The Liberal and Nationals Government today announced a record investment of $40.6 million in funding to improve the welfare of animals across the state.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the major funding boost will provide greater outcomes for animal rehoming organisations and crack down on animal abusers who violate the government’s strict animal cruelty laws.
“The past few years have shown just how important companion animals are to the wellbeing of families and households across the state,” Mr Perrottet said.
“These programs will increase capacity of those organisations that support rehoming and animal welfare to ensure more companion animals are given a safe and secure place to call home.”
The funding includes:
- $20.5 million for the RSPCA NSW to expand enforcement of animal cruelty laws
- $5.5 million Animal Welfare League to expand enforcement of animal cruelty laws
- $12 million to support the construction of new facilities for companion animal rehoming at the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home at Kurnell
- $1.5 million to the Cat Protection Society to deliver cat desexing programs
- $750,000 for Lucy’s Project, an organisation which improves access to support for people with animals experiencing domestic and family violence
- $350,000 to Greyhound Rescue to support the rehoming of greyhounds.
Minister for Local Government Wendy Tuckerman said the funding package follows a review of animal rehoming practices, focused on actions to reduce unnecessary euthanasia and to increase the rehoming of companion animals.
“This record investment by the Liberals and Nationals will ensure that unclaimed or abandoned cats and dogs can be quickly adopted by new families and into their forever home,” Mrs Tuckerman said.
“This government has made major investments in shelters across the state to fast track upgrades and worked closely with metropolitan, rural and regional councils to better understand rehoming practices.
“We’ve also introduced free lifetime pet registration for people who adopt a rescue dog or cat from shelters or pounds, another cost-saving incentive to adopt your next family pet.”
Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders welcomed the funding boost for animal welfare enforcement.
“It’s important that RSPCA NSW and the Animal Welfare League have the resources they need to continue to do their important work to stamp out animal cruelty in NSW,” Mr Saunders said.
“The NSW Liberals and Nationals have a strong track record when it comes to animal welfare in NSW, following the implementation of some of the most severe penalties for animal welfare in the country.”
RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman said the enforcement capacity boost accelerates the organisation’s plans centred around the Inspectorate to achieve its mission of reducing animal cruelty.
“This funding unlocks growth in our enforcement agency so we can continue prosecuting those who cause harm, while implementing prevention programs that reduce animal cruelty across the state.” Mr Coleman said.
General Manager of the Sydney Dogs & Cats Home Melissa Penn said this capital funding will help build a new shelter in Kurnell to address Sydney’s surge of unwanted pets now and into the future. Having been at risk of closure, this permanent facility secures the future of Sydney Dogs & Cats Home.
“After almost 80 years of service, Sydney Dogs & Cats Home has been an essential service supporting over 1.1 million Sydneysiders. We have the experience and expertise and with a permanent facility securing our future, we can scale up and help even more lost, abandoned and unwanted pets,” Ms Penn said.
“Thank you, Minister Tuckerman, for funding 60% of our new purpose-built shelter in Kurnell and supporting us to continue our essential community service. This is a critical first step to not only helping us save thousands of animals every year, but to growing our community programs and support, creating a lifeline to both the animals we care for and those in the community who need it most.”
Member for Cronulla Mark Speakman said the future of the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home was secure thanks to the Liberals and Nationals in Government.
“My family adopted our beautiful Golden Retriever Lucy from the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home in 2018, and she has brought my family so much love and joy. I’m proud to be part of a government which is ensuring this organisation can continue to do their amazing work and bring the same joy to future families and pets.” Mr Speakman said.