Dismal situation for cats at Blacktown Pound – appeal to civic leaders of Blacktown Community

Report to Blacktown Council by concerned community members:


Using statistics for dogs and cats seized by councils, this study looks at the current situation at the Blacktown Animal Holding Facility and the Blacktown Community.

A comparison of Blacktown with the other seven council areas, which use the pound’s facilities, showed that Blacktown was vastly over- represented. It had twice as many stray and surrendered animals as the other seven councils combined, yet Blacktown’s population is only half that of these other seven councils.

While tremendous progress has been made at the pound, with fewer dogs entering, and even far fewer being killed, the situation for cats is dismal and seemingly out of control.

The number of cats entering the pound has increased every year, with a 163% increase between 2003 and 2011.      In 2011, 3,248 cats were killed, an increase of 155% since 2003. There is evidence that suggests that over half of Blacktown’s cats are feral. READ MORE HERE


AWL (Queensland) breaks zero euthanasia record

ABC Gold Coast; Candice Marshall 4 October 2010

The Animal Welfare League of Queensland has achieved an Australian first – avoiding having to euthanise a single healthy dog or cat on the Gold Coast for more than 12 months.

So how did they do it?

AWL Strategic Development Officer Joy Verrinder says the achievement is a result of the AWL’s ‘Getting to Zero’ program which combines many different projects, all playing their part. Read more here..

News from WA:Companion Animal Action Group Western Australia

Press release: The formation of the COMPANION ANIMAL ACTION GROUP WESTERN AUSTRALIA (CAAGWA); Mon, 19 Apr 2010

“Dear fellow Companion Animal Carers
We are writing to you out of our deep concern for the growing crisis of unwanted pets in Western Australia.    We are a nation of cat and dog lovers and yet we have a national annual figure of 250,000 euthanized pets.   Clearly this is unacceptable and we would like to take action to address this appalling statistic.  
Like you, we are witness to the trauma of discarded animals being passed from pound to rescue facility and many not even given this opportunity due to insufficient capacity and under-resourcing of pounds and shelters.   Rescued dogs and cats spend varying lengths of time incarcerated through no fault of their own.    The lucky ones find loving forever homes but so many, don’t.   Rescue facilities do their best to care for these animals and in most cases, are reliant on public support – not only for funding, but for care of the animals.  We would like to assist these facilities as part of our addressing the root causes of the problem of unwanted pets.

 The COMPANION ANIMAL ACTION GROUP WESTERN AUSTRALIA (CAAGWA) is the name we have chosen to undertake coverage of the multitude of issues we would like to address over a period of time.  Our immediate aim is to form a Committee of compassionate carers representing a variety of organisations throughout Western Australia.   read more here

No Kill News – can we do this here in Australia? Affordable, low cost desexing program funded by New York City

We received this exciting release of news from Companion Animal Network TV in New York

“Dear Friends of Animals,
This Saturday July 25 at NY City Animal Care and Control (“NYCACC”) in Manhattan,  New York City’s animals and their guardians are finally getting what has long been needed, a super low cost mobile veterinary hospital with full surgical capabilities for limited income pet parents, rescue groups, and rescue adoptions. Whereas the ASPCA has taken the lead in operating five low cost and free Spay Neuter vans for limited income pet parents, the new Vet Mobile will only be providing full veterinary services to those qualified pet parents, not spay neuters. The launch of the Vet Mobile is being celebrated in conjunction with the Mayor’s Alliance for NY City Animals, North Shore Animal League, and NYCACC. North Shore Animal League will be featuring the NYCACC foster animals in their 40 ft. Mobile Adoption Van. The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals will be providing $10 microchips, including registration.

Next Wednesday, July 29th, the Vet Mobile will premiere at the Brooklyn NYCACC. Thereafter the Vet Mobile will be in front of the NYCACC in Manhattan every Saturday 12-6, and Brooklyn every Wednesday 12-6. As soon as the Vet Mobile is financially breaking even, it will expand to being assigned one day per week at the Staten Island and Bronx NYCACC also.

An exam is just $25, and vaccinations only $10. Free ID tags are provided for all patients, both dogs and cats. All services will be at the super low cost prices already established by the Safety Net Program, which has been preventing surrenders to NYCACC for the past four years. The Vet Mobile is an extension of the Safety Net Program, so that qualified pet parents have access to full veterinary  services at extremely low rates. Proof of limited income or rescue adoption or rescue rehoming is necessary for qualification. For more information see News Release below.


 NEW YORK, NY (July 20, 2009) – On Saturday, July 25, New Yorkers will get their first glimpse of the “Low Cost Vet Mobile” – a new mobile veterinary clinic created to help cash-strapped New Yorkers at risk of having to give up their companion animals because they can no longer afford their veterinary care. The program, developed by Garo Alexanian of Companion Animal Network and staffed by local veterinarians, will provide pet owners with affordable, preventive veterinary care and also a first step in developing relationships with veterinarians within their community.
To celebrate the launch, AC&C will host a special pet adoption promotion from noon until 7:00 pm, where dozens of wonderful dogs and cats will be available for adoption both inside the shelter and on a North Shore Animal League America adoption van parked curbside. Adoption fees for adult cats (over one year old) will be waived. In addition, vaccinations for dogs and cats will be available for $10 on the Vet Mobile, and the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals will offer extra-low-cost ($10 microchipping for cats and dogs between noon and 6:00 pm.
Traditionally, many low-income pet owners do not seek preventive veterinary care for their pets, and when their pets become ill, they surrender them to AC&C. In today’s particularly challenging economy, the number of these animals arriving at AC&C shelters has skyrocketed. “The mobile clinic will help so many pet owners that are having trouble making ends meet and caring for a sick pet at the same time,” says Richard Gentles, AC&C’s spokesperson. “We applaud Garo’s initiative, and the timing couldn’t be better.”
By providing another means of access to affordable veterinary care to low-income New York City pet owners, the Low Cost Vet Mobile is expected to substantially reduce the number of animals surrendered to city shelters, which already are at full capacity. “I expect the program will prevent approximately 5,000 surrenders over the course of a year,” says Alexanian. “This can translate to a 12-15 percent reduction in shelter intakes.”
Stemming the tide of preventable pet surrenders is crucial to the success of current efforts underway in New York City to reduce, and eventually end, the killing of healthy and treatable cats and dogs at city shelters simple because they do not have homes, according to Jane Hoffman, President of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals – the organization that spearheads the city’s efforts to become a no-kill community under a multi-million-dollar grant from Maddie’s Fund®, the Pet Rescue Foundation. “The Low Cost Vet Mobile provides another important alternative for our city’s pet owners who don’t want to part with their companion animals.” Among other programs currently available to these pet owners are the Safety Net/Pets for Life NYC program, low-cost vet care at the Humane Society of New York Veterinary Hospital in Manhattan, and the Bensonhurst Low Cost Animal Clinic in Brooklyn.
Dr. Elizabette Cohen, DVM, host of the radio program “Happy and Healthy Pet,” and author of the book Most of My Patients Wear Fur, will be the veterinarian on duty for the Low Cost Vet Mobile’s Manhattan launch on July 25, and also for the van’s premiere at AC&C’s Brooklyn shelter on Wednesday, July 29. At both launch events, Dr. Cohen will consult with patients, provide tours of the van, and also sign copies of her book, for which she will donate 100% of the proceeds from the days’ book sales to AC&C.
Going forward, the Low Cost Vet Mobile’s location will alternate between Animal Care & Control’s Manhattan and Brooklyn locations, where it will provide assistance to pet owners at two of the busiest points of entry to the New York City shelter system.”
 About Companion Animal Network
Companion Animal Network (C.A.N.) was the force behind the creation of the NYC Animal Care and Control. Four years ago C.A.N founded the nation’s first surrender prevention program, and now it is launching the Low Cost Vet Mobile. C.A.N. has been acknowledged by the New York City Council in Resolution #985 for its efforts to bring improvements to the animal control services of New York City.
About Animal Care & Control of NYC
Animal Care & Control of New York City rescues over 43,000 animals each year, making the organization the largest pet rescue and adoption agency in the North East. Since 1995, the not-for-profit organization has been responsible for New York City’s municipal shelter system, caring for rescued animals and finding loving homes for homeless, injured, neglected, abused and abandoned animals in all five of the boroughs in New York City.
About the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals
The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, Inc., founded in 2002 and powered by Maddie’s Fund®, The Pet Rescue Foundation, is a coalition of more than 160 animal rescue groups and shelters that are working with the City of New York to find homes for every cat and dog in the city that needs one. For more information about the Mayor’s Alliance, its participating organizations, and pet adoptions, please visit the Mayor’s Alliance web site at www.AnimalAllianceNYC.org .

DRP Comment:

We badly need to get low-cost desexing programs running in every Council area across the country. Subsidised desexing has been shown to create dramatic results – and in the end saves council and tax payer money. Isn’t this a smarter alternative to collecting, housing and then killing thousands of healthy animals?

Let us know about any such initiatives you are seeing in Australia!

The curse of Christmas…….

“I’m a volunteer and committee member for an organisation call K9 Dog Rescue near Mandurah Western Australia. We’re fully volunteer operated and donation funded. We are currently licensed to hold 40 dogs, but we hover around the 28-30 on average.  Last year we found homes for over 700 pound dogs, and we collect from the local pounds on Mondays and Wednesdays, usually taking in 10-12 dogs a week (excluding puppies).

After Christmas, this year our office was swamped with calls from people wanting to surrender Christmas dogs. We’re talking 2 weeks afterwards. Some of the other people came and just dumped dogs on our doorstep.

One story I can tell you: There was a young idiot there one day waiting with a puppy, it was the last of a litter of 11 (obviously the runt), that he hadn’t been able to sell over Christmas obviously. He wanted us to take it. The office staff asked him if he was going to get his dog steralised now…………. “NO! I want another litter” was his reply.  

Honestly, this is what we are dealing with.”

DRP Comment: this true story just highlights the attitude of irresponsible back yard breeders

If you faced this individual, what would you say to him?

RSPCA Queensland tries new approach to increase rehoming for cats and dogs

Courier News: “THE Queensland branch of the RSPCA has broken ranks with the organisation interstate by selling refuge animals in commercial pet shops.

Cats and dogs from RSPCA shelters go on sale today at Petbarn in Lawnton, just north of Brisbane, and the RSPCA’s World for Pets Superstore at Springwood in Logan City, south of Brisbane.

If the trial is successful, other Petbarns and pet shops across the state will be offered RSPCA animals…..”


DRP comment: the article speaks about the RSPCA ‘selling’ animals, but we consider this an innacurate label to a trial designed to rehome more rescued animals AND replace traditional pet shop sourced puppies and kittens. RSPCA Queensland CEO Mark Townend told us:

I picked 4 pet shops that I were believed were “good” examples of pet shops and then sent our Scientific Officer out to inspect the premises with an extensive checklist. The pet shop owners were aware of why we were doing the Inspection and were very open to us.  At this point we started with just one of those pet shops.

I really believe it can make a differences by getting undesexed animals from unknown sources out of petshops and replace them with desexed RSPCA animals that need a home.

This has been done completely independently of PIAA.”

We say: “Well done RSPCA Queensland”

Tell us what you think! We’re interested in your views!