Outline programs, services and strategies to address any over-population and high euthanasia rates for dogs and cats.
Due to the large cat population in Geelong many cats/kittens risk being euthanised due to trespassing and unidentified cats. Of the 3,227 impounded cats in 2011, 205 cats were claimed by their owner, 616 were rehoused and 2,406 were euthanased. Many of the euthanased cats were kittens.
In comparison dogs are more likely to be reunited with their owner. In 2011, of the 3,119 impounded dogs, 1,704 were claimed by their owner, 582 were rehoused and 833 dogs were euthanased. Not all dogs are suitable for rehoming due to temperament issues.
Because of the excess quantity of unclaimed animals Council’s Animal Pound reaches capacity due to overpopulation.
Council Policies and Procedures
Procedures associated with seizure and impounding of dogs and cats in the community
Enforcement strategy associated with issuing notices to comply, infringement notices and filing charges for prosecution regarding dogs and/or cats that are not desexed
State legislation is applicable in regards to:
Seizure of documents
Written agreements with animal shelters or community foster care networks to provide impounding or rehoming services
Attendance at VCAT to hear appeals of dog and/or cat owners
Our current Education/Promotion Activities
Promote the benefits of desexing – no surprise litters, fewer unwanted animals in the community, fewer animals euthanased, reduced aggression, reduced wandering
Distribute desexing, overpopulation and high euthanasia rate brochures, fact sheets and other material developed by the Council
Continue registration and microchipping programs to ensure pet cats and dogs can be returned to their owners (see ‘Registration and Identification’ section for activities), to reduce euthanasia rates
Provide information on how to find a lost pet on Council website, and other material distributed by Council
Our current Compliance Activities
Determine whether the municipality has an overpopulation of cats and/or dogs by analysing relevant statistics and other information
Investigate reports of unauthorised ‘backyard breeders’ to ascertain whether they should be registered as a domestic animal business
Provide loan cat cages (free of charge) to local residents for trapping trespassing cats
Review policies and procedures for impounded animals to investigate rehoming options
Review policies and procedures on temperament testing of dogs and cats admitted to the pound
Conduct patrols to pick up feral and stray cats and dogs to reduce breeding
Introduced a cat curfew to reduce incidence of breeding with unowned cats, to decrease the number of unwanted litters in the community
City of Greater Geelong actively promotes desexing and RPO within the community through education and media programs including pet selection advice. Council works closely with their pound provider to develop business practices with an increased focus on rehousing animals. Council has also entered into a number of agreements with other Animal Shelters and Animal Rescue Groups in order to increase the opportunities to find homes for unclaimed dogs and cats which has significantly lowered the euthanasia rate over the past 12 months. Opportunities remain to further investigate compulsory desexing and to continue with cat trap loan program to reduce the number of stray or unwanted cats.
Objective 2: Raise awareness about semi-owned cat population and reduce the number of feral cats in Geelong
Implement “Who’s for cats?” education campaign in local area including media promotions such as radio, local newspapers, ‘on hold’ phone messages and advertising campaigns
Promotions to encourage people to take full ownership of cats eg discount desex/microchip/vaccinate offers, free products
Measure number and type of education materials distributed
Record number of campaign queries received by council
Record number of semi owned cats handed into local pound / shelter
Community survey to measure knowledge about semi owned cat problem before and after campaign