Some pounds today unnecessarily kill every second dog, and 85-95% of cats.
Out-of-date policies that disregard current research are the single major contributor towards these high kill rates.
Clearly, there is much to be done- WE NEED YOUR HELP. By making a donation today, you can help us save thousands of lives.
Improvements vary from state to state, pound to pound, and shelter to shelter.
For example, NSW kills double the number of dogs per resident as Victoria does, with some welfare agencies enthanasing more than double their counterparts in other states.
9 steps to Zero
1: Transparency of performance
Did you know in Australia, most pounds and shelters do not share their data on euthanasia rates?
Only RSPCA, Lost Dogs Home, Animal Welfare League QLD and most Victorian pounds are transparent. Nowhere else can you find out how your local pound or shelter is performing.
Lobby for transparency. It saves lives by engaging the community to help. Read more
2: Pets are welcome
Did you know that each year, in Australia 20,000 cats and dogs are euthanased simply because their owners’ rental agreement say they aren’t welcome? Many Australians have no choice but to surrender their beloved pet to a shelter because of “no-pets” clauses in rental agreements.
Lobby for rental agreements that allow pets – they save lives, both pets and people’s lives. Owning a pet improves your health. Read more
Did you know that half the cat admissions to shelters are kittens, and one quarter of the dogs are puppies?
Desex your family pet before puberty – 4 months in cats, and 5-6 months in dogs. Desexing before puberty stops unwanted litters. It is also improves your dog and cat’s overall health and behaviour. Read more
4: Confine pets to property
Confine your pet to your property to avoid car accidents, fight injuries and impoundment by animal control officers. Bailing your pet out of the council pound can be expensive! Read more
The fastest way for any lost pet to be returned to their owner is through an ID tag. Ensure your pet wears a tag with your best contact details. This way, neighbours can return your lost pet. Even indoor-only pets need identification, as surprisingly many escape and get lost.
Ensure your contact details are correct on your pet’s microchip in case their collar is removed. Without your correct contact details, the chances of you and your pet being reunited are much reduced! Read more
6: Best Practices in Communities, Shelters and Pounds
Did you know that whether a pet is found a new home doesn’t depend on its age, breed or health as much as which shelter or pound it went to? I bet you don’t believe us.
Euthanasia rates vary significantly between some pounds and shelters. Some follow best practice, and have achieved zero euthanasia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats. Others kill every second dog and 85-95% of cats. Read more
Make sure your pet is desexed, identified and confined to your property –this saves lives.
7: Eliminating puppy farms
Sadly, puppy farms are still producing puppies and selling them on-line and through some pet stores.
Puppy farms are intensive breeding facilities and many puppies have sociability and health problems. Many take much longer than normal to house train. This can be a very large strain on their new owners and, sadly, some end up in shelters due to poor behaviour.
Don’t buy on-line or from a pet shop – unless it only has rescue pets. Make your next pet a rescue pet. If you are going to buy from a breeder, make sure you check out the premises, and meet the mother of the puppies. Read more
8: Good Pet Behaviour
Thankfully bad behaviour is a less common reason for relinquishment with just 7% of cat owners and 14% of dog owners stating behaviour was the reason they surrendered their pet.
However, at Australian Pet Welfare Foundation, we don’t JUST want to stop pets being admitted to shelters and pounds. We want owners and pets to thrive. Poor behaviour can be stressful for many pet owners.
Seek help early if your pet has a behaviour problem. Resolving behaviour problems quickly decreases the number of pets surrendered to pounds, and increases the life enjoyment of many more! Read more
9: Community Cats
Community Cats programs that desex and return cats home, save many lives – cats, wildlife, people and dogs.
They are the most humane and effective method known for managing urban stray cats. Stray cats are caught, desexed, vaccinated and then returned to their outdoor homes. Caretakers provide food and shelter and monitor the cats. These programs are also known as Trap-Neuter-Return or TRN.
Lobby your state government to change legislation to make them legal in Australia. Read more
Are you interested in improving the lives of pets in Australia?
We are too! If you would like any further information or to donate your time as a Volunteer, please follow the link and join us with one of our many campaigns. Unfortunately, there is much to do to ensure all pets in Australia lead the life they deserve, but many hands make light work!