what a good pound does...

We feel that at a time we are hoping one of the major parties might commit to changes in the Code of Practice to improve the lot of abandoned animals it is worth posting "What a good pound does".

A good pound...

  • Posts pictures of all the dogs and cats in the pound on their website, including surrenders. And does not selectively leave some off.
    This enables people who have lost their pet, perhaps in outlying areas, to see if the dog or cat is in the pound, and allows individuals and rescue groups to see what animals are available for rehoming.
  • They do not discriminate against particular breeds with no cause and with little background knowledge.
  • Uses a program to list their dogs and cats that shows clean and clear photos
    Not elongated unclear ones like one particular program that makes it appear the pound is populated by alien creatures
  • Does not kill a surrender when they enter the pound but gives them a chance to find a new home by listing them on the website, and giving them the same time as other dogs.
    Especially they do not kill them on Friday to save time and effort on the weekend and because they will fit in the van to the vet.
  • Cleans the pound with a parvocide rather than an inadequate bleach.
    Or at least uses F10 after there has been a case of parvo if the Council feels it is too expensive overall
  • Does not kill a puppy with diarrhoea as this does not necessarily mean they have parvo, but tests for parvo either at the vet or with a kit which can be quite cheaply obtained.
    The diarrhoea is most likely from the awful food they are being fed or from stress.
  • Vaccinates all incoming dogs.
    And complains to the DEPI about the ridiculousness of the fact that a live C3 virus can be administered by a ranger in NSW but not in Victoria, but there is nothing to stop parvo vaccinations being administered. Too many times local people are devastated when they take home a puppy that subsequently dies of parvo, or they are expecting the cfc network to take an extra risk because they will do not this simple action.
  • Does not watch puppies and kittens starve because they are unable to digest the kibble left in their pens.
    Nearly all rescue groups have seen immature animals starving with inedible food in front of them.
  • Does not use dirt instead of kitty litter.
    Just because it is cheaper.
  • Does not classify every incoming cat as feral.
    It is worth a survey of how some pounds only ever receive feral cats.
  • Does not pass on the cute undesexed dogs to puppy farmers, friends or other members of the community without appropriate vetwork.
    Why would you compound a problem by doing this and of course breaching the Code.
  • Welcomes volunteers into the pound because they are running an efficient, clean pound and are keen to rehome.
    They are not ashamed because their pound is a disgrace and the ‘public would not like it’ When they use volunteers they do not threaten them with having their right to come into the pound revoked because they complain about unsuitable practices, or unnecessary cruelty or killing. Further they understand the volunteers are not just there to save the council money by cleaning for them, but to make the animals stay more comfortable and to pass on information to enable rehoming.
  • Encourages people who drop their puppies at the pound to have the parents of their dogs desexed and are proactive in promoting rehoming.
    Many areas have desexing programs available. Ask your local council or community foster care network. If someone wants to surrender their dog suggest they contact a group working in their area.
  • Appreciates and respects community fostercare networks and does not treat them as if they are doing them a favour by releasing dogs to them.
    Does not play power games by such things as putting two dogs going to one group in a pen and telling them they are fighting, and there are no spare pens, and to choose which one they will kill. With a limited number of rescue groups and cfc network, they will work with those who are keenest to have low-kill rates and rehoming at their pound and treat them fairly, as those groups should also treat the local laws officers.
  • Understands the needs of a cfc network to quarantine the dogs, provides adequate photos and information, and when they have committed to the cfc network, they do not suddenly advise them the dogs are ‘gone’.
  • Is aware that rescue groups are mainly volunteers performing a community service and are fully stretched, and will deal with them accordingly.
  • Commits to animal welfare and rehoming as the best option and recognises that no dog or cat should be killed unnecessarily, if there is an option to save them.
  • Exceeds the Code of Practice for Shelters and pounds
    As this is so minimalistic it is not difficult.
  • Kills only using a vet and with sedation beforehand
    Shooting is listed as inhumane by the Humane Society of the United States. Gassing, hitting on the head, leaving to starve, drowning in 44 gallon drums, kicking to death, and otherwise brutalising are even more unacceptable. This should also mean that no surrenders are killed straight after collection by being shot even before they have reached the pound as is currently the practice in some pounds.
    Or covering video cameras so no one sees what is happening at the pound when these methods are used Or taking friendly little kittens and their mothers to the back of a pound and shooting them as a ‘training exercise’.
  • Dogs and cats with injuries are not left to suffer without vet intervention in the pound.
    Dogs with broken legs, fractured pelvises, skull injuries; dogs with dead puppies in their uterus, severely malnourished dogs, unweaned puppies left to suffer until their eight days are up. Does not tell the group wanting vet intervention if they are saying the animal is suffering that much it would be humane to kill the animal straight away.
  • A good pound is a pound large enough to cater to the needs of the animals being left there, to quarantine animals, and large enough that dogs can be given extra time or rescue.
    If a local laws officer is killing, particularly on a Friday, because the pound is full, that pound is too small. Throughout Victoria dogs and cats are culled the day before public holidays, or before a DEPI audit so there is no comment back to the council that a bigger pound is required. If a pound cannot hold all dogs that come into their care for longer than the 8 days if necessary without the intervention of cfc networks that pound is too small.

Welcome to rural pounds of Victoria. The Government may have low expectations but the community do not share this view.

If your pound does not act appropriately please write to the Leaders of the Parties, the Minister and Opposition Minister for DEPI, and your own politician. All names and addresses are easily obtained online.

If you do not speak they will not hear.