A wintry end for once loved puppies
From East Gippsland Shire Council
The winter weather has arrived and with it young dogs and cats are being dumped by people ill-prepared to care properly for pets.T
East Gippsland Shire Council’s Community Laws Coordinator Bill Petersen this week called on residents to think carefully before buying a pet, as he reported an increase in dumped animals this month.
“It’s the same story every year at this time,” he said, “puppies turn into dogs, kids lose interest, and Community Laws Officers are left picking up unwanted pets from the streets,” Mr Petersen said.
“Everyone thinks just after Christmas is the peak pet dumping period but the truth is that winter is the most common time for dogs to be dumped.
“Bored dogs ripping up backyards, howling in the cold and wet and walking muddy paw prints through the house often lead to a wintry end for once loved puppies.
Mr Petersen said bringing a new pet into a family home is a major responsibility which requires a long-term commitment from all members of the family.
“Every week we pick up stray dogs that end up in council’s pound. In May and June, the pound saw 75 cats and 86 dogs pass through its doors.
“We hold on to stray animals for eight days waiting for their owners to claim them. Fifty per cent of dogs are reclaimed by their owners during this period. Animals that are not reclaimed are either adopted to new homes (following a favourable behaviour assessment) or put to sleep.
“Animals can make a fantastic life friend for children and can teach them a great deal about personal responsibility – but giving a pet on the spur of the moment is generally a bad idea,” he said.
“Young children can’t be expected to take sole responsibility for pets. Parents need to expect to take most of the responsibility for family animals.”
Mr Petersen said it was important for potential pet owners to carefully consider the type of animal, and the breed, that suits their lifestyle.
“If you have a small backyard and limited time to walk your dog, a dog with high energy obviously isn’t the right choice for you,” Mr Petersen said.
People considering adopting or buying a pet can contact council for a fact sheet on choosing the right pet, or visit the Responsible Pet Ownership website at agriculture.vic.gov.au/pets.
Council’s pound operator, Animal Aid, offers an adoption service. To see the pets available, visit animalaid.org.au.