Many of us are now aware that The Lost Dogs’ Home killed 13,594 animals last year and rehomed just 3,101. The Lost Dogs’ Home claim that the cats and dogs they kill are just the unadoptable ones. This cannot explain why their kill rates are so much higher than other Melbourne pounds.

Science To The Rescue!

A few years ago a research paper entitled “What Happens To Shelter Dogs” was published that compared the outcomes for animals from three Melbourne shelters. These were:

  • The Lost Dogs’ Home, North Melbourne [City Shelter]
  • RSPCA, Burwood [Suburban Shelter]
  • Animal Aid, Coldstream [Rural Shelter]

Could They Be Killing Dogs To Reduce Costs?

In 2010, only four out of every ten unclaimed dogs were offered for adoption at The Lost Dogs’ Home. How do they choose the unlucky ones? In Victoria, pounds and shelters are required by law to ensure all animals are desexed before sale. Desexing a male dog is generally less costly in both time and resources than desexing a female. Of course, picking out dogs who were are already desexed would offer the biggest saving.

Study Shows LDH Killing Females at a Higher Rate

At the city shelter, bitches were euthanized almost twice as frequently
as at the other shelters, χ2(6, N = 8,883) = 693.72, p < .0001, although
males were euthanized at about 1.5 times the frequency of other shelters,
χ2(6, N = 11,846) = 816.02, p < .0001.

Study Shows LDH Killing Sexually Entire Animals at a Higher Rate

Sexually entire animals formed approximately 66% of animals euthanized at
the rural and suburban shelters but a highly significant 91.7% of
those euthanized at the city, χ2(2, N = 6,539) = 594.72, p < .0001.

Do The Lost Dogs Home Still Selectively Kill Dogs Based on Sex, Size and Sexual Entirety?

We’re repeatedly told that LDH only kill dogs who are untreatably sick or injured or are too aggressive to be rehomed. It’s farcical to suggest that 60% of unclaimed dogs fall into these categories and there is no evidence provided to support their claims.

On the contrary, these dogs are hidden from public view from the moment they are impounded until the day they are sent off in body bags. The Lost Dogs Home has refused calls for them to post pictures of impounded dogs on the internet. This common practice make it easier for owners to locate the pup but would lift the veil of secrecy around their “processing” of unclaimed dogs.

The Question Lost Dogs Home Wouldn’t Answer

I’d been corresponding with LDH for around six months until one day in March, 2011 when I posed the following question:

In the year to 30 June 2010,

  • how many dogs and how many cats were surrendered by owners to LDH?
  • how many of the dogs received, reclaimed, rehomed or destroyed were sexually entire on entry?
I believe I’ve stumbled across an explanation for why they kill so many dogs. It’s cheaper to pick out the desexed ones for adoption and then supplement them with a few that require desexing to make up the quota.
Here’s a special treat for those of you who are good with numbers.

The Lost Dogs’ Home caught culling undesexed dogs.