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Epping Animal Welfare Facility

The Animal Welfare Facility in Epping (EAWF) is managed by Whittlesea City Council in partnership with Merri-bek and Darebin Councils. This in house model aims to achieve the best possible outcomes for the animals and our community. The three Councils worked together to develop an operating model which is designed to reduce euthanasia rates, to reunite the maximum amount of animals with their owners or find them loving new homes.


Epping Animal Welfare Facility 

Epping Animal Welfare Facility is closed from 24 December 2022 – 7 January 2023 to the public and will be open by appointment only.


Epping Animal Welfare Facility

Location: 20 Companion Place, Epping (previously known as Pound Road)

Phone: 8401 6200


Opening hours:

  • Monday -10am-4pm
  • Tuesday - 10am-4pm
  • Wednesday - 12pm-6.30pm
  • Thursday - 10am-4pm
  • Friday - 10am-4pm
  • Weekends and public holidays - 10am-2pm

Closed on Christmas Day, Anzac Day and Good Friday.

Lost Pets

If your pet is missing:

If you pet is not at the pound, RSPCA Victoria offers more advice on finding your lost pet.

Other ways to find your lost pet

If you pet is not at the pound, RSPCA Victoria offers more advice on finding your lost pet.

Collecting your pet from the pound
You can collect your lost pet from the pound for a fee during opening hours (you'll need to bring proof of your pet's current animal registration to have your pet released).

Found a lost or stray pet

If you find or sight a stray or wandering/roaming animal contact us on 9217 2170 for instructions (outside of business hours, you'll be directed through to our after-hours service).

Be careful when approaching stray animals, they may be afraid and attack. If the animal is friendly, check it for an identification tag and contact the owner.

Animal Adoptions

The Epping Animal Welfare Facility will be accommodating animal adoptions where possible and we welcome your adoption enquiry.  You can apply using our online Adoption Form. Pets available for adoption through the Epping Animal Welfare Facility can be seen on the Whittlesea Pets Facebook page.

Council appreciates you taking the time to complete this application. It is extremely important to Council that pets are adopted into households that are suited to both the pet and the household. Identifying suitability takes time, upon review and approval we will contact you as soon as possible. Thank you for considering adopting a pet that needs a loving home.

Other adoption facilities to contact if you are wanting to adopt a pet:

Epping Animal Welfare Facility - Frequently Asked Questions

From the 16 October 2022 the Epping Animal Welfare Facility, which functions as an animal pound will be operated in-house by the City of Whittlesea partnering with Merri-bek and Darebin Councils.

Whittlesea, Merri-bek and Darebin Councils have decided to manage the operation of the Epping Animal Welfare Facility in-house to achieve the best possible outcomes for the animals and our community.

The three Councils have worked together to develop an operating model which is designed to reduce the current euthanasia rates and reunite the maximum amount of animals with their owners or find them loving new homes.

The Facility will be managed and resourced by experts in animal care and welfare.

This in-house model is in line with a number of other local councils including Ballarat, Bendigo, Melton and Wyndham.

The change in management is not anticipated to deliver cost savings but is designed to deliver better outcomes for animals and the community.

Yes, there will be some adoptions directly from the Facility and we have partnered with 26 rescue groups and welfare organisations who will also be offering adoption opportunities.

In addition to the smaller, often volunteer-run rescue groups, Council is partnering with major animal welfare organisations who have much greater capacity. Any animals that rescue groups and welfare organisations cannot accommodate will continue to be cared for at the Facility.

Council’s objectives for the Facility is to:

  • achieve the best outcomes possible for the animals in our care
  • reunite every animal possible with their owners or find them loving new homes
  • reduce the current euthanasia rates

We will continue to review the approach to adoptions to ensure it is delivering the best outcomes for animals and community.

Animals that are suitable for re-homing will stay at the facility until a position at a rescue group becomes available or Council is able to facilitate an adoption. Some animals may have longer stays at the Facility as a result of this.

We are confident the arrangements we are putting in place will deliver enhanced outcomes for the animals in our care and we are looking forward to working with the passionate people in the rescue sector.

Veterinary work will be undertaken at the Facility.

This will include but is not limited to vaccination, flea and worm treatment, microchipping and any other treatment that is required while animals are in our care.

Yes. The in-house model will deliver an excellent standard of animal care while allowing Council more flexibility to respond to community trends and needs, develop further partnerships across the animal welfare sector and take ownership of the shared municipalities’ domestic animal management priorities.

The Facility will be managed and resourced by experts in animal care and welfare including an in-house Veterinary Practitioner and two Vet Nurses.

The facility will only euthanise animals as a very last resort when this is the most humane option.

A committee will be established which will include experienced staff from each council, the Epping Animal Facility Veterinarian and Coordinator. This committee will consider feedback from animal attendants and other relevant staff to determine which unclaimed animals are suitable for rehoming and which are not.

The people on this committee have the expertise and experience to ensure ethical decision making.

The Facility will:

  • provide stray, abandoned and surrendered animals with refuge and a new life
  • reunite lost pets with their owners
  • facilitate adoptions by finding new homes for unowned cats and dogs
  • protect animals from cruelty
  • promote pet wellbeing
  • provide education regarding responsible pet ownership
  • provide veterinary care to animals at the centre

Council has not directed the RSPCA to empty the Facility. As part of the transition arrangements, RSPCA Victoria has advised Council that they will remove animals who are past the eight-day quarantine period to other RSPCA shelters.

Any animals still within the eight days will remain at the Epping Animal Welfare Facility.

Council will continue to collaborate with the RSPCA during and post change over to ensure a smooth transition.

In accordance with the Domestic Animals Act and the Code of Practice for the Management of Dogs and Cats in Shelters and Pounds, Councils are required to hold cats and dogs for a minimum of eight days to allow their owner time to reclaim them before they become eligible for re-homing.

It is in the animal’s best interests to minimise the length of time an animal stays in the Facility, and our main aim is to reunite and rehome animals as quickly as possible.

Animals will not be euthanised after eight days if no home is found. They will be cared for at the Facility until a suitable rescue can be found.

Medical costs of animals at the facility will be the responsibility of Council whilst they are in our care.

A vet will be available to provide health checks, medication and emergency care if required. All animals leaving the facility into the care of rescue groups will be microchipped, vaccinated, flea and worm treated.

The Facility will be run by the City of Whittlesea, partnering with Darebin and Moreland councils, who will work closely to ensure pets find their way home. All animals entering the Facility are scanned for a microchip and then each council's animal registration database is checked to help identify the animal and contact its owner.

It is always important to keep your contact details on your pet's microchip up to date so we can reunite beloved pets with their owners as soon as possible.

A lost report register will also be developed, allowing owners to leave their details and upload photos of their pets. This will allow our team at the Epping Animal Welfare Facility team to cross reference lost reports to the animals in the facility.

Once the facility has transitioned to the new management model, Council will be exploring the option of a volunteer program.

It is anticipated the Facility will be renamed in the future.

Recruitment for the facility is underway and RSPCA staff working at the Epping Animal Welfare Facility have been invited to apply for the available positions.

Grants are available to not-for-profit and community organisations who:

  • rehome pets
  • provide low-cost veterinary services
  • provide free or low-cost desexing programs.

Visit - Animal Welfare Fund Grants Program | Community and education | Animal Welfare Victoria | Livestock and animals | Agriculture Victoria