Doghouse to poorhouse

�After that, it�s not looking good,� Dogs� Refuge Home general manager Judy Flanagan said.

For the past three years, the Lemnos Street refuge has received $75,000 each year from the $200,000 annual Department of Local Government fund that has operated since December, 2012.

The money covered a third of the refuge�s veterinary fees to sterilise, vaccinate, microchip and rehouse up to 1000 dogs each year.

However, estimates in the State Budget on May 8 showed no money for the grants in 12 months.

�Without that support, we would have to find the money from elsewhere (like) the community and corporate backing, which would be very difficult in this current fiscal environment,� Ms Flanagan said.

The fund also provided $75,000 annually for two years to rebuild pens at the nearby Shenton Park Cat Haven, where it costs $13 a day to care for each of the 330 homeless cats, with another 550 in foster care.

About $75,000 was expected from the fund in 2015-16.

Cat Haven marketing manager Chandra Woodley said while the grant was only for improvement projects and not recurrent costs and there was no guarantee it would be indefinite, it was �a real shame� it could be cut after 2015-16.

Work is continuing on improving the site, which now has more cats and is a cat facility for 12 local councils.

�If we could use ongoing government funding for our expansion projects to house more cats, we wouldn�t have to use our valuable donated funds that are sorely needed for everyday food and other running costs,� Ms Woodley said

A spokesman for Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said funding beyond 2015-16 may be considered in �future budget deliberations�.

He said $200,000 each year for four years was committed for animal rescue groups and shelters, as well as legislating new cat and dog acts, to reduce the number of abandoned pets.