Animal advocates protested last week against the number of pets being killed at Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Community Animal Shelter.
Animal advocates protested last week against the number of pets being killed at Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Community Animal Shelter. The shelter has been criticised for its high-kill rates and for limiting the public's access to adoptable animals. According to the local media, many of the protesters were animal rescuers.
Rally organiser Rosy Fischer, a former volunteer at the pound, said she spoke out “after witnessing an apparent lack of interest from shelter management in facilitating adoption of unclaimed animals and high kill rates of impounded cats”.
“The rally was to highlight the fact that very few animals are listed for adoption, the shelter is closed to the public and potential adopters have to go through a long-winded adoption process,” she said.
“These practices make it difficult for animals to be reclaimed or rehomed from the facility and can lead to higher rates of euthanasia.”
The main aim of the rally was to achieve a no-kill shelter, Ms Fischer said.
“I have seen healthy, rehomable cats taken away to be killed to make room for other cats coming in,” she said. “In their statistics the shelter says only feral or very sick cats are euthanised, which is false.”
Ms Fischer was banned from the pound for trying to raise her concerns with council. The shire’s environment protection manager David Dobroszczyk confirmed the pound was not offering full adoption service, only opening the facility to the public by appointment;
“Visitors come by appointment only because of occupational health and safety, quarantine and infection control [rules].”
But that this didn't risk the lives of pets because of the shire's;
“great relationships with our veterinary partnerships, our rescue groups’ support spread across Victoria, and our direct adoptions on PetRescue”.
As of today, the pound has one dog and two cats listed on PetRescue.
It's not the first time that Mornington's publicity hasn't matched its behaviour. In March of this year, Council was celebrating themselves for launching their 'PURRfect Match' cat adoption campaign.
According to their media announcement:
PURRfect Match is designed to find new homes for the many cats (around 700) that find their way into our animal shelter each year...
And that the cats they had for adoption, could be found on PetRescue.
According to their own figures, they would need to find homes for about 60 cats per month.
Meanwhile, the council had listed just 28 cats total, on PetRescue in the three months of their campaign.
Mornington pound likes to talk the talk. And talk is nice... except if you happen to be a cat who needs your photo taken, and the pound phone answered so you can find a home. While actually opening the facility for adoptions should be a no-brainer for a pound claiming to be running a first-class adoption effort.
Council need to take a good hard look at whether an announcement and some self-congratulation is really enough effort - or whether saving cats should have been a priority also.
All adoptable cats listed. All adopters welcomed.