Homeless pet problem up for discussion at Getting 2 Zero summit

Every year in Australia, hundreds of thousands of healthy and treatable cats and dogs are euthanized in pounds, shelters and vet clinics.

In fact, an estimated 45,000 dogs and 95,000 cats are euthanized every year in shelters across the country.

It’s a horrifying statistic and one that delegates at the 8th national Getting 2 Zero (G2Z) summit on the Gold Coast this week are hoping to change.


G2Z is a national program aimed at preventing the unnecessary euthanasia of unwanted pets in Australian pounds and shelters by providing strategies, support and resources to those involved in animal management and welfare.

Animal Welfare League Queensland’s Strategic Director Dr. Joy Verrinder said the Gold Coast is leading the way when it comes to reducing the euthanasia rate of healthy and treatable cats and dogs.

“The Gold Coast has lot to be proud of and currently has the lowest euthanasia rate in Australia,” she told myGC.

“In 2001, 32% of dogs and 57% of cats were euthanized at pounds and shelters on the Gold Coast. Today, only 5% of dogs and 7 % cats are euthanized, and this is due to irremediable suffering or because the animal is incredibly aggressive.

“The summit is chance for us to share strategies the Gold Coast has implemented with other communities around the country in order to continue lowering the rate of euthanasia.”

Delegates at this year’s event will also hear from a number international expert speakers including Kristen Hassen-Auerbach – Director of Animal Services, Pima Animal Care Center, USA, Dr Holly Putnam – Chief Medical Officer for Emancipet, USA, Trish McMillan  – Animal Behaviourist and Trainer, Loehr Animal Behavior, USA, and Rosemarie Crawford  – Co-founder and Director of Educational Programs, National Kitten Coalition, USA.

Nell Thompson, G2Z Coordinator, said the Summit provides a rare opportunity to tap into the wealth of knowledge and experience these international experts are bringing to Australia.

“There is great lineup of local speakers presenting on a diverse array of issues. There are no other events like this in the Australasian region and G2Z is proud to deliver an economically viable professional development and networking experience that can facilitate best practice outcomes for homeless pets around the country,” she said.

“Attendance at the Summit is beneficial for people involved in companion animal policy and practice – including individuals working in all levels of government, not for profit welfare, the shelter and rescue sector, plus the research, academic and veterinary professions and the pet industry.”

The 8th National G2Z Summit is on at the Mantra on View Hotel from 11 – 13 September 2019. For more information, visit: g2z.org.au/