THE Orange RSPCA shelter found homes for 454 unwanted pets last year, but was forced to euthanise 328 cats and 170 dogs.
Only 52 adult cats and 41 adult dogs found new homes.
RSPCA animal care services senior manager Donna Hough said it was unfortunate the rate of rehoming was so low because people chose not to desex and microchip their pets.
However, she said the rate of successful rehoming in Orange was better than other centres where at times the rehoming rate was as low as 1 per cent.
“The Orange shelter is an impound facility, which means it is contracted to the council, so that means we don’t have a lot of say about what is coming in,” she said.
“Other centres, which are not impound centres, do not have to take strays. Orange is comparable to other similar regional centres like Dubbo and the staff do their best to re-home everything that is suitable.”
The average time an animal stays at the shelter in Orange varies depending on the type of animal, with dogs staying at the centre for about 25 days, puppies about 20 days, cats about 30 days and kittens about 25 days.
But that does not mean animals are euthanised if they are not re-homed in that time.
Ms Hough said people wrongly believed there was a “death row” at the RSPCA.
“One of the next biggest misconceptions about the RSPCA is that there is a time limit on how long we keep animals before they are put to sleep. This isn’t true,” she said.
The shelter can transfer animals to other centres if they have not been successful in Orange and animals can be fostered out to homes before they are adopted.
In 2013 the Orange shelter transported 70 animals across the state.
“Animals are moved between facilities for reasons such as limited space at the current shelter, need for ongoing medical or surgical treatment, or long-term foster care that may not be available in the local area,” Ms Hough said.
“Animals that have been available for adoption for a lengthy period of time may be moved to another region to increase their chance of rehoming.”
In 2013, the Orange Shelter re-homed 454 animals, includng:
Guinea pigs 2