A WOODEND pet shelter that protects and finds new homes for abandoned domestic animals has been shut down.
Macedon Ranges Shire rangers entered the Pets Haven shelter on Monday afternoon, seizing documents and recording animal details.
Owner Trish Burke was informed that Pets Haven was no longer a registered animal shelter and animals could not leave the premises.
Ms Burke was devastated, she said, having poured her heart and soul into the centre for the past seven years.
This year she had saved 1400 cats and dogs from “death row” and adopted them into loving homes, she said.
Ms Burke admitted she was behind on paperwork having forgotten to unregistei microchips from euthanased animals but described the council’s treatment of her as barbaric.
“I’ve been audited 13 times alone this year,” she said.
“To be honest, the admin is my issue – I should have had the euthanased pets removed from the system, everybody falls a little bit behind and I just needed help sorting it out but what happened here was barbaric,” she said.
Macedon Ranges Shire assets and operations director Dale Thornton said the council’s issues stemmed from an audit last year.
“Council has been supportive and patient with the owner for a long time, over 18 months in fact, and following consultation with the DPI it was felt that it was in the best interests and welfare of the animals to issue the notice to comply,” he said.
Mr Thornton said rangers issued the compliance notice on Monday after finding the shelter overcrowded.
“(They’ve) got cages and space for 20 cats and they’ve got 62 cats in the space of 20,” he said.
“We’re really supportive of Pets Haven, they’re a good facility rehousing or caring for animals, but we cannot allow it to continue operating to this extent.
“We’d like them to reopen as soon as possible, especially before Christmas, which is traditionally the busiest time.”