Stop The Clock » media Abolish the 28 Day Rule for Victorian Shelters Thu, 30 Jun 2011 03:03:46 +0000 en hourly 1 Animal Aid Speaks Out Thu, 18 Nov 2010 06:23:50 +0000 Mike Bailey

Animal ‘death sentence’ law decried


UNWANTED dogs and cats at shelters often face an unnecessary death sentence under an archaic Victorian law that Coldstream’s Animal Aid and other shelters have called to be abolished.Victoria is the only Australian state or territory to impose an arbitrary limit on how long animals at shelters can be offered for adoption – a 28-day deadline where animals are often euthanased.

Animal Aid, which is contracted for pound services with Yarra Ranges Council, has joined more than six other state-wide agencies in an online campaign to ban the 28-day adoption deadline.

The shelters want the government to abolish the “28-day rule” and enforce the same codes of practice used by pet shops, boarding or breeding facilities which have no restrictions or time limits imposed.

General manager Nell Thompson said the holding period did nothing to improve the outcomes for the animals and it forced shelters and rescue services to play an adversarial role with the community and their supporter base. “The welfare and rehabilitation of the individual concerned must always be a priority, no matter how long the animal concerned is held.”

Animal Aid spokeswoman Debra Boland said although most dogs at the shelter were rehomed in about two weeks, cat adoption was a major issue. “For the most part, cat welfare is 20 years behind dog welfare – they have very little support.

“We have a rehabilitation program, and specially trained volunteers to help our animals cope with being at the shelter, to keep them as sane as possible, but the adoption process needs to be individualised, assessed on a case by case basis, not by time.”

Ms Boland said 41 cats were brought to the centre by the council last month.

“Of those cats five were reclaimed, four have already found homes, six have been euthanased due to severe poor health or temperament, 18 are out on foster and eight are up for adoption.”

The campaign has been lauded by Animal Aid, RSPCA Victoria, Lost Dogs’ Home and the Australian Animal Protection Society. Campaign organiser Mike Bailey said shelters should not be forced to kill pets they are trying to rehome.

Yarra Ranges Weekly, 09 Nov, 2010

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Even More Press Coverage! Tue, 16 Nov 2010 01:00:14 +0000 Mike Bailey

Pets dying to find a new home


THE Keysborough Animal Shelter has joined a growing campaign to change state rules requiring shelters to kill animals not rehoused within 28 days.

Under Department of Primary Industry guidelines, dogs and cats selected for sale can only be held at shelters for four weeks. After that time they must be adopted or killed.

Online campaign Stop the Clock is calling for the abolition of a time limit.

Volunteer dog walker Denise Harrison said some animals needed longer to be adopted.

“It seems unfair to impose a time limit. I don’t see why anyone would think it was a bad idea to change the rule,” Ms Harrison said.

“It can take a little bit of time for shelters to find the right family and sometimes larger dogs need every one of those 28 days.”

Keysborough Animal Shelter treasurer Christine Giles said the refuge supported a rule change.

“We would like to see it changed,” Ms Giles said.

She said the shelter’s large open spaces and numerous volunteers ensured animals were well cared for.

“We have big exercise yards. Every dog gets out for exercise at least once a day,” Ms Giles said.

Victoria is the only state in Australia that imposes a limit on how long shelters can keep dogs and cats before adoption.

Animal Aid general manager Nell Thompson said the restriction did nothing to improve conditions.

“It can force shelters and rescue services into having to play an adversarial role with the community and their supporter base,” Ms Thompson said.

Mordialloc Chelsea Leader, 16 Nov 2010

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More Media Coverage Mon, 15 Nov 2010 21:30:13 +0000 Mike Bailey

Dying to find a new home


VICTORIAN animal shelters and pounds want a rule abolished that requires them to destroy cats and dogs that have not been rehoused or gone into foster care within 28 days.The code of practice they operate under says “the maximum time any animal selected for sale can be held at a shelter is four weeks. [Then] it must be euthanased or permanently removed from the facility, for example, by placement in a foster program”.

Victoria is the only state that imposes an arbitrary limit on how long shelters can offer animals for adoption.

A campaign called Stop The Clock is pushing for a change.

Organiser Mike Bailey said shelters were required to keep animals for collection by their owners for eight days, then they became the property of the shelter.

“If the rule to euthanise wasn’t there, then shelters could decide for themselves what to do with the animals.

“Shelters should not be forced to kill pets they are trying to re-home.”

Trish Bourke, of the Pets Haven Shelter in Woodend, said destroying animals was

barbaric and outdated.

“I think it is disgusting that Victoria is the only state that has this policy. The clock is ticking from the day they arrive.

“What I want to emphasise is the human element. You have to think how euthanising perfectly healthy pets affects those who are forced to do it. You look into the big brown eyes of a puppy or kitten, and then inject them. It’s something that stays with you.”

State Agriculture Minister Joe Helper said the government would look at amending the legislation to allow more time for animals to be rehabilitated and rehoused.

Macedon Ranges Weekly, 16 Nov 2010

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Geelong Advertiser Reports Tue, 09 Nov 2010 12:04:26 +0000 Mike Bailey The second week of our campaign saw it being reported on radio and the press. The story below in the Geelong Advertiser resulted in hundreds of readers giving feedback in the form of comments or Facebook ‘Likes’.

How long can the Minister, Joe Helper, refuse to listen to the voice of reason?

Pup death penalty fight

November 5th, 2010

CLOCK'S TICKING: Lucky the terrier may struggle to live up to his name.

VICTORIA’S animal shelters are demanding an end to the rule that requires them to put down cats and dogs that haven’t been adopted within 28 days.

Victoria is the only remaining Australian state to impose an arbitrary limit on how long shelters can spend seeking new owners for their animals.

Geelong Animal Welfare Society manager Robyn Stewart said the current limit was far too short.

Have your say on the feedback form below

“You can’t re-home puppies in four weeks if a mother comes in with with brand new puppies,” she said.

“Longer would make it much easier for us to abide by the legislation. More time would give us a grace period to get animals well enough, fit enough and fat enough for sale.”

Several animal rights groups and animal shelters have demonstrated strong opposition to the current law. The new online campaign, www.stoptheclock., is calling for this restriction to be abolished and has been endorsed by animal welfare groups including the RSPCA Victoria, the Lost Dogs Home and Animal Aid.

The campaign’s Facebook group had over 2500 members join up in its first week alone.

The controversial piece of legislation is found in the Code of Practice for the Management of Dogs and Cats in Shelters and Pounds, which specifies that “the maximum time any animal selected for sale can be held at a shelter is four weeks”.

Geelong Advertiser

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