A dog’s life on death row

Blacktown Sun, by Nick Soonn, 29/01/2008 12:00:00 AM

BLACKTOWN Council blames irresponsible pet owners for the putting down of 3448 cats and dogs over 12 months in 2006/07.Cr Russ Dickens, a veterinarian, and Helen Powderly, the president of the Animal Welfare League Western Sydney region, agree.

 Mayor Leo Kelly said that Blacktown’s animal-holding facility accepted animals from Auburn, Lane Cove, Canada Bay, Holroyd, Ryde, Parramatta and Hunters Hill, as well as from the local area.

 His comments follow the release of Department of Local Government data that put Blacktown at the top of a list of 20 councils which put down animals. Tamworth was second (958) and Bathurst (950) third.

 Last week, there were claims in the metropolitan media that Blacktown Council was being ruthless for killing almost 75 per cent of the more than 5000 impounded animals.

 Each impounded animal is given a 14-day stay before a decision to destroy it is made.

 Cr Kelly said the council gave animals new homes when this was possible.  He said the council also offered microchipping, desexing and school education programs.

 He ruled out any introduction of a “no kill” policy, saying it was tantamount to giving the animals a life sentence.

 Cr Kelly said he was opposed to any suggestion that the pound increase its present opening hours (7.30am-3pm weekdays; 7.30-11.30am Saturdays) to allow prospective buyers more time.

 He said this would “hit ratepayers”.

 Cr Dickens said he was distressed by the high number of animals destroyed, but said it wouldn’t happen if pet owners were responsible.

“Some animals also run away because of fireworks on New Year’s Eve,” Cr Dickens said. “They should be sedated and kept inside the house by their owners at this time”

Helen Powderly commended Blacktown Council for its animal- friendly programs but said it could still do more, because, she said, for too many animal were being killed.

“Pet owners should also take their responsibility seriously,” Ms Powderly said. “Animals aren’t toys. They have to be fed, cleaned and cared for.

 “They’re not toys that can be dumped once you’re bored with them or too busy.”

To access original article, Blacktown Sun, click here



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