[UPDATE] Here is the 7.30 Report’s story on this topic.

Note that RSPCA Vic is not being criticised and has far higher save rates than LDH or CPS.

If calling yourself “Australia’s Largest Cat Welfare Organisation” with the “highest adoption rate of all shelters in Victoria handling a large number of cats” brings in the bequests, does it matter whether these claims are actually true?

Cat intake and rehoming numbers for Cat Protection Society of Victoria have been called into question in recent months. CPS directors have been refusing to answer some simple questions about the figures.

What is the true number of cats adopted in 2008?

It’s been suggested that CPS has been misleading about it’s adoption rate. One Melbourne vet found the dollar value for cat sales in their annual report was much lower than would be expected.

Bayswater veterinarian Harry Corbett said he believed the society was misleading about its adoption rate of cats and kittens in order to retain its status as ”Australia’s largest cat welfare organisation” so it could continue to attract donations, grants and legacies.

The society – which had total assets of $7.86 million, including $6.2 million in cash, as at December 31, 2009 – received $1.25 million in legacies, $41,000 in donations and a $50,000 annual state government grant for the Who’s For Cats campaign in 2009.

The Sunday Age has been told by a well-informed source at the society that the true number of cats adopted was only 6.5 per cent, or 1036 cats. If the society had adopted out 30.3 per cent or 4782 cats, sales would have been worth more than $250,000. Cat sales amounted to only $77,670 for 2008, according to the society’s financial statement.

When asked if the published adoption rate figure for 2008 was incorrect, the society’s executive director, Dr Carole Webb, said she did not have to respond.

Cat Group May Face Watchdog, The Sunday Age 28 Nov 2010

CPS Annual reports indicate adoption numbers have been inflated for over a decade

The following figures were taken from CPS annual reports and show the number of cats reportedly adopted in red and the approximate number represented by the cat sales figures in green.

Notice how the reported number of adoptions fell to the number indicated by the cat sales figures around the time that questions were being asked about their accuracy.

CPS have always reported far higher adoption rates than their income explains.

Carole Webb presented the following graph to an audience of her peers

At the 2009 NDN Summit Carole presented the following graph that clearly shows more than 4000 cats being rehomed by CPS each year for the previous decade.

The Age profiled Carole Webb in 2005

A profile in The Age reported that Carole Webb kills about 10,000 cats a year and that this is around 2/3 of their intake.

“Dr Webb takes each animal – or “person”, as she likes to say – into the privacy of her office. ”

“After assessing the kitten’s health and temperament, along with how much space is available at the society’s shelter (300 places maximum), Webb decides whether the little chap will live or die.  Even if every unwanted cat is brimming with vitality and winning personality, about two-thirds of the day’s intake are put to sleep with an overdose of anaesthetic, zipped into a body bag and put into the freezer awaiting cremation.”

“So far, Dr Webb has delivered about 200,000 healthy cats to the big sleep.”

She kills about 10,000 a year.”

Unloved Kittens Leave a Job No one Could Want, The Age [5 June, 2005]


CPS Stop Accepting New Members

The Cat Protection Society returned my membership fee with a letter explaining that they are not accepting new members while they make changes to the constitution. We are left to wonder what the board have planned and whether these plans have been disclosed to ASIC (as required by law under the Corporations Act). One possibility is that the board will try to wind up the society rather than permit a change of leadership. The answers to the questions above may be something they never want discovered.  Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that for the sake of all who have donated and volunteered in good faith.


Protection society in catfight, The Sunday Age. 17 Oct 2010

Cat protection scrap widens, The Sunday Age. 30 Oct 2010

Cat group may face watchdog, The Sunday Age. 28 Nov 2010