What we do
The Bendigo Animal Relief Centre, affectionately called ‘BARC’, provides feed, shelter and medical treatment to animals who have become lost, seized or surrendered.
BARC has a variety of cats, dogs, and occasionally other animals, available for adoption. All cats and dogs are temperament tested and BARC staff will work towards ensuring your new pet is a suitable match for you, your family, and your lifestyle. All cats and dogs available for adoption are microchipped, wormed, desexed and vaccinated.
How we operate
The Bendigo Animal Relief Centre (BARC) is the council funded animal pound service for the City of Greater Bendigo, operating in accordance with the Domestic Animal Act (1994). Opening in 2019, BARC provides housing, care, and medical treatment to more than 2000 stray, lost, abandoned, sick, injured, and surrendered domestic animals each year.
Reuniting missing pets with their owners is BARC’s priority. To assist our community, BARC provides free microchipping to all cats and dogs, and free council registration to all pets under the age of 12 months.
Council registered pets can be reclaimed from BARC on their day of impound for no fee. There are fees for unregistered pets and pets that stay for a period of time. These fees are displayed on our FAQ page.
Where people communicate to us that they are experiencing hardship or having difficulties paying any required fees, we have options to assist and will discuss options with an owner with the intent to reunite them with their pet.
In addition to providing pound services, BARC also operates as a shelter, providing animal adoptions both locally and interstate. BARC works tirelessly to place animals either in new loving homes, or with rescue/adoption partners who are experts in rehoming animals. You can read more about what is involved in adopting a pet from us on our adoption page.
BARC has a low euthanasia rate compared with other council services. BARC’s pound service must accept all dogs and cats from the City of Greater Bendigo, regardless of medical, or behavioural condition.
All unclaimed stray animals and surrendered animals are medical and behaviourally assessed for suitability for adoptions. Some animals BARC takes in are very sick with extensive medical requirements, and some have behavioural issues which may present a risk to humans or other animals.
BARC will euthanise only when an animal requires medical treatment beyond our ability to provide, or when an animal has unmanageable behaviour that presents a safety concern to potential adopters or to the community. BARC does not euthanise animals for space.
BARC does not identify as a “no kill” shelter. In every community there are a number of pets that will not be candidates for rehoming due to major medical issues or severe behaviour concerns. Shelters may identify themselves as “no-kill” allowing them to select the pets they wish to admit, and turn away others. This provides “no-kill” shelters the option of not having to make euthanasia decisions. BARC does not have the discretion to make these selective admission decisions and must operate in accordance with our regulatory requirements.
If euthanasia is deemed necessary, it is a decision that is not made lightly, and our staff carry this decision with them. We will not engage in any abuse towards our staff as a result of euthanasia decisions.
Here at the Bendigo Animal Relief Centre we are dedicated to providing a safe and caring temporary home for your lost or new best friend. We are constantly striving to create a community of responsible pet owners by providing support and information for all pets big and small.