Domestic Animal Management Plan City of Greater Geelong draft 2013 2017 table of contents


OVERPOPULATION AND HIGH EUTHANASIA



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OVERPOPULATION AND HIGH EUTHANASIA

Outline programs, services and strategies to address any over-population and high euthanasia rates for dogs and cats.



Current Situation


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

  • Determine whether euthanasia rates of cats and dogs are acceptable or unacceptable to Council and the community

  • Investigate reports of animal hoarding

  • 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



Summary


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.

Our Plans


  • Reduce the number of registered dogs and cats that are currently entire (and not part of a Domestic Animal Breeding Business)

  • Raise the awareness of semi-owned cats in the area and reduce the number of feral cats

  • Increase reclaiming and rehoming rates of dogs and cats impounded in the pound


Objective 1: Reduce the number of registered dogs and cats that are currently entire and not part of a Domestic Animal Breeding Business (DABs) each year.


Activity

When

Evaluation

Introduce a compulsory desexing order for cats and dogs to reduce multiple births, oversupply of dogs and cats

Campaign will be phased in over the life of this plan (conditions apply e.g. Domestic Animal Breeding Business or medical reason)

All cats and dogs released from the pound are to be desexed, registered and microchip

All newly registered cats/dogs are to be desexed

All existing registered cats to be desexed

All existing registered dogs to be desexed



Ongoing

Order adopted by Council and implemented



Conduct feasibility study to investigate a subsidised desexing scheme for pets in partnerships with local vet clinics, and or other organisations such as the National Desexing Network

Year 1

Feasibility study conducted

Outcomes implemented



Investigate partnership with local vet clinics and other organisations such as National Desexing Network to establish a discount desexing month of pets with local vet clinics


Year 1

Partnerships established

Discount desexing month campaign developed

Number of animals desexed as part of the scheme



Objective 2: Raise awareness about semi-owned cat population and reduce the number of feral cats in Geelong


Activity

When

Evaluation

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


Annually

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

Number of media stories published

Measure uptake on any promotions to encourage people to take ownership of cats


Identify any cat colonies in Geelong, try to identify ‘feeder’ and
co-ordinate a trapping program

Ongoing

Number of cats trapped in public places

Review current cat trapping procedure ensuring clear guidelines available for Officer’s and residents

Year 3

Procedure reviewed and implemented

Implement cat trapping programs in conjunction with Parks Victoria and other relevant entities

Year 3

Cat trapping program implemented

Number of homeless cats reduced




Objective 3: Increase reclaims and rehoming rates of impounded dogs and cats from Council’s pound provider


Activity

When

Evaluation

Promote Online adoption program of dogs and cats in animal shelters – provide links on Council website to shelters to promote adoption of unclaimed animals to prospective new owners

Year 4

Links established on Council’s website

Increase the opening hours of the pound to increase reclaim and rehousing rates

Year 1

Pound opening hours reviewed in consultation with the pound operator

Reclaiming and rehousing rates increased



Work in partnership with Council’s pound provider to promote the benefits of adopting animals from the pound

Year 1

Benefits promoted

Rehousing rates increased








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