Bass Coast,

Council helping to find forever homes


At only five weeks old, a staffy cross kelpie puppy was handed into Bass Coast Shire Council by a resident who found him dumped in a park.

He was very small and lethargic, and upon visiting the vet for a health check, it was discovered he was also extremely dehydrated and full of worms.

The vet assured Council staff that with treatment, care and a special diet to meet his needs, the puppy would be ok, and he was placed by Council into foster care for two weeks.

The puppy’s health improved quickly and in line with its partnerships with animal rescue groups, Council was able to rehome the puppy to Second Chance Animal Rescue, who continued to take care of him before placing him in his forever home. Known fondly for being a noisy little guy, his was aptly named Roary by his new owner.

Council’s General Manager Healthy Communities, David Elder, said Council works with six rescue groups to give animals that are surrendered or aren’t returned to their owners the best chance possible of finding new homes.

“We don’t currently adopt out animals from the pound ourselves, but we do work with six 84Y groups to rehome as many animals as possible. A Section 84Y Agreement is a document that sets out the requirements of rehoming animals from Victorian pounds,” Mr Elder said.

“We do provide information on found animals on our website to try and make sure as many oanimals as possible are returned to their owners.”

The good news is, the majority of dogs are returned home. In the past six months, 92 of the 107 dogs found were returned to their owners, with the 15 remaining adopted by rescue groups and rehomed.

With cats more likely to not be microchipped or registered, only 14 of the 56 cats found were returned to their owners; however 31 were adopted by various rescue groups and rehomed, whilst the remaining 12 were euthanised after being classified by a vet as feral.

All seven animals surrendered to the pound were also successfully rehomed with new families.

Mr Elder said Council’s ability to reunite pets with their owners is a simple process if pets are microchipped and registered, but also stressed that Council needed to be able to scan for microchips when pets were found by community members in order to find their owners.

“You can’t necessarily tell from looking at an animal that it is microchipped, and we’re seeing an increasing number of lost pets posted to social media sites, we encourage people who find a lost animal to contact the Council as not everyone has access to social media,” Mr Elder said.

Council tries hard to reunite registered, microchipped animals that have been found as soon as possible. If Council is able to identify the owner through a registration tag or microchip, and the animal doesn’t have a history of getting out and wandering, Council will try to return the animal without having to impound it.

If the owner can’t be identified or contacted, the animal may then have to be impounded, which comes with a $100 release fee (increasing to $103 after 1 July 2016). Fines may also apply if the animal has a record of wandering and if an animal is impounded and not registered, the owner will need to pay registration in addition to a pound release fee

Mr Elder said if you do own a dog or cat make sure it is registered, microchipped and wearing its tag so we can get it back to you, if you do find a lost animal, make sure you keep it in a quiet area, away from your own pets, offer it water and contact Council for advice on collection.

“We want to see all of our animals find loving homes, whether it’s back with their owners or with a new family.” Mr Elder said.