Animal Shelters Slam Death Row Rule

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4th November 2010, 09:30am - Views: 1850

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Embargo: 12:01am (AEST) Fri Nov 5, 2010

Animal Shelters Slam Death Row Rule

Victoria's animal shelters are calling for an end to a rule requiring them to kill cats and dogs

that haven't found a home within 28 days.

Victoria is the only Australian state or territory to impose an arbitrary limit on how long

shelters can offer animals for adoption.

"Shelters should not be forced to kill pets they are trying to rehome.

"Modern shelter practices include exercise and mental stimulation while animals wait for

their second chance," founder Mike Bailey said.

Victoria's Domestic Animals Act 1994 empowers the Minister, Joe Helper, to make Codes of

Practice any kind of domestic animal business.

The Code of Practice for the Management of Dogs and Cats in Shelters and Pounds

specifies that "The maximum time any animal selected for sale can be held at a shelter is

four weeks".

The Codes for boarding facilities and breeding facilities do not limit the time animals can be


A new online campaign,, calling for this restriction to be

abolished has been endorsed by Melbourne's animal shelters and contains statements from:


Animal Aid


Cat Protection Society of Victoria


Lost Dogs Home


Pets Haven


RSPCA Victoria

The campaign’s Facebook group had over 2500 individuals join in it's first week.

Nell Thompson, general manager at Animal Aid, is one of many who supports the move

"Simply putting an end to life at the end of a statutory holding period does nothing to improve

the outcomes for shelter animals in the wider community.”

"It can force shelters and rescue services into having to play an adversarial role with the

community and their supporter base, not to mention the emotional implications for the staff

and volunteers," Ms Thompson said.

Media enquiries: Mike Bailey, Campaign Organiser, 0415 625 915

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