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: stoptheclock.com.au
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.