Melbourne’s pets and their people stand to reap significant benefits from the recently released Pet Census announced by the Victorian Government. Lort Smith will use information from Victoria’s first-ever census specifically for pets to help better understand the needs of the community we serve.
In an essential milestone for pet welfare in Victoria, Acting Minister for Agriculture Harriet Shing visited Lort Smith’s Campbellfield site to unveil the findings from the Pet Census. A pivotal initiative in promoting responsible pet ownership, the census estimates approximately 4.3 million pets live in our homes and communities. Key findings include:
- 58% of adults in Victoria own pets.
- Dogs and cats make up most of the pets found in the home, with 41% dogs and 24% cats.
- Pet diversity is increasing, with 6% of households owning exotic pets like small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish.
- Approximately $1.8 billion was spent on veterinary services and medicines, highlighting the community’s commitment to animal health.
Minister Shing’s announcement outlined the significance of the information gathered; “The Census data will empower us to better cater to a diverse range of pet owners in our community, ensuring quality support and services for every pet, regardless of species.”
In addition to the decades of experience caring for sick, injured and vulnerable animals in our community, Lort Smith will use the Pet Census findings to shape our current programs and services to ensure the health and well-being of pets and the people who love them. We will do this by;
- Providing support for diverse pet needs: Our commitment to catering to the health needs of various pets, including exotic animals, is more pertinent than ever, given the range of pets owned in Victorian households.
- Offering a haven for animals in need: Lort Smith remains dedicated to finding forever homes for vulnerable animals and will continue to ensure that our animal shelter and adoption service provides the love and care they need.
- Delivering resources and support for behavioural training: Recognising that the most common reason for pet surrender is behavioural challenges (23%), we are committed to offering pet care education, including puppy school and one-on-one behaviour training services. Our Adoption Centre team also works with animals in our shelter to improve behavioural issues and match them with appropriate new homes.
- Supporting the community: Recognising the profound impact of the human-animal bond, Lort Smith continues community outreach through initiatives such as our Pet Therapy program, which provides comfort and relief in hospitals, residential care and justice settings.
As the community’s understanding of and dedication to pet ownership continues to evolve, Lort Smith is committed to supporting these needs for generations to come with an unwavering commitment to Melbourne’s pets.