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Abandoned and Stray Dogs in Australia

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Tens of thousands of dogs are abandoned or surrendered to animal shelters each year in Australia. This number has remained relatively consistent over the past decade, despite increased efforts to reduce the number of abandoned dogs in the country. These dogs can pose a risk to public safety and the environment, and they can also suffer from neglect and abuse.

A dog behind kennel bars with the text "Abandoned Dogs" foregrounded.

One of the main drivers of the abandoned dog problem in Australia is the high cost of pet ownership, particularly when it comes to veterinary care. This can lead to untreated medical conditions, which may result in owners surrendering their pets to animal shelters.

The RSPCA and other animal welfare organisations are working to address the abandoned dog problem through various initiatives. One such initiative is the National Desexing Network, which offers subsidies to pet owners to have their animals desexed. This is aimed at reducing the number of unwanted litters and decreasing the number of abandoned dogs.


There are also many animal rescue organisations and shelters throughout the country that work to rescue and rehome stray and abandoned dogs. These organisations provide temporary care for the dogs, including food, shelter, and medical treatment, until they can be adopted into loving homes.

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