250,000 healthy, but unwanted cats and dogs are killed in Australian pounds each year


In Australia, we have a system that perpetuates a cycle of breeding to excess, impulse purchasing of pets and then quiet killing of the surplus 250,000 mainly healthy cats and dogs year after year. (We kill 60,000 every year in New South Wales alone…) This is not justifiable, not ethical and not acceptable. These animals are not just statistics, each one is a live sentient being that suffers immense stress and then death. Surely we have the ability to fix the problem and stop the oversupply and consequent unnecessary euthanasia of healthy cats and dogs by tackling all the reasons for it?

Here are 5 ideas we at DEATHROWPETS want to turn into a reality:

  1. Restrict the sale of cats and dogs to ethical registered breeders, pounds and animal shelters
  2. Stop all sources of mass production of kittens and puppies for profit
    i.e. stop puppy and kitten farms and backyard breeders
  3. Make de-sexing mandatory for all pets at the point of sale
  4. Increase the re-homing rate in pounds and shelters via better low-kill policies
  5. And of course educate everyone on responsible and caring pet ownership…

“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.”
Albert Schweitzer

Who We Are

DeathRowPets was started by Paul and Kathryn Archer. We lived in Sydney for 25 years and recently moved to Hobart. We live with our elderly rescue dog – Muffin from DoggieRescue  We have had four beautiful rescue dogs over many years.

Tia and TongueWhen we first decided that we would like to have a dog we did what many people do, we decided we wanted a Boxer and we looked for a Boxer puppy in the Trading Post. We followed up an advertisement and bought Tiwi from a house in Blacktown for $275.00. We didn’t see her parents or even any of her litter mates. We did get papers. Tiwi was our first dog and was loved very much. However she suffered from bad allergies, had two knee reconstructions, ulcerated eyes and sadly she succumbed to a severe brain disorder when she was only 8 years old.

All this made us start to find out and read more about dogs, their health problems, good and bad breeders and what is really happening out there. We became better educated all round! We decided that our next dog would be a Rescue one. Now we have had four!

We have always been animal lovers and the horrifying situation in most Australian Pounds has made us determined to be more active about finding a solution to the thousands of cats and dogs killed every year.

DeathRowPets is a tool to get our voice heard so people understand what’s going on and can help us to create positive change.


8 thoughts on “About

  1. Pippa Turner February 10, 2009 / 5:16 pm

    I hope that as you initially contacted me, that you will take the time to answer my question.

    My question is which animal organizations are you involved with? Adopting rescue dogs is admirable, but most people who are sufficiently involved to create web sites and mail out lists are also in allegience with established organizations eg: RSPCA, Animal Liberation etc.

    I look forward to your response.

    With best wishes

    Pippa Turner
    Chiencav Cavalier King Charles & Tibetan Spaniels

  2. deathrowpets February 10, 2009 / 11:28 pm

    Thanks Pippa for your question.

    Who we are is exactly as explained above. We are not affiliated with any organisation. We decided that this was important to us and the animals waiting on death row.

    As we have no vested interest whatsoever in any financial or political gain, we feel we are ideally placed to research and find out why we have so many homeless pets in our Pounds, and who is letting them down.

    We hope our initiative will help us all find some solutions to this dreadful problem.

  3. Madeline Bishop October 13, 2010 / 2:30 pm

    Hi, I love what you are doing with this blog! I’m a journalist student at Griffith University on the Gold Coast and I am currently writing a story on puppy farming for an assessment. It would be great if I could email you some questions that would assist with my story as it’s good to have a variety of opinions and comments. Hope to hear back from you


  4. Annie Gr January 5, 2011 / 1:13 pm

    @Pippa Turner.

    I wonder why you seem to have anegative attitude on this?!.

    People can do what they like to spread awareness about pet killing on deathrow.

    I am tired of hearing from people who think unless you have spent 20 years in rescue and have chronic depression and PSD from all you have witnessed you are not “worthy”.
    I can tell you I have done plenty to assist rescue orgs including donating $1000’s, and also involved in legislative change for animals.

    Many people don’t necessarily want to be affiliated with Animal Lib or RSPCA for a variety of reasons.

    Good on you Paul and Kathryn. And anyone else who is doing their bit for animal welfare.

  5. claire laverick January 15, 2011 / 5:02 pm

    I would love to become involved in demonstrations and help in any other way that I can. I live in Chelsea VIC. Please let me know how I can help.

  6. Geoff Birkbeck October 13, 2011 / 4:35 pm

    Paul and Kathy,

    I see the point of your site and you see the point of my actions in relation to the regulation and licencing of the animal welfare ‘industry’…. and it is just that.

    As you well know, my experiance has been in local government here in WA especially in the Pilbara and Gasgoyne regions as a ranger.

    You are well aware of my battles with various animal groups, government departments, professional organisations and individuals trying to get assistance in rehoming dogs. You are also are aware of how many animals I killed in my job and how many that “disappeared” from my pound and put on flights to Perth.

    There are practices from all sides of this ‘industry” that need to be addressed. Rangers and pounds need to be monitored and standardised, legistlation needs to be flexible and more ridged at the same time, groups need to be made accountable and so are some indiduals as well.

    We scream and cry and make threats about animal welfare issues but very few do anything about it. those that do at times do not examine the facts. Thats from my perception.

    What upsets me most, is that we have dogs in indiginious communities that are sick and being killed and in pounds being put down for various reasons. (although some dogs have to be put down due to attacks, illness and behavioural issues that can not be controlled, etc) but we appauld and give accolades to a person that saves dogs in a country that is openly hostile to Australians. We need to clean up our own backyard first before sweeping the streets of Bali for Australian tourists to visit.

    It was once said by a member of the Victoria Police Homicide Squad that “The highest honour a police officer can do, is to speak for those that can no longer speak for themselves”(Words to that effect)

    We as members of the community need to adopt that honour and speak for those that can not speak for themselves.

  7. Melissa Rimac March 9, 2012 / 2:16 am

    Hi Paul,
    Hope all’s well for you.
    Looks like the PIA are now attempting to look pro – rescue; as described in the article ” reprieve for dumped pets” in the Manly Daily 8th March
    ( can be viewed online at manlydaily.com.au ). Now, it is being assummed, pet- shop pets past their desire – by date, will be ‘ rehomed’ by the RSPCA. Great.
    And don;t you love the pix of Steve Austin and Dr Harry smiling for the cameras.

  8. Mal January 26, 2015 / 6:46 pm

    You have just got some one very much on your side I am in Geelong and the Geelong Animal Welfare Society (Gaws) a private organization Just murdered a young dog that I rescued, this is a long story it had a chip in it that was a breeders chip it did not have the owners name on the chip the vet that i took it to near where I found it to check it was a breeders chip the vet claims they could not contact the breeder of which I am going to get on to the canine association about that because the chip went off the dog was left with the vet when they could not contact the breeder the vet did not contact me, instead they rang the council ranger who took it out to this place (GAWS) of which I already new had a bad name, the vet no longer has me as a customer I have quite a few rescued cats and this vet was where I would go if needed I have pulled my file from them and now looking for a new vet.
    I only use a vet for diagnoses as I have a Natural Biotic that will cure just everything you can name. I was going out to this place checking on the dog and taking food for it to eat, while it was there it got what they call Kennel Cough so they quarantined it they said all this time they would not let me see it or take a photo of it
    the last time I went there with food I told them that I would take the dog they kept saying it had not had its behavioral test as yet but when I had it before it went there it was fine this dog was about 18 months old just looking for a home wanting to be friendly when I got it from the middle of the road, I am a grown man and I am having trouble sleeping with what this poor innocent animal has had down to it.
    The CEO texts me to tell me the dog had been put down because some supposed behavioral expert said it did not pass the test what ever that might be and this is after I said I would take the dog from them after they tell me it was clear of Kennel cough they would not give it to me in this state as I would have cured it in a matter of days I have cured dogs with snake bite in average four days, just to name one
    I help at a native animal rescue place and another place that takes rescued animal of all sorts if it was not for the chip that is where the dog would have went, I find it interesting that the CEO is the one to text me not the manager or a vet or staff member. I like what you have on your site and I am going to open a website to warn people of this place before I came across your site I found another one that says this place (GAWS) kills 4 to 5 hundred a year well I am going to with help from friends open a animal shelter, and run a public program to let people know what a fraud this place is I have been in touch with a Lawyer friend who is passionate about animals and we are going to see if we can sue them and in the future term
    shut them down. I could not even get the dog to put it in a Pet cemetery.
    I think this long enough for the moment. Keep up your good work.
    If you know of any one in Tasmania who has Devils that are sick and not Government controlled I believe my biotic would cure them.


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