious about their complaints money would not have been an issue.
    I would not have remained and worked in a place that abused animals as being claimed.
    You have named people on the board, some of these board members have given years of voluntary work to GAWS and not for any financial return. The reason they do it is for the love of the animals and wanting to make a difference. You know nothing about these people, yet you feel the need to call them disgusting nambetteres.
    The manager Robyn has given many years under very difficult circumstances. None of you would want to do what she does, you wouldn’t last a week.
    Many times I have talked to Robyn about destructions and she says it never gets any easier. She gets very distressed about the amount of animals that have to be put down . Over the years she has given a loving home to many of these animals.
    No I am not a friend of Robyns.
    Sure some changes need to be made,but lets do it the right way. If everyone work together changes can be made for the better.
    Don’t single out staff and board members that from what I saw working there wanted nothing but the best for every pet that came through the doors.
    The real problem is the scum out there who discard their pets without any care, and expect other people to to take care of their problems.

  297. Lou October 20, 2011 / 10:14 am

    LOL so Not True you still feel comfortable saying all of that after watching the videos? Get out of here.

  298. Not true October 20, 2011 / 12:04 pm

    Lou, if you don’t want to hear comments from people who have first hand knowledge of GAWS then you are being narrow minded. Just because someone has something to say and it doesn’t suit your opinion you dismiss them as idiots.
    Try listening to the general opinion, and don’t try to belittle other people expressing their opinion

  299. Melissa October 20, 2011 / 12:28 pm

    NOT TRUE, If what you say is true, you wouldnt mind providing your name would you? Can you actually say that a person screaming at a dog calling it stupid as it was entering it’s last few minutes on this earth wanted the best for that pet? Honestly? Can you honeslty say that a person/people who laugh when the body of a dead dog misses the bag want the best for pets? That dog may have passed away but it deserves just as much dignity and respect in death as it should have been given in life.

    NOT TRUE, something tells me all that you are saying is not exactly all true.

  300. nic October 20, 2011 / 12:31 pm

    Not True sounds like they were/are part of the problem and see no issue with mistreating animals.

    If you think like a feral then you are bound to act like one

  301. Natalie Vervest October 20, 2011 / 5:32 pm

    ” If they were serious about their complaints money would not have been an issue.” WTF Not True???Please tell us how all other cases of workplace complaints are ever settled. Money der.
    And given the almost 4 million in the kitty I dont think GAWS is struggling to feed and shelter these animals.
    If you want your legitimate views considered that you added on further down your comment u shouldnt start by attacking people yourself. Im probably one of very few that read your comment to the end.
    By the way Not, my name is Natalie why did your parents call you Not?

  302. companionanimalnews October 21, 2011 / 11:51 pm

    Update as at 21/10/11. If you want to read all the media articles on this, please go to COMPANION ANIMAL NEWS at

    So far, the president Ian Walter and the 2 VPs, David Cecil and Mark Osborne have resigned. The pound manager has gone on “stress leave” and some other staff have left. There is a new board structure in place with a new president announced today. The Council have a stronger agreement in place with GAWS and the new board are working with the RSPCA ACT and Animal Welfare League Queensland to institute Getting2Zero principles. A new era has started and we salute everyone who has had a part to play in the clean sweep.

  303. Anne Greenaway October 23, 2011 / 10:46 pm

    “Not True”, Susan Irwin posts under her real name.

    Why don’t you?

  304. companionanimalnews October 25, 2011 / 10:53 pm

    Update 25th October 2011:
    changes that GAWS have made in the past couple of weeks in one post as follows:

    •The very one issue we have all been fighting for for most of the year is for GAWS to stop killing and start rehoming. This HAS changed. GAWS have stopped killing and state they have not killed for a week now. The animals are safe for the first time in 30 years!!! Massive change!!!

    •GAWS have committed to implementing the No Kill/Getting to Zero program – a program where all healthy and treatable animals will be rehomed

    •GAWS have issued volunteer forms and are open to volunteers starting asap, the hiring has begun. Volunteers have been turned away in droves for years, now GAWS are welcoming “outsiders” in. One would like to think this is a clear indication that they have no longer have anything to hide.

    •GAWS are now photographing all of the animals and are finally advertising them on their own website as well as PetRescue

    •GAWS are allowing rescue groups to freely photograph the animals and network them in order to increase their adoptions

    •The President and vet stepped down and he is also no longer authorized to practice as a vet at GAWS. The VPs have also stepped down and there are new Board members and a new President

    •We are not forgetting what our second most urgent issue was and that is to see the removal of all the perpetrators that were seen on the footage that GAWS Exposed released. Not to mention the evidence and staff statements as per the DRP blog. There is no place in a pound/shelter for people like this. Most of the perpetrators have resigned however the manager still remains on sick leave. Not what everyone wants and thousands are still unhappy. We have no answers yet as to what action is taking place on this issue. However please all remember that the number one change many fought so hard for has been achieved – GAWS are no longer killing.

    •Many eyes are still on GAWS and there are still many issues that need covering and improving. It is not moving backwards though.

  305. Sophie October 26, 2011 / 10:19 am

    Whilst in no way do I condone what was in those videos because it disgusts me, I just want to question whether things could have perhaps been done in a different way? You may sit back at night thinking you have done a wonderful job “exposing” GAWS, have you for one minute thought about the innocent people and their families lives that you have ruined? I was at GAWS last week looking for another addition to the family and I was disgusted in the way a young family came in and treated the staff, verbally abusing them and treating them like second rate people. These people were not in the videos, actually it looked like they were volunteers. These people surely do not deserve this. I also question why you have brought Kardinia Veterinary Clinic into this, I understand they are the vets to GAWS and the attending vet – or the vet in question – does sometimes work at the clinic, why then, in not just posts on here, but on posts on your facebook pages tarnish the reputation of this clinic? My parents and my grandparents were clients of KVC back going back to when Dr Swinburn was there and due to my close affiliation with them I take the attacks on the clinic quite personally. There are some wonderful vets there and you should be disgusted at trying to taint the name of such a place. As I said, you may sit back at night and think you have done such a wonderful job “exposing GAWS”, I ask that you take a few minutes to reflect on the innocent people and families you have affected.

  306. companionanimalnews October 26, 2011 / 1:37 pm

    Yes, Sophie – things could always be done in a better way, I don;t think anyone has any wish to hurt innocent people. But are staff who must see what is going on and turn a blind eye year after year really “innocent” ? And we certainly have not called for people to go in and verbally abuse staff or volunteers. We would not condone that in any way whatsoever – you’ll have to tackle those abusers to find out what is going on in their heads. they are nothing to do with us. We (Deathrowpets) have not said Kardinia vets have done anything wrong – we stated the relationship between Ian Walter and Kardinia vets. Also we know that the GAWS’ vet contract has automatically gone to Kardina vets for many years ( and Walter is a Director of Kardinia) – don’t you find that a bit odd? Incidentally, we wrote to the head of Kardinia and did not get a reply. As we did to GAWS Board and Ian Walter and David Cecil ( letters in the report for you to read Sophie) , again no reply, even though I additionally gave them all my phone number to call. And members of the community met with Ian Walter and David Cecil on a number of occasions with very reasonable requests – again with little or no outcome. We also communicated with Council on a number of occasions with little or no outcome. So, yes, we are very clear that we tried the “honey” approach very diligently (as we always do) in the first instance. So, Sophie, if you have the answers, please let us know – what do you think would be the better way to do this??? Honestly,we are all ears here and happy to learn from this experience as it will no doubt happen somewhere else!! Give us your advice!

  307. Vonnie October 26, 2011 / 4:53 pm

    Sophie, there were many opportunities for GAWS and Ian Walters to put things right and they chose to ignore pleas to address the issues. Staff who complained about the cruelty over the years were subject to bullying and intimidation and I personally know of one person who needed to get counselling to deal with the hostility . Letters were sent earlier this year and the videos were taken in July so as you can see they turned a blind eye to the cruelty , suffering and extraordinary high kill rate of the shelter. When the responsible people ie GAWS Board, Kardinia Vets were addressed in writing (didnt return phone calls )with specific evidence to back up the claims they ignored it .What do you suggest should have been done ? Unfortunately when people get caught doing something morally reprehensible there are often unintended consequences .Noone wants the staff at GAWS to be abused and it is not condoned in any shape or form as they should be left to take care of the animals. In fact many people who spoke out about the situation have been volunteering themselves at GAWS and working alongside the staff there helping cleaning pens and dealing with the public. GAWS has been flooded with offers of help as people endorse the new board and their strategy of No Kill which is a fundamental change of culture .This is all the more reason why the GAWS board should issue a statement informing the public what they have done about the staff seen in the video that are still on their payroll. Only when this is done can it be completely put to bed and the general public move on.

  308. companionanimalnews October 28, 2011 / 10:18 am

    Posted on GAWS Exposed – Time for Change facebook page Oct 19th: “With every campaign there comes a time to take stock and re-assess honestly and openly and not because of rumor or unconfirmed facts. Everything posted on GAWS Exposed has been factual. It is the GAWS Exposed footage that has created awareness and an outpouring of community action. This action has resulted in good media exposure and serious discussions, taking place. This action has resulted in several resignations from Members of the GAWS Board. This has resulted in neither council or GAWS being able to continue to deny or deflect what had been taking place in GAWS for decades under their watch. This action has resulted in the GAWS impounded animals this week being safe for the first time in decades. This action, including last week’s protest, resulted in GAWS having one of its busiest adoption days ever. This action happened because nearly 3,000 members on this site from all over the country cared about the GAWS animals and gave them a voice.

    In any such crisis situation as GAWS and Geelong council currently find themselves, (because of their own inaction), there is often fast and furious discussion and negotiation. Opinions, directions and participants continue to evolve and change. Much remains unconfirmed until the ink is dry.

    We are confident that for the very immediate future, the GAWS animals are safer than they have ever been. This has always been our priority, in addition to pushing hard for positive and productive change for GAWS and the community. While we will never compromise the truth or allow negotiations to take place that would sell out the animals or the direction and path we all want GAWS to take, we have determined for the greater good and for the animals, to delay the Silent Protest for the immediate future.

    We hope that this will allow some critical milestones to be achieved. If however these milestones are not achieved or GAWS and council are not forthcoming with clear and appropriate details concerning the future for GAWS as the community expects, then we will re-convene to determine the way forward to achieve what is best for the animals, GAWS and the community.”

  309. Why? October 28, 2011 / 11:47 am

    Why are the main instigators behind GAWS Exposed not even allowed to set foot on GAWS?

  310. Geoff Birkbeck January 1, 2012 / 4:54 pm

    This whole issue with GAWS and the Anti GAWS movement has been the biggest disgrace of 2011 in my opinion.

    So called animal activists taking the law into thier own hands and caused more damage than good, a disgruntled employee using it as a forum to stage her revenge, criminal threats being made. False and misleading information being posted that all it did was give the offenders a defence in court. Facebook becoming judge, jury and executioner is now the new judicial system in Australia it appears. Local government and statuary authorities not acting approporiately.

    This has been a perfect example on how not to conduct a “protest”.

    But the most disturbing was the attitudes of so called adults being members of our community posted in here and facebook.

    The anti GAWS group were still making threats and carrying on after the committee was restructured and strategies and procedures were being put in place. Like a dog with a bone, they wouldnt let go. At no time did this group offer an alternative or assistance. I personally pushed for them to support GAWS after the fact, but they preferted to put all their engergies into hatred rather than raising money, having a working bee etc. Make the shelter a showpiece.

    The alledged treatment of these animals was atrocious and criminal. There is no doubt about that.

    I was both appauled and ashamed. More so of the aftermath.

  311. Rhonda January 1, 2012 / 5:05 pm

    Jeff you have not done any research at all have you? Most of those that were the driving force behind exposing gaws are now volunteers at the restructured shelter. The people who were the driving force are now involved in fundraising for gaws. Assistance has been offered and accepted from many areas. Many disgruntled former employess have spoken up and some are now re-employed at the restructured facility. Still waiting for the perpetrators of what was witnessed in the footage to be called to account, but the animals are now safe.
    I’m feeling a bit embarrassed for you Jeff.

  312. threepups January 15, 2012 / 5:59 pm


    There are no disgruntled ex employees that have been re employed.

  313. carol Perrie April 22, 2012 / 8:30 pm

    MY GOD this has made me sick. I hope things are better there at the moment .To think this went on in this day and age is frightening .
    Carol perrie,, Lilydale

  314. October 20, 2012 / 4:54 pm

    No they are still killing animals at an alarming rate. The new management are not who the try to make themselves to be… SHAME

  315. Lyndsey November 4, 2012 / 6:46 am

    Good point i agree
    Could not have said it better myself
    Is this the right place to ask a question
    Can i ask a pet question here, i know its probably not the right place
    Does anyone here have a dog
    Does anyone here have a cat

  316. secretme November 24, 2012 / 1:54 am

    could anyone tell of how long the contract between the council and GAWS is for?

  317. November 30, 2012 / 9:54 am

    I’m not sure if there is a contract? Heard on the grapevine that the new management have a big deficit in their financial 2012 financial year…$250,000. Yes believe it or not, they held their AGM on Wednesday 28th November. There were a lot of members that were not notified. Typical, why? They will probably blame the old board. Where is the money going? Come on management of GAWS. Who are you really there for? Grab a copy of the glossy extravagant annual report. Ask yourself, why did the current board condemn the previous board for spending too much on the previous reports? They have gone well beyond cost cutting on this one. Why the over priced legal bill? I could go on and on. just get yourself a copy of the 2012 Annual Report. So many questions to answer.

  318. Lynn Jenkin November 30, 2012 / 2:35 pm

    Something is very wrong here. Last year they had thousands and this year nothing. Where has all the money gone? Needs to be an independant investigation.

  319. December 11, 2012 / 4:29 pm

    Legal fees and over paid management and staff. The auditor was also not happy with the figures. Hard to know the breakdown of what was spent and where.That’s why not all members of GAWS were notified of the AGM. WHY? Probably that there would be too many people asking too many questions. Even the current President didn’t know how to run the meeting and failed to answer all questions properly. Whats with the cages in the lost cat area. How cruel is it for these cats to be in these cages, day after day. Come on management at GAWS, these are disgusting conditions for cats to be in. Why have you got cats locked in the room beside the office. No air conditioning and appalling conditions. What about the big NO KILL policy you have? Animals are being euthanize still at an alarming rate.Staff are not happy and are being bullied by management and if you don’t tow the line, your sacked. How much further can this practice and organisation keep going before it all comes crumbling down and the current board and management just walk away. Come on GAWS, you can’t be taken seriously when you don’t practice what you preach…

  320. Taryn December 11, 2012 / 9:50 pm

    I do hope GAWS are doing the right thing, but from comments keep reading it seams not! why arnt people in the higher jobs the ones who actually care for animals???

  321. January 19, 2013 / 9:34 pm

    One will never know. Things are not what they say it is. COGG are not saying anything either. Mark my words, wait to see what happens when all the money runs out……

  322. Amanda January 20, 2013 / 11:40 am

    Why is Council keeping quiet? How much longer will it be before all the money is gone?

  323. Davina January 20, 2013 / 12:33 pm

    Have the Geelong Council stepped up and supported GAWS ? Perhaps the Geelong Council is not supporting GAWS as they should either ? Do the Council still pay more to euthanise animals than keep them alive? Are they paying the shelter the required amount to care for the impounded animals ? Councils are notorious for not supporting shelters that try to save animals as it is cheaper to kill them than keep them alive.

  324. Leanne January 20, 2013 / 1:46 pm

    Where has the money gone? That is the important question here!

  325. Kath January 25, 2013 / 12:30 pm

    Who is looking after the interest of the members and the Society?
    It doesn’t appear to be the new board.
    Why haven’t they told the members why they have lost so much money and if money is still being lost.
    Former board members were expelled from GAWS by the new board because they didn’t know what was happening and should have, now its time for the new board to be accountable.

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  327. Davina January 28, 2013 / 10:12 pm

    Well perhaps the money has gone into actually keeping animals alive rather than killing them. The annual report tells members what they need to know re finances so what on earth are you talking about ? Those old board members were expelled because they turned a blind eye to the abject cruelty. If you think that is a problem you shouldnt be be a member of an animal shelter…

  328. February 1, 2013 / 11:39 pm

    Current management of the society, not the old board or Council. Keeping the animals alive and having them adopted is the most important thing here. Money is needed to support this type of venture. A friend of mine wanted to adopt a dog from GAWS. They seem to make it so hard and expensive to do this. Keep the price down and people will adopt. Savings can be made in other areas of the society. Trim the fat……..

  329. February 1, 2013 / 11:43 pm

    There was no cruelty going on at GAWS with the old board. Animals are still being euthanize at the society with the new board. They are not a no kill shelter. They change things to suit them selves. Look at how many staff they have gone through since the new board & management have taken over.

  330. Davina February 2, 2013 / 6:44 am

    Even “No Kill ” shelters allow an euthanasia rate of 10 % for animals due to illness and aggression. Most staff from the old regime didnt support No Kill and some even believed it was better for the animals to be killed than wait to be adopted.A new broom…… ?Re the costs of adopting an animal- GAWS are no more expensive than other shelters and if people cant afford the basic costs of purchasing an animal then they wont be able to afford the necessary costs required for their care so shouldnt have them in the first place.

  331. February 13, 2013 / 9:13 pm

    Wake up and smell the roses. Since new management & board, not only has expenditure increased, but the price of adopting an animal has as well. So what you are saying is that only the rich are permitted to buy an animal?? Make it low cost for everyone, isn’t the whole idea is to adopt as many animals out as possible.. Not just for rich people.

  332. Davina February 13, 2013 / 9:20 pm

    No not at all. the idea is to adopt out animals to those who can actually care for them .. its a no brainer. If you cant afford the adoption fee then it is simple you cant afford to care for an animal.
    Every shelter has a duty of care and animals should not got be cast out to everyone who likes the idea of owning an animals without the means..To do otherwise is irresponsible. Just because you have an axe to grind with the current management does not mean animals should have to suffer.

  333. February 15, 2013 / 12:05 pm

    There are people out there who go without, to ensure that their dog or cat are looked after very well and fed better than they are. Give people who cant afford the initial cost a chance to be able to adopt a dog or cat. Don’t judge people how much money they have, judge them on what they can give to a homeless dog or cat. Money is not everything. Some people do not have the hundreds of dollars in the first place to adopt an animal. I see that you are a person who cares and wants the best for animals. There are people out there who have money and couldn’t give two hoots about their animals. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Look outside the square. There are other avenues that can be taken to house more animals. You just have to look outside the square. I don’t have an axe to grind with the new board/management either. Just observations from what I have seen and have been told. I am more to give credit where credit is due. Just not from what I have seen and heard.

  334. Lynn Jenkin February 15, 2013 / 3:30 pm

    I am very disappointed with GAWS. Some weeks ago, a friend of mine, a 78 year old lady, viited and selected a little dog she would love to adopt. She was told the dog couldn’t be adopted yet She phoned about the dog the next day and was advised it had been sold. Eunice was so hurt and upset. Eunice adores animals and her two chihuahuas passed away from old age last year. I believe she was discriminated against because of her age. Eunice has written a letter to GAWS but to this date has had no reply. Typical. Eunice contacted me and I was able to get her a chihauhua from Chihuahua Rescue. Eunice lives on her own and was so lonely that she needed the love of a dog again. Eunice was happpy to pay the adoption fee etc so why was she treated in this way? I fully agree that their are people with limited finance who would make excellent owners and there are those who have heaps of money who would make shocking owners.

  335. Fiona February 15, 2013 / 7:13 pm

    GAWS are charging $395 for a seven year old miniature fox terrier. What is a no brainer Davina is that people will turn away from these prices and turn to a backyard breeder, trading post or gumtree with the possibility of never getting their animal desexed etc. Then there is the possibility that people simply don’t have this sort of money up front but could and would go without for their animal and provide them with a great home. As for poor Eunice’s story, how sad that still today people over a certain age are discriminated against.

  336. Theresa February 16, 2013 / 3:14 pm

    @Davina, why should council support and help GAWS financially? Do you consider GAWS more important than homeless people, CCTV video cameras for peoples safety, footpaths, roads for safety.
    GAWS are tennants, nothing more than that, so why should the council support them?
    GAWS is asking for so much people are sick of it, volunteers, yes, good for lonely people, but no one can afford to keep giving food to this place when HUGE amounts of money is being paid to staff. I think it is time to have a reality check and see what is really important in the big scheme of things in life.

  337. March 22, 2013 / 1:28 pm

    Lynn, Fiona & Theresa, I agree with you all. GAWS are contracted to run the pound for Council, like any contractor, GAWS can be kicked out at any time for not doing what they are paid to do, which is run a pound in accordance with the Domestic Animal Act. GAWS is like a business. Their business is to take care of all animals, primarily domestic ones, help heal the sick ones and re-home unwanted dogs and cats, but at the end of the day, it is to run a pound for Council. To do the above, they have to be financially strong and have a plan for the years to come. Council could kick them out tomorrow and have someone else run the pound. By dropping the prices to adopt an animal, people will be able to afford to get a dog or cat. Bring down the prices and start giving back to the community, as the community has given enough to GAWS.

  338. Toni S May 19, 2013 / 11:51 am

    Does anyone else find it concerning that GAWS are posting on their Facebook page how they are in desperate need of food as they are close to running out? What happened to their sponsorship from Royal Canin? What about all the money that is donated, where is this going? I see an article in the real estate magazine on Friday of the President saying a vet clinic will be opening up soon. With what money? Or are the funds that were left to GAWS for the animal hospital going to fund this?

  339. May 23, 2013 / 3:14 pm

    GAWS are in the doggy doo. I’m very concerned about what is going on down there. I have an eye in the sky down there and it doesn’t look good. A person I know was visiting the society and was encouraged by the staff/management to go onto their facebook page and get others to donate, food, blankets and give money. The food and blankets may be going to the animals, but the money is not. Do’t believe all you hear from the president. She is one who is in it for herself & not the animals & society.

  340. Toni S May 23, 2013 / 5:50 pm

    I don’t believe a thing I hear or see from GAWS and the sooner this all comes to light the better off for for everybody. Probably not a few hip pockets though.

  341. Ned June 30, 2013 / 12:02 pm

    Well well well, GAWS are certainly showing their inadequacies. Poor old Ned the Border Collie could have had a home at least five times over but after two weeks in the pound has only just appeared on the lost and strays photo page on Facebook, well I suppose he was living in luxury according to the president, in the house, if we believe that we believe anything that GAWS says. The old word “transparency” and lack of it, is being thrown around yet again. We all need to unite, let’s write to the Geelong Council and demand answers and transparency. This is for Ned and all the other dogs that this has happened too.

  342. June 30, 2013 / 11:15 pm

    GAWS. Not the place to be, If you are an animal………

  343. January 29, 2014 / 2:58 pm

    Come on GAWS. When is the AGM going to be called. Or have you had it already & not told anyone?????
    It will be interesting to see how the figures all stack up………

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  347. March 14, 2014 / 2:57 pm

    It amazes me to see an article in the GA the other week, referring to GAWS employees being harassed & bullied by persons that are not happy with the society. While I do not support this bullying or harassment in the work place, i look back and remind people that this is exactly what some of the current board & employees did to the workers at GAWS, prior to the “new” board & management. From my information, bullying still continued by the new management & board. What worries me is that at any time the board & management can walk out & not be responsible for their actions. The societies money just blown on various matters & they know what they are. Don’t get the community to bail you out of this hole that you have got yourselves into. Stop the harassment & bullying of staff, stop the waste of funds for the animals & start running GAWS like it should be. There are ways to ensure that this can happen. Just take responsibility.

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