What is our goal?
To operate in a transparent and ethical manner.
Where are we now?
We are achieving this in how we publicly report on our performance and adhere to regulations.
The Lost Dogs' Home's public veterinary clinic, Frank Samways, partnered with Pets of the Homeless (POTH) to host an event providing essential veterinary care for pets in the community. POTH work with people experiencing homelessness, financial hardship and escaping domestic violence. We know pets are loyal companions and a great source of comfort during times of crisis. The collaboration offered POTH discounted desexing services and desexed 26 animals on the day for a grateful group of pet parents. It was a fantastic opportunity to partner with an organisation actively working to keep pets with their owners, while also promoting the importance of desexing to reduce the population of stray and abandoned pets in our community.
We took part in the trialling of the proposed implementation materials and tools to support animal fate data reporting as will be required by the Victorian Government, following the Government Taskforce on Rehoming Pets' recommendations. This was a recommendation we were wholly supportive of.
We have made a commitment to transparency. However, we also have an ethical responsibility to protect privacy in certain circumstances
We are a registered charity and animal welfare organisation regulated by the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC), the Department of Agriculture and Melbourne City Council. There are many checks and balances in place to ensure we are adhering to the Code of Practice for the Management of Dogs and Cats in Shelters and Pounds. We are required to report annually to the ACNC on our governance and to submit a full set of financials which are published on the ACNC website annually.
We also voluntarily report on our performance, including our animal welfare statistics, in our annual report, which has received a bronze award for the past two years from the Australasian Reporting Awards.
Where do we need to be?
A priority for us will to be open and honest in communicating the impact wild cat populations have on an open shelter. This is one of our greatest challenges as some parts of the community have expectations for every animal, regardless of health or temperament, to be saved. It is our responsibility to much better inform on the complexities of why this is not possible, so that we can gain consensus on solutions. This needs animal welfare organisations to be working together, as well as government and community.
How will we advance?
- Work with government agencies to create standardisation of statistical reporting across all animal shelters and rescues in Victoria.
- Publishing more comprehensive statistics for a more informed representation of how we operate.
- Set up logistics to be able to report quarterly instead of annually on performance statistics.
- Encourage the public to gain knowledge and understanding of the complex issues that lay behind the statistics for greater community action and support.
- Proactively communicate with rescues and encourage respectful and constructive conversations on topics of mutual concern.
- Connect with animal welfare community groups and members of the pet loving public in forums that facilitate two-way, respectful conversations for productive outcomes.
- Encourage and facilitate two-way constructive conversations with rescue organisations to gain their understanding of the essential role we play in animal welfare and the challenges we face as a high-volume open shelter. While respecting the role rescues play in delivering essential animal welfare services.
- Work more publicly with rescue organisations, this also means being open with the community on outcomes of negotiations for placements of animals with rescues.
- Continue to foster our relationships with the media and encourage visits to the shelter by the media.
- Monitor our commitment from the top down to integrate transparency into our everyday work.