ANIMAL lovers demonstrated outside the shire’s Mornington offices, Sunday 23 July, over what they say is secrecy surrounding the number of unwanted animals being put down at the community animal shelter in Watt Rd.
Save Mornington Pound Animals organiser Rosy Fischer said the rally was a success.
“More than 70 people braved the cold and rain to stand for the animals, along with their dogs – even a cat made an appearance,” she said.
Protesters brought their pets and dressed up as their favourite animal for the protest, which comes just weeks before the shire prepares to unveil $900,000 in changes to the shelter, in Watt Rd, Mornington.
The group wants to stop cats and dogs being killed and for the shire to increase its efforts to find new homes for strays.
Meanwhile, the shire is talking up the shelter’s adoption program, which it says aims “to find the perfect home for thousands of dogs and cats”.
“The Community Animal Shelter and Pound prides itself on working with more than 50 rescue groups [in] adopting animals out to the public to ensure as many unwanted pets as possible have a chance at finding their ‘forever’ home,” a shire news release says.
“These groups are volunteers who work tirelessly to find homes for vulnerable pets on the Mornington Peninsula.”
In three years, the shire says homes have been found for almost 2000 animals, with peninsula residents given free registration for their new pet.
It says more than 400 pets found homes last year through rescue groups, while 77 were adopted out through the PetRescue website. The shire “encourages people who are thinking about adopting a pet to approach a reputable rescue group”.
At last week’s council meeting, Rosebud resident Malcolm Campbell said: “The rescue groups which take most of the unclaimed animals from the shelter are fed up … The only meeting they have had with the shire was in February and their suggestions were ignored.”
The shire’s environment protection manager John Rankine said he had “every intention of meeting with those groups on a regular basis”.
He was “disappointed” to hear that there may be concerns from the groups “because they do an outstanding job in rescuing and rehoming animals from the animal facility”.
FoI goes missing
MYSTERY surrounds the progress of an $1100 Freedom-of-Information request to the Mornington Peninsula Shire made by the Save Mornington Pound Animals group on Monday 19 June.
The group is seeking details about animals held at the community animal shelter over the past 12 months, including vets’ bills for euthanising animals; where pets have been rehoused; how many cats and dogs are registered with the shire; the fate of 54 cats; and the shelter’s budget.
Last week, the shire’s FoI officer Kate McNab said she had not received the FoI request – despite the Save Mornington Pound Animals group producing a receipt for $554.10, which is half the $1100 needed to lodge it and get things under way.