RSPCA driven to desperate move to save dogs

In a desperate attempt to relieve stress on its overflowing shelters, RSPCA Victoria is hoping to entice dog-lovers to adopt the canines in its care by slashing adoption fees.

For the first time since 2017, the charity’s animal shelters in Burwood East, Epping, Peninsula, Wangaratta and Warrnambool are running at full capacity, with 50 dogs in their care.

As a result, the charity organisation will cut its adoption fees by more than half for one day only, in hope that the lower costs will drive up adoption rates.

RSPCA Victoria’s standard adoption fee for a puppy younger than six months is between $600 and $1200, while fees for an adult dog are from $450.

But on Saturday, August 20, dogs of all shapes and sizes will be available for a flat fee of $100 as part of RSPCA Victoria’s ‘Hundred Dollar Hounds’ adoption promotion.

The small fee will still cover vet, microchip, vaccination and desexing costs.

Nadia Peiris, Animal Care Manager at RSPCA Victoria, said shelters are running at capacity due to reduced adoption rates, fewer reclaims of lost or stray animals and an increased rate of animals coming into the shelters with behavioural issues.

“For us, it really is a perfect storm that is impacting our ability to move animals into their forever homes, which we know is the best place for them,” Ms Peiris said.

“We hope that this ‘Hundred Dollar Hound’ adoption promotion will encourage those thinking of welcoming a dog into their family to take that step.”

While it’s just dogs that will be available at a reduced adoption fee on Saturday, Ms Peiris said the organisation is running at full capacity for all animals statewide and is calling on animal lovers to help ease those pressures.

“The public can help us by coming into our shelters to adopt dogs, cats, rabbits or guinea pigs,” Ms Peiris said.

RSPCA shelters across the state were recording a collective total of 50 surrendered pets a month at the end of 2021, but that number has since tripled with shelters housing 150 abandoned animals monthly.

The state’s Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) and Lost Dogs’ Home also saw the number of surrendered pets in shelters outweigh the number of families looking to adopt. Currently GAP has over 50 greyhounds ready to be adopted.

“Frens, we have soooo many long bois and girls looking for their forever homes at the moment and so few people wanting to adopt them,” the organisation posted to Facebook.

The Lost Dogs home have also lowered their adoption fees to $195 for most dogs, with these prices available for a limited time between now and August 20. There are more than 70 dogs within the organisation’s care looking for a home.

“Our shelters are at capacity … While we love them all, we know they would live happier lives in the company of someone who can give them all the love, care, and attention they need,” the Lost Dogs Home posted to Facebook.

“If you or someone you know may benefit from unconditional love, loyalty, and companionship, we are happy to help you help our dogs with a heavily discounted adoption fee of $195 on dogs heavier than 15 kgs.”

To adopt a dog from either of these organisations, prospective adopters are advised to head to rspcavic.org, dogshome.com or gap.grv.org.au to find their next companion.

Meanwhile, for those looking to attend RSPCA Victoria’s adoption day on Saturday, August 20, the organisation recommends booking an appointment via rspcavic.org/hundred-dollar-hounds/. Walk-ins are also welcome.

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