News and Media

Statement on animal shelters – Stage 4 Restrictions

August 7, 2020

UPDATE ON 9 AUGUST 2020: We are overjoyed at the fantastic news that the State Government has updated restrictions to allow for the collection of a new pet and are pleased and relieved to be able to re-open adoptions. This is in line with our strict COVID-19 Safe Plan, which includes our ‘adoptions by appointment only’ process.

We would like to thank everyone who showed such amazing support, from commenting and sharing to raising petitions! You all played a part in raising the importance of this issue and helping achieve a quick resolution. It demonstrates how we all, as Victorians, feel about our family pet members, and the animals in our care love you for it!

FAQ on picking up a pet can be found here: https://bit.ly/3ijAcLV

Details on how we are operating under COVID-19 restrictions can be found here: https://bit.ly/3kr4luB


UPDATE ON 7 AUGUST 2020: Since going public we have subsequently received confirmation that public access to reclaim lost pets from our facility will be allowed. We are absolutely delighted to hear this news.

However, we remain concerned that the State Government’s decision on public access still means we are unable to adopt our animals into loving forever homes and are hopeful of receiving similar further confirmation.

As an open-intake shelter, more than 17,500 animals arrive on our doorstep each year in desperate need of shelter and care and most importantly, finding new homes.

We are URGING the State Government to reverse the no public access decision and therefore allow adoptions, under our already strict COVID-19 compliant procedures.


7 AUGUST 2020: The Lost Dogs’ Home is in disbelief at the State Government’s decision to ban public access to animal shelters in Victoria.

This decision demonstrates complete misunderstanding of the depth of community service shelters and pounds provide. If not reversed, it is potentially catastrophic, irresponsible and nothing short of disastrous.

As an open shelter, the Lost Dogs’ Home last year saw more than 17,500 animals arrive on our doorstep.  Animals in desperate need of being reunited with their owners or re-homing and care.

The effect of no public access means worried pet owners will not be able to reclaim/pick up their lost dogs or cats for 6 weeks. No one can reclaim/ pick up their lost dog or cat and no one can hand over an animal for any reason.

Aggressive dogs are a serious public safety issue, with the Government’s proposed restrictions, these animals could potentially be roaming our communities, presenting a public health risk to the community and other pets.

We cannot operate adoptions under these new restrictions either which means animals are left languishing in kennels instead of loving homes.

Animals are a huge and vital part of Victorian families, the decision to ban adoptions and reclaims is heartless and unacceptable.

Based on our current capacity and forecasting incoming animal numbers from councils, we will be full within the next 10 to 14 days. Where will all the animals go?

This will result in significant negative animal welfare outcomes as well as unnecessary stress and hardship, in an environment where mental health is of vital importance, caused to the owners who cannot pick their animals up and take them home.

We call on the State Government to immediately reverse this decision.

For further information or to organise interviews please contact:

Suzana Talevski

T: 03 9321 8719
M: 0436 836 836
E: Suzana.talevski@dogshome.com