MORE than 600 cats and nearly 100 dogs were euthanased by Frankston Council’s contracted animal shelter in the first six months of 2023.
New statewide statistics on the fate of animals who enter shelters and pounds have been released by Animal Welfare Victoria. The statistics cover the period between 1 January 2023 and 30 June 2023.
During that time The Lost Dogs Home Casey, which provides animal shelter services for Frankston Council, admitted 2201 cats and put down 652. It admitted 1227 dogs during the six month period and euthanased 91.
The Lost Dogs Home provides animal shelter services to sixteen Victorian councils. In addition to its Casey facility in Cranbourne West, it also has a facility in North Melbourne. The Lost Dogs Home director of external affairs Jill Gustave-Marsten said that more work needs to be done to prevent cats from being euthanased.
“The Lost Dogs’ Home is committed to providing the health and behavioural care necessary to be able to rehome every adoptable animal regardless of length of time it may take to do so. We are also committed to making the right euthanisia decisions to prevent unnecessary suffering, as well as to protect members of the community and their animals. We achieve this with dogs. We are not achieving this with cats,” Gustave-Marsten said. “The sheer numbers of unowned and wild cats coming into shelters, pounds and rescues every year, and most especially during the consistently lengthening kitten season, makes this impossible. Although we are slowly reducing euthanasia rates for cats year on year, we must have the support of the community and a far greater commitment from the state government to be able to achieve this at a much faster rate.
“We are an open intake shelter, meaning we accept all animals into our care regardless of seriousness of health issues or temperaments. There is no selection criteria applied during our intake process.”
The Lost Dogs’ Home was tasked with caring for more than 18,000 animals in 2022/2023. It claims that it cares for more animals in a week than 55 per cent of other shelters did in the six month reporting period.
Between 1 January 2023 and 30 June 2023, RSPCA Peninsula in Pearcedale admitted 874 cats and 160 dogs. 69 cats and 21 dogs were euthanased. The Mornington Peninsula Shire Community Animal Shelter and Pound put down 38 cats and four dogs – it admitted 210 cats and 228 dogs. Statewide 25,913 cats and 14,178 dogs were admitted into care, and 6,535 cats and 1,193 dogs were killed.
In 2022, the state government implemented mandatory reporting guidelines for animal shelters and pounds. They were ordered to begin collecting data from 1 January 2023. Gustave-Marsten said “the Lost Dogs’ Home are strongly in favour of centralised, standardised reporting of animal fate data, from all shelters, pounds – as well as rescue organisations.”
A feline vaccine shortage has been exacerbating the problem for animal shelters (“Vaccine shortage leaves cats in limbo” The Times 7/11/23).
Frankston Council last reviewed its arrangements with its pound service provider in 2023. Acting council CEO Kim Jaensch said, “Frankston City Council is happy with our current contract arrangement with the Lost Dogs Home”.
“Council’s Domestic Animal Management Plan outlines the services, programs and policies which council has established to address and manage domestic animal issues in the community,” Jaensch said. “The plan shapes our strategy to address animal management within Frankston City for the next four years. It identifies how council currently addresses animal management and helps us develop ways to improve current practices and set new guidelines for future plans.”
To view the complete Animal Welfare Victoria statistics visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/livestock-and-animals/animal-welfare-victoria/domestic-animals-act/animal-fate-data-set