Newcastle Herald

LETTER: The kill rate must drop



IT is clear there is community concern, as expressed in recent letters and articles in the Herald, about the killing of animals (let’s not call it “euthanasia”, which is mercy killing) in pounds and shelters in our region.

That many of these animals are in RSPCA facilities and have been subject to temperament testing alarms many people.

Of course dangerous animals should not be re-homed. That goes without saying.

But with overwhelming numbers entering the shelters, how much staff time and expertise can be devoted to each animal?

In the view of Hunter Animal Watch, the nub of the problem is over-supply of animals.

So why doesn’t the RSPCA spearhead desexing across the state? And why do Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Cessnock and Maitland councils hand over ratepayers’ money to contract the RSPCA to deal with this over-supply?

Why don’t these councils insist that public education and cheap desexing should be part of the RSPCA contract?

We look forward to the recommendations of the Companion Animal Taskforce, chaired by the member for Charlestown, Andrew Cornwell, because, as an animal welfare group that has given financial help to about 25,000 pensioners in the Lower Hunter to desex their pets, we want to be assured that the kill rate is going to come right down and that we are not wasting our time raising money with little hope of an acceptable outcome for animals.

Olga Parkes, Hunter Animal Watch


Showing 6 comments

  • Vinfimoult

    The RSPCA is using its flawed Behaviour testing to justify the kill rate…. This testing in consultation with rescue groups needs to be modified as in its current form is very subjective. If the RSPCA is prepared to work with other animal experts more dogs will be rehomed and as such kill rates that  currently stand at 40 % in NSW will certainly drop. NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.

  • christy


    Why would councils award pound contracts to RSPCA when they
    know their stats on  rehoming. It is also obvious they  kill them because they do not have the infrastructure,
    the man power or the business model to allow for rehoming. You would also think that
    the council would ask “how are you going to assure these animals get the
    best change of rehoming and what is your rehoming rate”. This is obviously
    a transfer of responsibility by the councils without diligence. It would be far cheaper and a better outcome for the animals for the council to open their doors to non kill rescue groups.

  • Carol Cornish

    If we all shout loud enough something has to change. And change fast to reduce the kill rate of these beautiful animals.

  • LoveMyDogs

    I support “cheap” desexing. Last week I priced having my 3 year old small dog (Lhasa Apso) desexed but at the quoted price of $350 it is a voluntary expense I can’t afford.

  • Trcollins

    It’s high time common sense became a factor in this ongoing debate, desexed animals = no unwanted litters, it’s as simple as that. With desexing costs set at $220-$280, and vets unwilling or unable to allow this amount be be paid in installments, it is well out of the reach of most. Cheap or free desexing will not only dramatically reduce the amount of ‘free to good home’ dogs that inevitably end up in our pounds, it will reduce and resolve the number of dogs picked up as wanderers, fighters and strays.

  • Anne Ward

    If back yard breeders and puppy farmers were taxed properly, they might not find it so lucrative. I pay tax, why shouldn’t they? Simple method would be to take note of all advertising of animals in all media outlets, Each Council could have one person assigned to do this only, contact people, get addresses, go and meet, when there ask to see microchip details and if none are available fine them on the spot. Report all names and addresses to Centerlink and ATO,  Councils are sitting on a goldmine in fines here, they just do not realise it. To stem the flow of these backyard pimps and puppy farmers would be one sure way of stopping the amount of animals bred for profit.

    It is a disgrace that ordinary people have to set up shops and chase funds, to help others desex their animals, when it is the RSPCA with their millions of dollars, donated by ordinary people, should be doing this.


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