More than 100 dogs euthanised at Auckland shelters due to lack of kennel space

Auckland Council animal shelters have for the first time been forced to euthanise dogs due to the facilities reaching capacity.  

In the year to June 2023, 2615 impounded dogs were euthanised, up from 1329 the previous year - a 95 percent increase, according to Auckland Council's latest annual animal management report.  

Of the euthanised dogs, 151 were put down because the shelters were too full. The previous year, that figure was zero. It has never happened before.  

Craig Hobbs, Auckland Council's director of regulatory services, is now pleading with dog owners to be responsible. 

"Ever since COVID, Zane, we've had a huge influx or growth in the dog population in Auckland," he told Newshub.  

"There was no de-sexing during the two-and-a-half years of COVID so there was an explosion in puppies." 

There were 6596 dogs impounded at the three Auckland animal shelters, but only 53 percent were claimed by their owners.

Auckland Council says it caused the shelters to operate above 80 percent capacity for every day of the year. 

If the dogs are not adopted, difficult decisions must be made. 

"Having to support vets to euthanise is the worst part and the hardest part of the job," Hobbs said.  

To meet all that demand, he said Auckland Council will need to invest $5.9 million in the next couple of years. 

"We just don't have the capacity in the shelters to manage the volume of dogs coming through." 

Hobbs is asking dog owners to step up.

"Registering is critical," he said, adding that de-sexing is also important, unless you are a breeder.  

"Get your dog de-sexed for two reasons: one, it keeps the population down, secondly it also de-sensitises the dog a bit; they tend to be calmer and easier to train." 

If you live in Auckland and haven't owned a dog before, now is your chance to give a puppy a forever home.