The DAMP outlines Council’s strategic direction and objectives towards animal management and provides a structure framework for Council’s Animal Management services.
Council’s Animal Management department plays an important leadership role in supporting and promoting responsible pet ownership and best practice animal welfare standards. The team operates one of the largest regional Council-owned animal shelters in the state, with approximately 2,000 animals being cared for each year.
The DAMP was developed through two public consultation phases. The first, in late 2021, involved a detailed public survey, stakeholder meetings and staff engagement workshops prior to the development of the draft document. This helped inform Council on what animal management issues residents felt were most important.
The second, in August this year, involved further community and stakeholder engagement on the draft DAMP which resulted in further amendments being made to the document, including reviewing the current Animal Shelter premises and practices, considering a third off-leash dog park for outside of Shepparton, and considering further de-sexing programs and initiatives.
Following these amendments, the DAMP was adopted at the October Council Meeting and will now be submitted to the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.
“The Domestic Animal Management Plan is an important document for Council which identifies the issues and priorities Council officers will focus on over the next four years, including the large semi-owned cat population and investigating construction of a brand new animal shelter facility,” Mayor, Councillor Shane Sali said.
“Council’s Animal Management team provide an essential service to our community, targeting the major issues relating to cats and dogs. Our Animal Rangers are there to educate the community on responsible pet ownership, investigate dog attacks, address animal welfare concerns and animal hoarding, minimise the negative impacts on our local wildlife by domestic animals, capture wandering dogs and prosecute breaches of relevant laws.
“Thank you to each of the community members who took the time to provide feedback on the Domestic Animal Management Plan and helped sculpt our Animal Management service for the future.
“We have listened to your feedback and are excited to get to work improving the health and welfare of our communities’ animals.”
The DAMP 2022-2025 can be viewed online here on Council’s website.