MAcedon Ranges Weeekly; BY ANGELA VALENTE; 19 Apr, 2011
HEALTHY, adoptable dogs and cats will no longer be euthanased even after they spend 28 days in a Macedon Ranges shelter or pound.
The state government is proposing changes to the Victorian code of practice, under which dogs and cats are euthanased or permanently removed from shelters and pounds after 28 days.
Victoria is the only state in Australia that imposes an arbitrary limit on how long shelters can offer animals for adoption.
Macedon Ranges Council has welcomed the proposed legislative changes.
Its director assets and operations Dale Thornton said that under the current code of practice, owners had eight days to reclaim their pets.
If unclaimed then shelters had 28 days to find the animals a new home.
“The proposed changes will provide greater options for rehousing of animals and at the same time protect the welfare of the animals housed in shelters and pounds across the state.”
Woodend’s Pets Haven, a pro-life animal shelter, has been campaigning for a change in the law.
Shelter owner Trish Burke said that for 14 years, healthy Victorian animals had died in pounds and shelters unnecessarily.
“We’ve had enough, healthy animals shouldn’t be dying. I don’t rescue animals because of a timeline, not for 28 days.”
Katrina Beard, a spokeswoman for Heading for Home, a Macedon Ranges animal rescue group which adopts out animals that have done their time in pounds and shelters, said the legislation was a good start, but more support was needed for foster carers.
“It’s a great start, but in order to save lives, we need to go beyond the 28 days and find out what else we can do to keep them alive and get them out to a good home.”
Residents have until April 29 to comment on the new code of practice.