How the pound system works

Many people know what a shelter or pound is, but do you know how it actually works? What happens when a dog is caught as a stray or surrendered? And what does a due date mean?

Stray dogs

The majority of dogs in shelters and pounds come in as strays. This means they may have gotten out of their yard, escaped while on a walk or worst of all dumped on the side of the road. Council rangers are called to pick up stray dogs from various locations such as local homes, vet clinics or have to try and catch a roaming dog by hand. Once they have been brought to the pound they are scanned for a micro chip and photographed by the council office staff. The dogs details (age, breed, gender, area found, impound and kennel number) go onto the pound website while the workers try and contact the last known phone number and address on the chip.
Then the waiting game begins, with the time depending on if the dog is micro chipped or not. Dogs that are not micro chipped are then given 7 days in which time the owner can come forward to claim their dog with proof of ownership. Dogs that are chipped are given up to 16 days for the owners to come forward. This is the moment we all hope and pray the dog goes home to their lovely family but unfortunately this is not the case all too often.
The first hurtle is any dog that leaves the pound (unless the dog leaves with a rescue group) needs to be desexed, micro chipped (or chip details updated) and registered with the local council. If these terms are not met the the owner has to pay for this, on top of the board the council pound charges. This is when dogs are either left in their kennel waiting until their due date comes or surrendered over the phone.

A dog’s due date

If you walk through the pound or view the council website you may see the words “due date” or “release date”. This refers to the date that the dog becomes the legal property of the council. If there is a dog you like and it is not due yet, you can put your name down as an interested party and when the date arrives you will receive a phone call. This works like a list, first person to put their name down is called and given 24 hours to decide. If they don’t adopt the dog the second person on the list is contacted and so forth. So even though a dog may not be available for sale yet you can still put your name down as a potential adopter.

The length of time a dog is in the pound

There is no set length of time a dog is in the pound for before it can be at risk of euthanasia. As long as there are free kennels at the pound every dog is safe. This can range from 1 month to over 3 months in some cases. As you can imagine the pound environment is very traumatic and can be just like being locked in a small laundry and only let out for 10 minutes per week to run and play. At Rescue Hub we aim to promote and help dogs out of the pound system as soon as possible so each dog can continue living a normal happy life with a loving family.