Animal welfare facility - wat djerring


About our facility

The wat djerring Animal Facility is our city’s animal pound. We manage the facility in partnership with Merri-bek and Darebin councils. We:

  • reunite lost pets with their owners
  • look after lost, stray, abandoned and surrendered animals
  • provide veterinary care like vaccination and desexing to animals at the centre
  • promote pet wellbeing and responsible pet ownership.
  • provide an adoption service to give animals a new start

Our philosophy

The three councils have worked together to develop an in-house operating model that is designed to achieve the best possible outcomes for the animals and our community. We aim to:

  • reunite the maximum number of animals possible with their owners
  • find loving new homes for stray pets
  • reduce euthanasia rates.

Opening hours 

Monday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm 

Tuesday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm 

Wednesday: 12:00 pm - 6:30 pm 

Thursday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm 

Friday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm 

Weekends and public holidays: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Closed on Christmas Day, Anzac Day, and Good Friday. 

Outside business hours our services are limited to - attending to injured domestic animals, responding to dog attacks, attending to livestock on public roads and contained (not wandering) dogs between 8:30 am – 6 pm.


Appointments for reclaims and adoptions are preferred, however we will accept walk-ins during our business hours.

Surrenders are available via appointment only.

About our name

Formerly known as the Epping Animal Welfare Facility, wat djerring Animal Facility was renamed in 2023 after consulting with the community and the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation.

wat djerring means ‘we together’. The name acknowledges the cultural heritage of the land on which the facility is located and reflects the purpose of the facility, which is to reconnect people with their pets and to give animals a fresh start.

The new name is complemented by a new logo designed by Aboriginal artist De Greer-Yindimincarlie at YindiArtz. It represents how an animal, despite the challenges of its journey, can flourish and thrive with love and care.

wat djerring animal facility logo


For more information, see our news article on the launch of the new name.


Are pet adoptions offered from the facility?

Yes. Visit our pet adoption page to learn more.

Is veterinary treatment done at the facility?

Yes. We look after vaccinations, flea and worm treatment, microchipping and any other treatment that the animals need while they are in our care.

Who pays the vet bills while animals are in your care?

We pay the medical costs of the animals at the facility while they are in our care.

A vet is available for health checks, medication and emergency care if needed. All animals leaving the facility into the care of rescue groups will be microchipped, vaccinated, and treated for fleas and worms.

What is the facility's euthanasia policy?

The facility only euthanises animals as a very last resort when it is the most humane option. We work closely with animal rescue organisations to minimise euthanasia rates at our facility.

What is the facility's policy on behaviour testing before rehoming or sending to rescue groups?

We have a committee that includes experienced staff from each council and the wat djerring Animal Facility veterinarian and coordinator.

This committee considers feedback from animal attendants and other relevant staff to determine which unclaimed animals are suitable for rehoming and which are not. Rest assured, the people on this committee have the expertise and experience to make ethical decisions in the animal’s best interests.

Since the facility is run by three councils, how will my pet be linked to me?

The facility is run by the City of Whittlesea, partnering with Darebin and Merri-bek councils. We work closely together to ensure pets find their way home.

All animals entering the facility are scanned for a microchip and then each council's animal registration database is checked to help identify the animal and contact its owner.

It is important to keep your contact details on your pet's microchip up to date so we can reunite beloved pets with their owners as soon as possible.

We also have a lost pet register where you can leave your details and upload photos of your pet. This allows the team at the wat djerring Animal Facility to cross reference lost reports to the animals in the facility.

Will you run a wat djerring Animal Facility volunteer program?

We are exploring the option of a volunteer program.

Is there funding available to help animal welfare groups?

Grants are available to not-for-profit and community organisations that:

  • rehome pets
  • provide low-cost veterinary services
  • provide free or low-cost desexing programs.

Learn more about grants