Purchasing a dog or cat from a shelter or pound
The benefits of purchasing a dog or cat from a shelter or pound
There are many advantages to purchasing a dog or cat from a registered shelter or pound.
- Shelter and pound animals are reasonably priced, especially considering they are all vet checked, de-sexed, vaccinated, microchipped and wormed.
- Animal shelters and pounds re-home dogs and cats of all ages and breed types so it is possible to choose an animal that suits your individual needs.
- By purchasing a dog or cat from a shelter or pound you are reducing the number of excess animals in the community.
- Shelters and pounds have to comply with the Code of Practice for the Management of Dogs and Cats in Shelters and Pounds. This means you are supporting an organisation that maintains high standards of management and care for their animals.
- An animal taken to a shelter or pound must not be sold for eight days. This is to ensure the animal is not owned by someone else.
- Many animals at shelters and pounds are fully grown.
Conditions for sale of animals from a shelter or pound
All animals sold from a shelter or pound must be microchipped, wormed, desexed and vaccinated. Sick, aggressive, pregnant, unweaned, anti-social or deformed animals, or animals with known vices such as excessive barking or fence jumping must not be made available for sale. New owners must be supplied with a vaccination certificate and be given information about feeding, housing and responsible pet ownership.
If an animal is not acceptable to a purchaser because of health or other reasons that are supported by a statement from a veterinarian, excluding accidents, within seven days of purchase, shelter or pound proprietors must take the animal back and refund all monies or offer a replacement animal with the same guarantee. If an animal is returned within 3 days for any other reason, the shelter or pound proprietor must refund 75% of the purchase price or offer a replacement animal with the same guarantee. If the animal dies or is euthanased as a result of a disease that is traceable to the point of sale, the shelter or pound proprietor must refund the purchase price or offer a replacement animal with the same guarantee.
Code of Practice for the Management of Dogs and Cats in Shelters and Pounds
The Domestic Animals Act 1994 ensures that domestic animal businesses throughout Victoria continue to meet community expectations. The Act does this by establishing a registration scheme for domestic animal businesses, such as animal shelters and pounds that house dogs and cats. The Act also adopts enforceable Codes of Practice for their management.
The basic purpose of the Code of Practice for the Management of Dogs and Cats in Shelters and Pounds is to support the welfare of those animals which may require temporary housing pending release to their owners or, if unclaimed, a decision on rehousing. The Code exists to help ensure that a person reclaiming his or her lost pet from a pound finds the animal healthy and sound. The Code does this by specifying the minimum requirements for staff of establishments, minimum husbandry conditions including nutrition and vaccination requirements, and minimum hygiene, security, exercise and housing requirements. The shelters and pounds Code covers the welfare of animals that have an unknown vaccination history, an unknown temperament and are held for a mandatory eight days.
The Domestic Animals Act 1994 is State legislation which is implemented by Municipal Councils. A complete copy of the Code of Practice for the Management of Dogs and Cats in Shelters and Pounds can be downloaded from www.dpi.vic.gov.au/animalwelfare
Dogs and cats must be microchipped prior to the animal being sold or given away. Upon sale or being given away, the proprietor must provide the new owner’s details to the council where the animal is to be kept.
All dogs sold from a shelter or pound must be vaccinated against distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus. All cats sold must be vaccinated against feline infectious enteritis, calicivirus and herpes virus.
Remember if you really care about your dog or cat – Register it! Not only is it a legal requirement for your pet to be registered with your local Council and have identification, but the tag and / or microchip will assist the return of your pet in the event that it does become lost or stolen and finds itself in the pound.
If you find a dog or cat the law requires you to take that animal, as soon as is reasonably possible, to the pound of the municipal district in which the dog or cat is found.
It is important to remember that a pet is for life!