Greensborough cat society calls for death row rethink

Diamond  Valley Leader by Raelene Morey; 11 Nov 2010

THOUSANDS of cats are killed in Greensborough each year because of a state law that places a time limit on their lives.

Under the Victorian code of practice for the management of dogs and cats in shelters and pounds, the maximum time any animal can be held at a shelter is four weeks.

After 28 days the animal must be euthanased or “permanently removed” from the shelter.

Cat Protection Society executive director Carole Webb said Victoria was the only state to impose such a time limit.

Dr Webb, also a member of the RSPCA’s state council, has backed a campaign to scrap the rule.

“Socialised cats generally adapt far more readily to confinement than dogs and their temperament improves rather than deteriorates with time if appropriate handling, enrichment and housing is provided,” Dr Webb said.

“Twenty-eight days is not the defining time to make a decision on this and we therefore support change.”

The Stop the Clock campaign is supported by RSPCA Victoria, Animal Aid, Pets Haven and the Lost Dogs Home.

Dr Webb told the DV Leader in February that 11,000 of the 15,000 cats brought to the society’s Elder St site each year were killed, with up to 90 cats euthanased each day during the peak kitten season.

The society declined to comment on reports that its euthanasia rate had jumped to 90 per cent in the past year.

The RSPCA’s annual report showed it euthanased 56 per cent of the 16,111 cats and kittens admitted to its shelters in 2009-10. About 30 per cent were adopted and the rest were reclaimed.

State Agriculture Minister Joe Helper said a re-elected Labor Government would extend the maximum holding period for shelters.

Coalition agriculture spokesman Peter Walsh said a Coalition Government would review the code of practice.

More details:

A tale of good fortune

ROGER, the cat, has a heart-warming tale.

The stray came to Greensborough’s Cat Protection Society earlier this year badly injured and with little hope of finding a home.

But while he lost his mysteriously mangled tail by amputation, he gained a loving family.

Lorelle Hyland, her husband, David, and their one-year-old daughter, Aemi, adopted Roger in September.

Mrs Hyland said Roger spent much of his time chasing Aemi around the house and sleeping at the foot of her bed.

“It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t have a tail, it just makes him quite unique,” Mrs Hyland said.
“He doesn’t seem to miss it, that’s for sure.”

Cat Protection Society spokeswoman Amanda Goode said it was difficult to find a home for cats that had been disfigured.

But Mrs Hyland said she and her family instantly fell for Roger.

“We thought he had had a pretty tough time and that we might be able to give him a better life,” she said.

Mrs Hyland said Roger’s tragedy had not affected his new life and that he had become part of the family.

“He’s not a scared cat.

“He just made himself home from the moment he moved in here,” she said.

Mrs Hyland encouraged others who were thinking of getting a cat to adopt one rather than buy it from a pet shop.

“I don’t see the point of paying $200 for a kitten from the pet shop where you can get a de-sexed cat for $90,” she said.

Cat Crisis Coalition spokesman Allen Craig said 53,000 unwanted cats are taken in by cat shelters each year in Victoria.

He said, of those, 35,000 were destroyed.

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Filed under Victoria

2 responses to “Greensborough cat society calls for death row rethink

  1. companionanimalnews

    Some readers’comments:

    “The ’28 Day Rule’ needs to be abolished Joe Helper. An extension of the maximum holding period is not good enough. We need animal welfare not animal disposal.” Sandra

    “Stoptheclock means that we want the time period for all animals at shelters/pounds abolished. Neither government is doing enough by extending or reviewing the current policy. Our animals can’t vote, but we can. We need a government strong enough to implement these changes. We need Oscars Law and Stoptheclock to come into practice so we can at least try to save these poor animals who end up in shelters/pounds through no fault of their own. They deserve the right to a happy life.” Angela

    “It’s so sad that so many animals are destroyed every year because people don’t desex their pets and because things such as puppy farms still exist 😦 Why should there be anyone selling pets when so many are getting put down. A group of us have been contacting the government parties for months, but they don’t want a bar of it. They are sticking their head in the sand. This law needs to be changed. It’s only in Victoria. What does that say? Also seems Victoria is the highest state for violence. About time the government made some changes. Stop the Clock and Oscars Law need to be introduced NOW! Thanks for the article. Great to get some awareness happening.” Emily

    “I’m pleased that Cat Protection Vic supports the Stop The Clock campaign and agree the “maximum holding period” is ludicrous. It’s worth noting the campaign was started by members of the public and not by any of the large animal welfare groups who now ostensibly support it. Perhaps if they were as concerned about it as they claim to be now they should have spoken out earlier, particularly as the Lost Dogs Home, Cat Protection and RSPCA Vic have had the ear of the Vic Govt for decades when it comes to companion animal legislation. It’s also far too easy for organisations like Cat Protection Vic to point the finger at legislation as the cause of their euthanasia rates. I note that Cat Protection has 15 cats for adoption on their website – an absurdly low number given they take in 15,000 annually and kill 90% of them. Similarly the Lost Dogs Home takes in 12,000 cats a year and also kills 90%, yet they have only 22 cats for adoption on their website today. Both groups are well funded by donations from the public – it would be terrific to see them making more of an effort to rehome the cats that come into their care rather than pointing the finger and blaming everyone else.” Oscar

  2. Pingback: Inner West LIVE

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