Mandatory reporting of animal fate data by shelters and pounds

On 15 June 2022, the Victorian Government amended the Code of Practice for the Management of Dogs and Cats in Shelters and Pounds (the Code) to introduce mandatory animal fate data reporting requirements. The Code’s new requirements will apply to all shelter and pound establishments regulated under the Code, improving transparency in the management of dogs and cats by these facilities.

Shelters and pounds must begin collecting data from 1 January 2023, including for six new data categories. The first set of data, spanning 1 January 2023 – 30 June 2023, must be reported to Animal Welfare Victoria (AWV) on or before 31 August 2023.

The Code’s new requirements mean, for the first time, government and community will have a comprehensive state-wide animal fate data set for dogs and cats cared for by Victoria’s shelter and pound sector.

Access the amended Code
+ Expand all- Collapse all

For each reporting period, shelters and pounds will be required to report data on the number of dogs and cats:

  • in care at the facility, or in foster care, on the first day of the reporting period
  • physically presented at an establishment but not admitted (and the reason they were not admitted)
  • accepted for admission
  • admitted into foster care
  • that waited more than 14 days to access foster care
  • permanently transferred to other facilities or groups for rehoming
  • reclaimed by their owner
  • rehomed
  • rehomed but returned (including the reason the animal was returned)
  • euthanased (including the reason why euthanasia was the appropriate or necessary outcome)
  • that died, in establishment or while in foster care, but were not euthanased.

Six additional data collection categories were introduced to the Code to ensure the annual data set is comprehensive and reflects a full range of possible animal fates.

The new data categories include the number of animals:

  • physically in an establishment or foster care at the start of a reporting period
  • physically presented at an establishment but not admitted (and the reason they were not admitted)
  • assessed as suitable for foster care that waited more than 14 days to access that care
  • permanently transferred to another establishment or organisation for rehoming
  • rehomed but returned to the same establishment (and the reason they were returned)
  • that died, but were not euthanased, in an establishment or while in foster care.

In August and September 2021, the Victorian Government conducted public consultation via Engage Victoria on mandatory reporting requirements for  shelter and pound animal fate data.

Feedback showed 99% of respondents supported the Victorian Government introducing mandatory reporting of animal fate data from shelters and pounds.

Ninety percent of respondents supported the collection and reporting of additional data categories under the Code: including animals presented; foster care wait times; and animals returned to an establishment after being rehomed.

The Code’s new reporting requirements have been informed by animal fate data collection and reporting practices in New South Wales and internationally.

A summary report on the consultation findings is available on Engage Victoria.

Animal Welfare Victoria will work with shelters and pounds to pilot animal fate data collection and reporting processes in 2023. This aims to support the sector to transition to the Code’s ongoing annual animal fate data reporting requirements, develop familiarity with new requirements, and refine internal processes for data collection and reporting.

It is intended that the first animal fate data set will be published on AWV’s website in late 2023.

As the primary regulating authority under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, Councils remain responsible for ensuring registered shelter and pound establishments maintain compliance with all Code requirements.

From 2024 onwards, animal fate reporting will occur according to calendar year.

Pilot reporting periodsPilot reporting dates

1 January – 30 June 2023

On or before 31 August 2023

1 July – 31 December 2023

On or before 28 February 2024

Ongoing reporting periodOngoing reporting date

1 January – 31 December of the same calendar year

On or before 28 February, following the end of the reporting period

Animal fate data will be published on the AWV website.

The first round of animal fate data will be published in late 2023. This first round of reporting will be for the period 1 January – 30 June 2023. From 2024, animal fate data is anticipated to be published annually, mid year for the previous calendar year.

Animal fate data will have a range of uses to benefit Government, Councils and members of the community, as well as pounds and shelters.

Potential uses will include:

  • informing policy, planning and program development
  • community education on responsible pet ownership
  • community education on the role and work of pounds and shelters
  • showcasing shelter and pound reunification and rehoming work.

For further information on the Code amendments or their implementation, please email

Page last updated: 14 Nov 2023