A sigh of relief rang clear in the air yesterday morning, when staff at The Lost Dogs’ Home heard the news that the state government had abolished the mandatory euthanasia of animals in shelters and pounds after 28 days.
It has been 14 years since the Code of Practice for the Management of Dogs and Cats in Shelters and Pounds was drafted, and yesterday’s announcement signified the first revision to the Code in as many years.
“Under the old code, cats and dogs for sale in pounds or shelters could be held for a maximum of 28 days before they had to be put down or removed,” Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh said in a statement.
“After extensive consultation with animal welfare groups, we have revised the code to remove the time limit. Pound and animal shelters will now have as much time as they need to retrain and re-home animals.”
Managing Director of The Lost Dogs’ Home Dr Graeme Smith said he was delighted with the revision to the Code, as it means the Home will be able to put more animals through behaviour modification and foster programs.
“Many animals simply need more time to overcome health or behavioural issues and we now have the freedom to allow them that,” Dr Smith said.
“Three dogs in particular have been saved today. They can now continue in their behaviour modification program, and perhaps find a new family at the end of it.”
An increase in animals available for adoption is expected as a result of these new regulations, and Dr Smith is hoping adoption figures will rise up to meet the need.
“We will have more happy and healthy animals ready to go to new homes, however we need the support of the public to provide these homes,” Dr Smith said.
“I would urge anyone who is considering bringing a new pet into the house to look first at shelters. There is always a diverse variety of breeds, personalities, sizes and shapes available, and even more to come after these changes have been implemented.”
Dr Smith said other changes to the Code are greatly welcomed by the Home, including the new provision that allows certain dogs to be exercised off premises.
“We hope that by allowing the dogs to be walked off-site, we will be able to rehabilitate many back into the community – making them more accustomed to people, other dogs, etc.” he said.
The Lost Dogs’ Home was featured in The Age newspaper, to read the article, Click here.