Animal shelter numbers surging as costs bite

Animal shelters are facing a surge in surrendered pets as cost-pressures drag on desexing rates.

Animal shelters are facing a surge in surrendered pets as cost-pressures drag on desexing rates. Photo: The Lost Dogs' Home/Facebook

Victoria’s biggest animal shelter is calling for cheaper desexing solutions as it struggles with a surge in surrendered puppies and kittens.

The number of puppies arriving at The Lost Dogs Home’s North Melbourne and Cranbourne shelters has jumped by more than 115 per cent in two years to 509 in 2023, with a further 142 handed over so far this year.

The number of kittens surrendered has jumped almost 40 per cent over the same period to a staggering 5056 in 2023, plus 1740 this year.

Nationally, the RSPCA alone received more than 18,000 dogs and more than 33,000 kittens in the 2023 financial year, with more than 9000 of the animals ultimately put down.

The Lost Dogs Home spokeswoman Suzana Talevski said the spike in puppy arrivals was of particular concern.

”In the last two weeks alone, we have had 35 puppies arrive,” Talevski said.

“It’s numbers we are not used to seeing. They are numbers we don’t want to be seeing.”

Talevski said the cause of the spike was multifaceted, but cost-of-living pressures meant fewer owners were desexing their pets, leading to extra litters and more surrenders.

“There is also an over-supply versus demand issue where breeders aren’t seeing the same uptake as during the COVID lockdown era and are now surrendering puppies in large numbers.”

The shelter is calling for more investment in low-cost or free desexing services across the state.

“What we have seen so far, is simply not having the impact required to arrest this super surge of puppies arriving at our shelter,” Talevski said.


Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.