Second chance for pets

Moonee Valley Leader 18th April 2011

THOUSANDS of cats and dogs at North Melbourne’s Lost Dogs’ Home could be saved if the State Government abolishes the 28-day limit shelters and pounds have to house abandoned animals.

Under the current Victorian Domestic Animals Act, animal shelters have to kill cats and dogs that haven’t found a home within 28 days.

Click on this link to make a submission:

But with the Coalition Government agreeing in principle to abolish the rule, North Melbourne Lost Dogs Home managing director Graeme Smith said animals would finally have more time.

“We will now be able to do more for dogs with behavioural issues and we will be able to give these dogs more time to be retrained,” Dr Smith said.

“I am excited by the opportunity for vigorous discussion, both on an industry-based and public level.”

The North Melbourne Lost Dogs’ Home put down more than 7000 dogs and cats last year. The Leader understands this figure climbs to about 13,000 when combined with figures from the LDH Cranbourne facility.

Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh said the time limit was removed as part of proposed revisions to Victoria’s Code of Practice for the Management of Dogs and Cats in Shelters and Pounds.

“We made these changes in consultation with key groups including the Lost Dogs Home, the RSPCA, Animal Aid, the Cat Protection Society, Animal Welfare Science Centre and a number of local councils,” Mr Walsh said.

Other proposed changes include a health management plan for each animal, one staff member for every 40 animals, fostering of animals and frequent inspections for puppies and kittens.

Animal lovers can make submissions in writing to the Department of Primary Industries by April 29.

Original story here – see comments

1 Comment

Filed under Victoria

One response to “Second chance for pets

  1. companionanimalnews

    Here are some readers comments: ( is the proposed code a “sheep in wolfes clothing??)

    Via Saving Lives ~ “The removal of the 28 day rule is welcome but will have negligible impact as the high-kill shelters kill soon after the mandatory 8 day period (or on next available day for surrendered animals). In fact the net result of the removal of the 28 day rule and the impact of this draft CoP will mean a massive increase in the numbers of healthy, rehomable animals killed in Victoria.”

    Trisha Taylor writes:
    I am very bewildered by Graeme Smith’s comments considering that Miles Heffernan from the LDH was quoted as saying LDH had only euth one dog because of the 28 day rule. Is this because most do not make it to the adoption pens and are killed on the 9th day, and surrenders on the same day? Abolishing the 28 day rule is only a help to those who genuinely want to save dogs. There is still nothing to stop others from killing them at any time.

    Credit where credit is due – Lost Dogs Home did very little to abolish this rule. The campaign set up by Mike Bailey abolished this rule (

    When LDH start re-homing more animals then they kill & improving their efforts with animals they deem ‘unadoptable’, then they deserve to have positive media coverage.

    It is the ‘unadoptable’ animals in pounds & shelters that are the forgotten ones who become statistics in annual reports.

    When mega-pounds like LDH start spending their millions on behaviourists, extended adoption hours, seeking more foster carers & more volunteers, then & only then would they deserve credit that should be going to people who would rather save an animal at any cost than kill them because it’s all a bit too hard. Management at these places is killing our animals.

    Janine Charity
    I have been reading these comments for a while now and have been a supporter of animal welfare for a long time…. I have direct debits with a few animal shelters with the most recent being the LDH thinking my money was helping save the life or at least making the life of an animal more worthwhile…. I feel sick now thinking that my donation is going toward putting an animal down…. should I stop my donation????

    F Rassool

    This new bill will be hell for foster carers – making it impossible for their contributions to be used to the full extent. Why put a three month rule on dogs being in foster care? Why allow dogs to be euthanised by SHOTGUN!? Until the LDH takes a leaf out of the other highly successful No-Kill Shelters (think Battersea, even Sydney), and lifts its game, I won’t think it anything else but disgusting. There is no excuse for having such a high kill rate (am I right in saying that the high 60% or so ‘claimed’ save rate includes dogs that are returned to their owners? – I suspect the actual figure of dogs rehomed would be to appalling for words). LDH have such power in their hands, they could do such good – I implore LDH to reconsider the way they are run and to do the right thing. It must be hell for employees there to know that they are contributing to this.

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