Our Positions & Policies
The AWL is governed by the Dog and Cat Management Act in relation to the care and impounding of animals. In addition, we have established stringent internal standards and processes of operation to ensure best practice for the care and welfare of animal is at the forefront of our animal management.
The Animal Welfare League of SA Inc. (AWL) shall accept animals lawfully impounded by relevant authorities from time to time under the terms of the Dog and Cat Management Act (1995), Livestock Act and the Animal Welfare Act, as amended, and local Government By-Laws.
The AWL shall enter into agreements with Local Councils and accept all animals lawfully impounded by them, and care for such animals until either reclaimed by their owners or ownership is transferred under the Act to AWL.
The Animal Welfare League of South Australia Inc (AWL) will accept any animal in need of its services where it has the facilities and capabilities to provide care.
The Animal Welfare League of South Australia (AWL) will always provide for the physical and behavioural needs of all animals in its care according to the "Five freedoms" as stated in the (1) Shelter Vet Guidelines.
- Freedom from hunger and thirst: by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.
- Freedom from discomfort: by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
- Freedom for pain, injury or disease: by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
- Freedom to express normal behaviour: by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animals’ own kind.
- Freedom from fear and distress: by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
(1) Animal Welfare Council 2009
The Animal Welfare League of SA (AWL) strives to rehome all healthy and rehomeable companion animals having given due consideration to the health and welfare of that animal and any perceived risk to society. It will seek to find homes for these animals that will adhere to the five freedoms of animal welfare and promote the human-animal bond. Animals will be desexed and microchipped before adoption if appropriate to that species.
The Animal Welfare League of SA (AWL) will strive through the use of health and behavioural assessments to ensure that all animals in its care are given the best possible opportunity to be successfully rehomed.
Assessments will be conducted by the veterinary and behavioural teams on an ongoing basis to ensure that rehoming shall be done with due consideration of the health and welfare of each animal and any perceived risk to society.
Animals sheltered or owned by the AWL may be used for study or teaching activities under the following specific circumstances:
- The procedures undertaken will not have any adverse impact on the animals involved.
- The activity has the potential to benefit the species involved.
The activity falls into one of the following categories:
- teaching activities designed to further animal welfare; or
- behavioural observations where no handling is required (such as observations carried out from outside a kennel); or
- activities associated with routine veterinary or animal management procedures (such as weighing or measuring animals, walking them, conducting physical health examinations or behavioural assessments, or obtaining blood samples) where such activities or samples are already being undertaken.
- Any request shall be specifically considered by the Animal Welfare sub-committee with a recommendation to the CEO.
Animals sheltered or owned by the AWL shall not be used as a resource for the supply of blood, organs or any other tissue.
All animals in the care of the Animal Welfare League of South Australia Inc (AWL) will be treated with respect and compassion. At all times we will be mindful that our interactions should be a positive experience for the animals and we will actively seek ways to minimise their distress.
The Animal Welfare League of South Australia Inc (AWL) strongly supports desexing of all companion cats and dogs that are kept as pets to prevent unwanted breeding and reduce the numbers of unwanted animals. AWL supports early age desexing in a shelter facility, subject to satisfactory health checks and all dogs and cats must be desexed prior to transfer or adoption.
Consideration of desexing of companion animals of other species shall be made subject to current veterinary standards in dealing with that species.
The Animal Welfare League of South Australia Inc. (AWL) provides temporary home support to selected animals with special requirements. The animal remains the property of the AWL.
The Animal Welfare League of South Australia Inc (AWL) strives for zero euthanasia of healthy and rehomeable pets. The fundamental principle of this Policy is that all animals are to be considered on an individual basis. The decision to euthanase an animal is not taken lightly or in haste but is done with due consideration of the health and welfare of that animal, the risk to society, the wider shelter population and in accordance with State regulations. Where an owner presents a pet and requests euthanasia, AWL shall ensure that this is performed with minimal delay, taking into consideration both the welfare of the animal and the owner, with appropriate support.
The Animal Welfare League of South Australia Inc (AWL) strongly advocates that all dogs and cats should be permanently identified by electronic means (microchip or RFID). All pets shall be microchipped prior to transfer or adoption, subject to species’ characteristics.
AWL supports the use of an “M” tattoo to identify animals that have been microchipped.
The Animal Welfare League of South Australia Inc (AWL) aims to promote responsible ownership of pets through education and advocacy.
The AWL considers a responsible pet owner will:
- Be committed to providing lifelong care to their pet
- Provide for their pet’s physical and mental wellbeing
- Comply with all local, state and federal regulations in regards to housing, care, registration and licensing of their pet
The AWL also promotes the following aspects of responsible pet ownership
- Developing a strong human/animal bond
- Being aware of the individual nature of each pet and the requirements for its lifelong care
- Training and socialisation
- Identification of pets through microchips and collars with tags
- Desexing of pets that are not specifically kept for breeding purposes.
The Animal Welfare League of SA Inc. (AWL) is opposed to the surgical modification of animals for cosmetic or non-therapeutic purposes.
The Animal Welfare League of South Australia Inc (AWL) provides for the care of pets, through foster homes, where the owners are no longer able to suitably care for the animal and who are prepared to make a financial donation to the AWL. Persons wishing the AWL to accept responsibility of the care of their pet following the death of such persons are required to make provision by way of a bequest and authority for the AWL to exercise such care by way of a clause in their Will.