Save the lives of animals in Whittlesea, Moreland and Darebin

Save the lives of animals in Whittlesea, Moreland and Darebin

8 September 2022
Petition to
Mark Riley (Mayor of Moreland) and 22 others
Signatures: 30,879Next goal: 35,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Kathleen Chapman

From October 2022, Whittlesea Council will be taking over management of the Epping Animal Welfare Facility from the RSPCA, which provides pound services for Moreland, Darebin and Whittlesea Councils.

Whittlesea is planning sweeping changes to shelter operations, which, if implemented, will result in a far greater number of animals being killed rather than rehomed. This is due to:

(1)  An end to animal adoptions

Whittlesea is closing the door to the community – there will no longer be animal adoptions at the shelter. Unclaimed strays and surrendered pets[SA1]  will only get out alive if a rescue group agrees to save them. However, volunteer-run rescue groups simply do not have the capacity to save all of Whittlesea, Moreland and Darebin’s 2000+ unclaimed and surrendered animals annually, and were not consulted about this plan. It is simply not acceptable for any shelter or pound in current-day Australia to refuse to carry out direct-to-public adoptions.

Rescue groups should only be called upon to provide a safety-net service to those animals that the facility cannot rehome itself. 

(2)  No funding for rescue groups

While the responsibility for saving all unclaimed and surrendered animals is being passed on to rescue groups, there has been no offer of Council funding for the essential veterinary care that these animals require before being able to be rehomed, such as desexing, microchipping and vaccination

(3)  RSPCA ordered to empty the shelter before handover

Whittlesea Council has ordered the RSPCA to empty the Epping shelter – which is currently at capacity - before handover in mid-October. However, every RSPCA shelter is overflowing and this is unlikely to change. Where will these 200 animals go? Their lives are now at stake. 


We call on Whittlesea, Moreland and Darebin Councils to take the following actions:

(1)    Ensure animal adoptions continue at the Epping Animal Welfare Facility

This is an essential function of a modern animal shelter. It is vital that adoptions continue at the shelter so that the lives of surrendered and unclaimed animals can be saved. These animals deserve loving homes, not convenience killing.  

(2)    Provide funding to rescue groups for basic veterinary care

Councils should provide fair funding to rescue groups for their life-saving assistance, specifically, they should pay for the desexing, microchipping and vaccination of each animal transferred to a rescue group.  

(3)    Guarantee the safety of animals already in the shelter

If RSPCA Victoria is unable to find safe alternative placements for any animals currently in the Epping shelter before handover, the council takes over responsibility for the welfare of these animals and allows them to remain. These homeless animals are the responsibility of Whittlesea, Moreland and Darebin councils. 

The community has a right to expect that their rate-payer-funded animal shelters do everything in their power to promote, protect and advocate for the lives of animals. Ensuring that surrendered and unclaimed animals have the opportunity to find loving new homes through shelter adoption programs is essential. Rescue groups should only be relied upon as a safety net for a small number of animals that are unable to be rehomed by the shelter itself – and they should be fairly funded for the vital service that they provide. 


Support now
Signatures: 30,879Next goal: 35,000
Support now

Decision makers

  • Mark RileyMayor of Moreland
  • Lambros TapinosDeputy Mayor of Moreland
  • James ConlanMoreland Councillor
  • Adam PulfordMoreland Councillor
  • Annalivia Carli HannanMoreland Councillor