Council achieves second-highest return to owner rate: RSPCA

Shellharbour City Council achieved the second-highest return to owner rate in the state last financial year. This means 163 of 342 seized dogs were immediately returned to their owners, rather than being impounded.
These statistics are from the Companion Animal Register’s Survey of Council Seizures, which has been in place since 2011/12 and is reported annually.
While Shellharbour City Council has reported return to owner statistics since that time, many Councils have only begun reporting the data in recent years.
The results RSPCA were accompanied by comments from an RSPCA spokesperson.
“The result is excellent on two fronts, the first being that the ranger team is committed to achieving great results in respect to returning animals to owners and have set a target reflecting a high level of commitment. The second is that Shellharbour achieved a 48% rate for ranger-seized dogs being returned to owners.”
“Shellharbour City Council is a progressive council which has demonstrated a long-term interest in reshaping animal management, moving away from the traditional ‘seize and impound’ methodology and instead achieving compliance through community engagement.
By working with RSPCA NSW to support and educate residents with regard to responsible pet ownership, Council is supporting animals in their homes and contributing to improved outcomes for people and their pets.
Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said Council staff had set themselves a tough target of 50% return to owners.
“This is yet another example of Council staff doing their job to the very best of their ability,” Cr Saliba said.
“Our rangers really do care about the community and genuinely want to return dogs to their loving owners as soon as possible. Councillors and Council staff are very proud of this great result,” she said.
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