DOGS and cats are being saved from euthanisation and rehomed in record numbers.
City of Greater Bendigo figures for the past five years show fewer pets are being put to sleep, and more people are reclaiming and rehousing the animals.
There were 433 dogs and 1150 cats euthanased in 2007-08, which gradually reduced to 95 dogs and 613 cats last financial year.
And there has been a 50 per cent rise in pets rehoused from the pound, increasing from 911 in 2007-08 to 1370 in 2011-12.
While the number of cats registered in the area has been steady, our love of dogs has grown, with a 10 per cent jump in registered dogs over five years.
City of Greater Bendigo manager parking and animal control Neville Zimmer said increased microchipping probably explained the results.
“It’s a good trend, isn’t it?” he said. “It’s mandatory that all animals now be microchipped and that’s a big factor.
“We’re able to locate a lot more owners than in the past and we’ve had really good compliance records with registered animals.”
Mr Zimmer said most pets put down were not suitable for rehoming.
While about two cats were euthanased daily on average last financial year, most of those were believed to be strays.
“We want to continue to reduce euthanasia rates and we work hard to do that,” Mr Zimmer said.
“We’re developing a domestic animal management plan and euthanisation will be one area of focus.”
But the figures also show a rise in dog attacks – most involving other dogs – up from 68 in 2007-08 to 106 last financial year, with 480 more animal control infringement notices issued in the same period.