The first animals have started arriving at the new Epping pound.

The Epping Animal Welfare Facility, which was funded by Whittlesea, Darebin and Moreland councils, and is managed by RSPCA Victoria, opened its doors on October 16.

The Companion Place pound is expected to house more than 3000 dogs and 3000 cats during its first year of operations.

The centre can accommodate 165 cats, 110 dogs, 20 small animals such as guinea pigs, and multiple livestock at any one time.

It will offer shelter, accommodation and an adoption service for domestic animals brought into the facility from the three municipalities.

An on-site veterinary service will provide care for any injured or ill animals, as well as providing vaccinations and desexing for unclaimed animals in preparation for adoption.

Whittlesea mayor Ricky Kirkham said the centre had been carefully designed to ensure it can deliver high quality animal welfare services to the community.

“No one wants to see animals in the pound, but the reality is that there is a real community need for these types of facilities.

“The facility was designed to provide a comfortable environment for animals and to be an inviting place to encourage people to come in and adopt their new best friend,” he said.

RSPCA chief executive Liz Walker said the facility was a fantastic investment in domestic animal management.

“[The councils] have shown real foresight in partnering to meet the animal welfare needs of their respective communities,” Dr Walker said.

Details: 8401 6600