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

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

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

CEO Kristina Vesk of the Cat Protection Society says this:

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

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

The outcome for cats is always worse than for dogs.

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

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

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

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

Kristina Vesk, CEO, Cat Protection Society NSW

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

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

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

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Do you know anyone who is surrendering their pet?

Pounds and shelters report increasing numbers of people surrendering their pets . Many think they are doing the right thing.

What they are often not told is that their pet stands a good chance of being euthenased, and not rehomed. Just look at the numbers. Some are easy to rehome, some are not. If it’s a cat, its chances drop markedly. If it’s old, or “ugly” its chances drop markedly. If the pound doesn’t have an effective volunteer and rescue group working alongside it – as many don’t – its chances drop markedly. Some pounds are good at explaining this to the owner, some are not……

Underdog’s article says:

“So why do these animals end up in the pound? What can we do to reverse this? If you are considering surrendering your pet to a pound or shelter- STOP. There may be avenues you have not yet explored.

Many of the dogs currently on death row were much loved family pets at some point in their life. Despite the fact that the dogs may be well behaved, wonderful companions many do not make it out of the pound or shelter alive……..” Read the rest here….

We asked Underdog Training to produce this useful short information sheet as a resource you can print off and give to anyone you know thinking of surrendering their pet. Go here to download the article..

DRP comment: we hope this is a useful resource for pound staff, pound volunteers and anyone who knows a person or family who feel they need to give up their animal. It won’t solve every situation, but you never know.

What situations have you come across?

Conflict between pets, renting or unit living

The following quote on our Petition highlighted an ongoing problem – the current conflict between pets, renting or unit living. In the current ecomonic climate the fall-out from this is only likely to get worse. People who really want a pet will buy from Pet Shops to bi-pass the Shelter documentation and keep their pet “illegally”. If they are found out, they may have to unwillingly surrender their pet to the pound, with the obvious consequences…

“My Partner and I bought my little Precious Angel from the Pet shop. We didn’t have a choice. I really wanted to adopt a pet from the Shelter before I got my precious one, but we live in a Unit and we couldn’t ask our Landlord to sign the permit form the Shelter needed prior to adoption. For this reason I went to the pet shop one day with my partner. I saw this little kitten with angelic face, that’s why we picked her and I’m glad that we picked her. She’s my little angel and I can’t live without her! After reading the article about those unwanted animals in the shelters, I was in tears and it breaks my heart watching the video. I do believe in the rights of every animal – their right to live and have a good life! ”

1) If you rent, whether a house or unit, most Tenancy Agreements do not allow pets
2) If you live in a unit, whether you own or rent, most Body Corporate rules do not allow pets

It is also amazing how many people do not realise that surrendering your pet to a Pound almost always means the death of your pet….

“I sent a dog to the pound because I had a newborn baby and I couldn’t handle both, I thought the dog would be fine and go to a new home, but she got put down… this shouldn’t happen”.

“I gave my dog to the Pound because he bit someone. I felt so sad & immediately regretted the decision, but didn’t call the Pound until the next day and it was already too late – he was dead. I honestly thought I’d just have to pay a hundred dollars or so to get him out. They euthanised him at 4 a.m. I hate myself & feel such guilt. If only I’d been more responsible & always had him on a leash, he’d be sitting here right now. He was only 9 months old and just needed training.”