The NSW Government has announced a record $40.6 million investment into animal welfare and rehoming efforts across the state.

Of the total funding, $20.5 million will go to RSPCA NSW to expand enforcement of animal cruelty laws, $12 million will support the construction of new facilities for companion animal rehoming at the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home at Kurnell, and $5.5 will go to the Animal Welfare League to also expand enforcement of animal cruelty laws.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the funding will provide greater outcomes for rehoming organisations and crack down on animal abusers.

“The past few years have shown just how important companion animals are to the wellbeing of families and households across the state.

“These programs will increase capacity of those organisations that support rehoming and animal welfare to ensure more companion animals are given a safe and secure place to call home.”

Steve Coleman, CEO of RSPCA NSW, said the enforcement capacity boost accelerates RSPCA’s plans centred around the Inspectorate to achieve its mission of reducing animal cruelty.

“This funding unlocks growth in our enforcement agency so we can continue prosecuting those who cause harm, while implementing prevention programs that reduce animal cruelty across the state.”

Wendy Tuckerman, Minister for Local Government, said the investment will ensure that unclaimed or abandoned cats and dogs can be quickly adopted by new families and into their forever home.

“This government has made major investments in shelters across the state to fast-track upgrades and worked closely with metropolitan, rural and regional councils to better understand rehoming practices.

“We’ve also introduced free lifetime pet registration for people who adopt a rescue dog or cat from shelters or pounds, another cost-saving incentive to adopt your next family pet.”

Melissa Penn, General Manager of the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, said the funding will help build a new shelter in Kurnell, which was previously at risk of shutting down.

“After almost 80 years of service, Sydney Dogs and Cats Home has been an essential service supporting over 1.1 million Sydneysiders. We have the experience and expertise and with a permanent facility securing our future, we can scale up and help even more lost, abandoned, and unwanted pets.

“Thank you, Minister Tuckerman, for funding 60 per cent of our new purpose-built shelter in Kurnell and supporting us to continue our essential community service. This is a critical first step to not only helping us save thousands of animals every year, but to growing our community programs and support, creating a lifeline to both the animals we care for and those in the community who need it most.”

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