There are two variations to the idea of a virtual pound. One is to re-unite lost pets with their owners and the other is to enable the first steps towards pet adoption via the Internet.
Uniting lost pets with their owners
The Lost Dogs Home currently provides a list of found animals and this is accessible to Moreland residents via a link on Council’s website. We do believe that the current system can be improved by the introduction of a quicker process utilising the services of Council’s Animal Management Officers. This would involve collected animals being photographed and uploaded to Council’s website with details of where the animal was found etc.
The experience of adopting a pet from an online virtual shelter is profoundly different from that of adopting a pet at an actual shelter. These are the key features:
The online shelters
take advantage of the computer medium to “advertise” or “sell” their pets to potential adopters.
potentially do a better job of matching pets with adoptive families, because more information about the dog’s behaviour and personality is given.
sites have online assessments to match the breed of pet to the potential owner.
Because internet access is not universally available, and access tends to differ depending on socio-economic status (among other factors), the increasing use of online virtual shelters to find adoptive homes for dogs means that the availability of dogs for poorer families is shifting.
The introduction of an improved virtual pound as described above is dependent on the re-development of Moreland Council’s website to allow for an increased level of interactivity. This is scheduled to take place in the next 12 months.
The current Council website is unable to provide the functionality required to managing a virtual pound and additional resources may also be required to support its introduction. In the meantime Council provides a link on the current website to the Lost Dogs Home online pound.
Our much loved short hair Pomeranian cross went missing today sometime on Sunday afternoon. She is much loved by her family who are keen to see her back. She answers by the name of Kisha but don't be surprised if she does not come when called for as she is quite weary of strangers. Please phone 0414645325 even if you suspect you have seen her.
Moreland City Council is committed to preventing family violence and violence against women and men. Sometimes the decision not to leave a violent home situation can be the care and welfare of domestic animals.
In support of the White Ribbon Program Council will provide one week free housing for any domestic animal within the municipality when the need for urgent relocation is required to remove an individual from a violent environment.
Application for assistance can be obtained through the appropriate support agency who will notify Council.
Trap Neuter Release
Trap-neuter-return (TNR), also known as trap-test-vaccinate-alter-release (TTVAR), is a method of humanely trapping unaltered feral cats, spaying or neutering them, and releasing them back to the same location where they were collected.
Council at its 12 September 2012 Meeting resolved to write to the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security about the high levels of cat euthanasia and requesting the State Government to research alternatives such as a Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) program.
Following a review of the applicable legislation which includes the Domestic Animals Act 1994 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986, a TNR program could not be implemented as is would place Council in a position of non-compliance with these laws.
Council then requested permission to run a trial TNR program in Moreland, over a two year period, and with the appropriate accompanying research to monitor and report all outcomes.
The Minister in his response to Council’s request wrote:
“The Government does not consider TNR programs to be in the best interests of animal welfare. Unowned cats suffer from hunger, disease and injuries if released back into the community after trapping and desexing. A further consideration is the stress caused to cats unused to human contact by the capture and surgical processes. For those cats unable to be rehoused, euthanasia in shelters is a more humane option than leaving them on the streets to fend for themselves.
The Government is not prepared to approve your request to undertake a trial TNR scheme in your Council.”
Council at its 12 June 2013 Meeting resolved to discontinue advocacy of the TNR trial.
Moreland City Council’s Urban Safety Branch was formed in August 2009 and combined the majority of Council’s regulatory business units under the control of the Manager Urban Safety. This provides the opportunity to deliver a co-ordinated and integrated compliance service and significantly enhanced Council's management of risk in key statutory responsibility areas.
The Animal Management Unit is one of the four business units reporting to the Unit Manager Local Laws and Civic Compliance who in turn reports directly to the Manager.
Animal Management services are provided from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and includes a seven days a week after hours call service. This after hours service provides for the collection of contained and injured stray animals and attendance to dog attacks.
All stray animals are taken to Council’s Pound the Lost Dogs Home, Gracie Street North Melbourne.
Requests for service are recorded on Councils Customer Service Request system, where they are allocated to the appropriate officer for attention. After hours requests for animal management are recorded via Council’s after hour’s service provider and then relayed through to the on-call Animal Management Officer. Customer Service Requests from after- hours calls are created the following business day to finalise details of actions taken.