Community consultation was conducted in November 2021 to find out from residents what the important issues are. From the results of the community consultation and a review of Council data, the following major issues have been identified and will be addressed within the Action Plan:
- Wandering cats and the damage caused to local wildlife
- Dog attack incidents
- Animal welfare issues
- People not picking up after their dogs
- Dogs wandering in our local Parks and Botanic Gardens
- Reduction in Animal Registration numbers
- Investigating a new animal shelter facility, including a community vet clinic and an area that can conduct responsible pet ownership seminars and events
- Increase animal adoptions
- Make the Animal Shelter facility as user friendly as possible
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Shane Sali thanked the community for completing the survey in November 2021.
“Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback and help sculpt our Animal Management service over the next four years. We have listened to your feedback and are excited to get to work improving the health and welfare of our community’s animals,” he said.
Cr Sali encouraged people to review the draft Domestic Animal Management Plan 2022–2025 and to get on board with responsible pet ownership.
“We all have a role to play when it comes to our pets. We want Greater Shepparton to be regarded as a safe and harmonious place to live, where quality of life is not negatively impacted by irresponsible pet owners,” he said.
“The survey and data reported that wandering cats and the impact on our wildlife is a major concern for the community, as is not picking up after your dog. I would hope with a dedicated education program that we can change people’s behaviour and encourage them to think of our environment and the enjoyment of parks for others.”
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.
Manager Environment, Sharon Terry said officers care for each and every animal that comes through its doors, either as a lost stray or because their owners can no longer care for them.
“The Animal Shelter also operates a successful animal adoption program, provides advice on the most suitable pet and breed for your circumstances and reunites lost animals with their owners,” she said.
The adopted plan will identify what Council will focus on over the next four years. Feedback is open until Friday 19 August 2022 and can be found at Shaping Greater Shepparton