Fewer dogs will be saved if a pound isn't reinstated in Wodonga, the city's dog rescue says.
Volunteers have put out an S.O.S. for dedicated volunteers and a long-term facility so that they can house animals, or else they'll have to wind back operations.
Flow-on effects from COVID-19 and the tightening rental market have prompted more surrenders to the rescue, its leader Peta McRae said.
"We've had surrenders because of domestic violence, we've had homeless people reaching out asking if we could take their dogs and we've got nothing that we can offer them," she said.
"We need a facility that we can put dogs in for all sorts of reasons.
"If we've got them at the one facility, we can get people to come meet the animals, we can get volunteers in to walk the dogs.
"It's just really frustrating that the old pound is sitting there doing nothing.
"We have to pay to put dogs in kennels if I go away - there's nothing else. I haven't had a holiday in 30 years."
The rescue was working with Council at their pound facility on the grounds of the tip, but began renting a building at Sangsters Road soon after the pound was closed in 2016.
This has limited space for housing dogs and is within a residential area, meaning Ms McRae is often forced to keep surrenders at her own home.
A record 40 dogs a month and many kittens are currently being saved by the group.
Rangers take animals to the Albury pound, where they are kept for a mandatory period and can be legally sold or euthanised thereafter.
"They've told people to just let the dog go - that's when we're out at 10pm," Ms McRae said.
A ranger is always on call for emergencies, but due to occupational health and safety requirements, they will not attend to collect a roaming dog overnight, Wodonga Council said.
Chief executive Mark Dixon said a report on the options for pound will be presented to the May council meeting.
"The former pound building is kept for emergency requirements and is inside the Waste Transfer Station site, making it inaccessible to the community outside of opening hours," he said.
"The present facility - without significant upgrade - does not meet the Victorian standards for use for long stays or as a shelter or rescue facility.
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"As a community, it is important we are responsible pet owners."
There are concerns that Wodonga council will ultimately seek shared arrangements when Albury council takes over the pound this year.
The rescue will be meeting with the Animal Justice Party.
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