Stop the needless killing of cats and dogs - #GoZero

By Australian Pet Welfare Foundation

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Stop the needless killing of cats and dogs in Australia - #GoZero.

Did you know that right now, every year in Australia, 100,000 perfectly healthy and treatable dogs and cats are killed just because too many pounds and shelters follow outdated practices?

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

What’s even crazier is that it doesn’t have to be like this.


We know it’s an ambitious target – we also know that it’s absolutely possible.

Why are we so sure? Because it has happened in the United States of America - check out this amazing video.

The managers and staff who run the pounds didn't think it was possible, however, they quickly saw a reduction in cat and kitten intake and euthanasia by implementing the Community Cats Program (Trap, Neuter, Return/Adopt). This is what success looks like. The flow on effects are incredible. This program has also seen better outcomes for dogs at the shelters, reduced stress levels for staff and a reduction in cat colony sizes. Check out our website and milestone 4 (below) for more information.

Use your social media to join us and share this link to #GoZero euthanasia by duplicating this success in all states and territories in Australia.

You could save cats like Madeleine from being killed.

Poor scared little Madeleine was only a few weeks old when she was found. She was motherless and scared when she was taken to a shelter. Luckily, the shelter management embraced best practice and had implemented life saving practices. At this shelter, tiny defenceless kittens like Madeleine are looked after by foster carers until they can be found a loving forever home. Sadly, for thousands of other kittens, the outlook is bleak, and many pounds euthanase any kitten less than 6 weeks old.

You could save dogs like Winnie and George from being killed

Winnie overcame a rough start to life before entering a shelter. Instead of being a happy, tumbley pup, she was shy and timid. It took her a while to trust people, but she finally dazzled prospective parents with her soft and sweet personality. Her confidence bloomed when she found a forever home with patient and loving people.

George is an adult a cattle dog-cross with puppy-dog-eyes that make you melt. George is one of many cattle dogs begging to be taken home and loved. How could someone look into those eyes and kill a dog like George when he could be saved?

Madeleine, Winnie and George were lucky to find good homes. However, many pets just like them are not so lucky and have their healthy lives ended abruptly by euthanasia.

But whether cats like Madeleine or dogs like Winnie and George find a forever home or become a euthanasia statistic depends on whether the pound or shelter manager is aware they can stop the killing. Have Australian pounds and shelters implemented as many best practices as possible? The answer comes down to your support - #GoZero

How Your Gift Helps

Amazing things come from awesome donations. Here’s some massive milestones we can achieve with your kind donations:

Milestone 1 - $5,000 – Starting the Community Cat Program

This milestone will help us get to the first step of the Community Cats Program (Trap, Neuter and Return/Adopt) by assisting to create a steering committee. The committee will consist of representatives from leading animal welfare organisations, veterinarians and most importantly volunteers (like you) to run, oversee and document the Program. This is a big task, it will be the very first trial of its kind and the outcome could be massive. Good for cats, good for dogs, good for staff at shelters and pounds and most of all good for the community.

Milestone 2 - $8,500 – Best Practices in Shelters and Pounds

We are all about innovative strategies, not doing the same old thing. When we hit this milestone it will help to source new lifesaving strategies from international leaders in their field and present our findings in Australia like the AIAM to council pound managers. It’s about getting the ideas out there, we can’t improve current practices if nobody knows about them. Knowledge is power! If we can get the support of industry leaders, staff at shelters and pounds and people like you we can make change.

Milestone 3 - $15,000 – Pet Are Welcome.

Have you ever tried to find a rental property that will take you and your fur babies? It is such a stressful time and many face the hard decision of choosing between a home or their pet. With a third of Australians renting and only 4% of rental properties accepting pets this is an outrage. Help us eliminate this heartbreaking decision for pet owners by donating. We have already made submissions to the Victorian and Queensland government; there is still a lot to do. We need to continue lobbying and advocating for change in Victoria and Queensland until all rental accommodation is pet friendly. We also need to focus on NSW, NT, WA, SA and Tassie governments and this milestone will help us do that. Check out our website for more information on what we are doing.

Milestone 4 - $30,000 – Community Cats are off and running

This will be our biggest leap yet, it will be a tough one…hitting our $30,000 goal. This money will go towards a permit for the very first Community Cat Program (Trap, Neuter, Return/Adopt) in Australia. You will be a part of changing the way community cats are managed – stop the killing. Let’s face it the current solution isn’t working and contributes to the death of 100,000 pets in shelters and pounds. Feedback from other like-minded foundations has been that it is a no brainer. The Program will:

  • Reduce the number of cats and kittens being euthanased in shelters and pounds.
  • Provide more resources for dogs located in shelters and pounds. More resources means better outcomes and fewer dogs being euthanased
  • Reduce the effects on native wildlife
  • Reduce the number of stray cats and improve their overall health.
  • Improve the mental health of staff located at shelters and pounds. Did you know that over half of staff that work at shelters and pounds have post-traumatic stress? Some even result in suicide. Check out this article.

To see the results of the Community Cat Program in the States watch this video.

Want to learn more?

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Thank you for your support! / #GoZero!

Who We Are

The Australian Pet Welfare Foundation (APWF) provides evidence-based solutions within the community to save the lives of pets and people. How?

  • We fund vital studies that demonstrate better ways to save more lives.
  • We share information on best practice, and we advocate that key stakeholders embrace change to save every homeable dog and cat.
  • We advocate for changes in government policy and legislation.
  • We speak at key conferences to share the most recent science-based knowledge to reduce euthanasia of rehomeable pets in pounds and shelters.
  • We advocate for change by promoting policies to businesses that help pets – for example, for pet shops to only provide rescued dogs and cats for sale.
  • We share how mental ill-health often affects people exposed to animal euthanasia and increases the risk of suicide. We clarify why pet and human health and happiness are interrelated.

Meet some of our team: Yina and Susan (bottom) who volunteer their time to help, and our staff (Richard, Jacquie and Jane) with Basil and Otis.

Stop the needless killing and #GoZero euthanasia in Australia.

Want to learn more?

- Visit our website:

- Follow us on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn

Thank you for your support! / #GoZero!

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Team Members

Australian Pet Welfare Foundation

Dominique Antarakis

Jacquie Rand

Katherine Cummings

Marlies Kimpe

Richard Tahan

Susan Swain