THE $80,000 saved over two years by axing the Mornington Peninsula Shire’s pet expo at Rosebud will go towards stopping uncontrolled breeding of cats and dogs and reuniting lost pets with their owners.
The money will also go towards “easing accessibility” at the council animal shelter in Watt Rd, Mornington by foregoing the need for appointments on Saturday mornings for a six-month trial.
The biennial expo due to be held in November has been cancelled.
Environment protection manager John Rankine told councillors the money saved would be better spent at the community animal shelter. Communications, media and events manager Mark Kestigian recommended the Pet Expo be discontinued and that the budget allocation should go to “responsible pet ownership, community awareness and other promotional activities”.
Pets’ campaigner Doris Campbell, of Rosebud, said after the meeting: “This has come about after two and a half years of negotiations between the shire, animal rescue groups which rehome most of the shelter’s unclaimed animals, former shelter volunteer Rosy Fischer and the Mornington Peninsula Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association.”
Officers have also been asked to list responsible pet ownership programs to receive grants.
“One of these will include free microchipping for the disadvantaged in our community – specifically targeting [residents of] Capel Sound and Hastings where most of the unclaimed pets come from,” Ms Campbell said.
“Another project is a six-month trial to open the shelter to the public, 10am to noon on Saturdays, after the new administration building is completed in two or three months, and to fund an extra staff member for direct adoptions.
“Animals adopted from the shelter are de-sexed, micro-chipped, vaccinated and registered.”
Ms Campbell said volunteers were needed for the Watt Rd shelter so that training could be completed before the new building opens.