The Tail End

Each year tens of thousands of pet cats and dogs are killed in Australia and a lot of the time they are  perfectly healthy.

The RSPCA alone euthanised more than 56,000 cats and dogs in the 2011-2012 financial year. In 2011, 52% of dogs and 65% of cats received by the RSPCA were euthanised rather than re-homed. You can view the latest RSPCA National Statistics here.

PetRescue, an online service which lists stray and abandoned animals for re-homing have come up with a ‘No Kill Equation’ which consists of eleven steps to ensure no animals are unnecessarily killed in shelters.

  1. Aggressive de-sexing programs targeting unowned cats and a commitment to keeping untamed cats out of pounds.
  2. Free and low cost de-sexing targeted specifically to animals who would otherwise not be de-sexed.
  3. Pounds and shelters releasing pets to rescue groups.
  4. Developing an internal foster care network (especially for unweaned kittens).
  5. Comprehensive adoption programs (including off-site, online and events).
  6. Assistance veterinary and training programs which help needy owners keep their pets.
  7. Medical and behavioural rehabilitation and a healthy shelter environment.
  8. Public relations and community outreach – building a positive relationship with the community (no more ‘public bashing’).
  9. Volunteer programs (to help keep the shelter population healthy, friendly and to help with training programs).
  10. Proactive redemptions (including putting lost pets on the internet and using volunteer ‘pet detectives’ to reunite pet and owner).
  11. And probably most important – a compassionate shelter Director who takes killing off the table as a tool for managing intakes.

SBS Insight recently aired a program to try to shed some light on why  Australia is euthanising so many dogs and cats. You can view it online here.

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