Domestic animal management plan 2013-2017 Moreland City Council


Orders of Council relating to declared dogs



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Orders of Council relating to declared dogs


Currently Moreland City Council has made no Orders relating to control of declared dogs.

REDUCING EUTHANASIA RATES

Definitions


Owned Cat Domestic cats that are characterised as well socialised with humans and are dependent on humans for food and nurturing.

Semi Owned Cat Originally domesticated cat that has reverted to the wild and are no longer owned or kept by someone. Semi-owned cats may continue to live in proximity to humans and may be accustomed to their presence.

Wild cat these are descendants of domesticated cats that have themselves never been domesticated. Generally wary of humans and will not allow themselves to be handled; these cats will scavenge for food.

Feral Cat No longer rely on human contact or support and have reverted to a predatory state. These animals are the greatest threat to native wildlife.


Overpopulation


There are an estimated 17,000 cats in Moreland of which only 5,049 are registered and owned. The problem with non registered cats is that, not being owned, they are not desexed and over population is the result. Overpopulation is simply a supply and demand problem with more pets being born than there are owners willing to properly care for them.

Unwanted and stray cats are more of a problem than dogs due to that fact that cats can have their first litter when they are as young as 6 months of age.

The “Who’s for Cats” program, which this Council supports, identified that people are feeding semi owned cats but not taking full ownership or responsibility for them.

People feed semi owned cats because they genuinely care about them, and feel sorry for them. However many people don’t realise that they are causing a bigger problem by feeding, but not owning (e.g. desexing and identifying) these cats.

Feeding semi owned cats helps keep them alive and strong enough to reproduce. They keep breeding more and more kittens into a life of disease and neglect. This contributes to the tragic cat overpopulation problem in Australia.

The “Who’s for Cats” program, supported by Council, has a simple message “you must either take ownership of a cat or call the Council”.


Animal Hoarding


Overpopulation can lead to animal hoarding where compassionate individuals attempt to care for excessive animal numbers and end up only contributing to the problem.

An animal hoarder may also have a mental illness which prevents them from realising the unintended consequences of their actions. All due care will be undertaken when dealing with matters of animal hoarding.


Desexing


One of the methods put forward to help reduce overpopulation of animals is to have the animal desexed. Sterilization targets the problem at its source by preventing unwanted animals from being born in the first place, and the procedure also benefits the health and longevity of animals.

Desexing pets is not new and the benefits are generally understood. It is recognised that one of the biggest problems with promoting desexing is the high cost to spay/ neuter the animal. Any incentive scheme which can reduce the financial pressure faced by residents has a better chance of being supported.

Council makes available desexing pet vouchers for pensioners and Healthcare card holders allowing residents to desex their pet for a reduced fee with the balance of the payment being funded by Council.

Pets that are desexed receive a substantial discount on the annual animal registration fee.

Currently 97.8% of the cats and 76.66% of the dogs registered with Moreland City Council are desexed.

Voluntary desexing together with community education programs, identification, microchipping, registration and healthcare, all of which have been proven successful in managing pet populations in the past.


Euthanasia


There are five groups of animals that are presented to an animal shelter.

1. Animals picked up or turned in for euthanasia. They are ill, injured, old, or the owner doesn't want or can't keep the animal and believes it wouldn't adapt to a new home. Since euthanasia is a condition of the transfer of ownership to the shelter there's no easy or direct route to reducing this group.

2. Feral and Wild animals. In most localities there will be few feral dogs but numbers of feral and wild cats may be significant. These animals rarely can be socialized as pets and many shelters euthanize them automatically.

These first two groups represent the proper working of our pound/shelter system, promoting public health and safety by keeping our streets free of unowned and unsupervised animals and providing the final kindness to those that would otherwise suffer needlessly.

3. Puppies/kittens that never obtained a home -- either born wild and picked up early enough to allow socialization, or born in a home but not placed. This group is the most likely to be adopted.

4. Adult pets, generally mostly young ones. These had a home but the home failed. Some are unadoptable by reason of health or temperament, some can be adopted.

5. Restricted Breed dogs or litter of Restricted Bred Dogs under State legislation cannot be re-housed and will be euthanised.

The adoption rate can vary with the amount of available families willing to rehouse these animals. Adoption rates can be raised by advertising and marketing of available animals.


Animal Rescue & Foster Care Networks


Recent changes to the Domestic Animals Act 1994 section 84 Y allows Council to form an agreement with these agencies and networks to increase the opportunity for unowned pets to find a new home.

Animal Rescue agencies offer their services for free and invest heavily to make it easy for potential adopters to find and save a rescued pet.

These agencies utilise active websites and embracing social media to give homeless pets a voice and make adoption the first choice for all.

Moreland based Community Animal Foster Care Network

Council will provide the necessary resources to develop a Moreland based Community Foster Care Network utilising the experiences of other rescue agencies.



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