DA, DPI is per each state. What applies to us in Victoria may not apply to you in Tassie. Also, some pounds follow the rules of the DPI to the T and others will make exception for rescue. EG some pounds will release to me (without a signed contract) entire because I will often need to have entropion surgery performed at the same time (this is always performed by a specialist where we have the control). Others are by the book and therefore make the dog undergo 2 anesthetics, one for desex before leaving the shelter and another for entropion days later as entropion is more often than not urgent surgery *sigh* Then there are other pounds that I have signed documentation with stating that we take responsibility of an entire dog to have surgeries performed at a later date i.e. regains health, goes out of season, etc. This exception also applies to vaccinations, however all dogs are microchipped before they leave the pound.
In our case, I just find it easier to have all dogs desexed at the shelter unless there are circumstances that would postpone this, or if we need specialist surgeries.
Bottom line is that it depends on the shelter and also the reputation of the rescue group.
As far as individuals go, I believe there is no exception to the desex rule DEPENDING on which shelter the dog wanders into. EG RSPCA do NOT require an owner to desex a dog before return, nor Mornington Pound. HOWEVER (and I suspect this particular scenario) was within the confines of FRANKSTON SHIRE as I believe there is absolutely NO exception to this rule within this shire. I have read a lot about this causing unrest within the community, but hey as AMF says, if your entire dog gets out whether by accident or on purpose???, how many impregnated dogs does it take to ensure he is sterilised?? Or how many litters must a female endure?? It is a HUGE responsibility to own an entire dog/bitch and I don't disagree that one must pay the ultimate price should anything occur to allow this furkid and accidental mating!! ...............I am sure I will be shot down in flames for this statement!