Hawkesbury Gazette, Amanda Perry, 31 January 2008
The alarming rate at which unwanted pets are being put down in council pounds has prompted Baulkham Hills Shire councillor Martin Tolar to speak out. Cr Tolar said he was gravely concerned about a local government report that revealed in 2006/07 almost half of all cats and dogs in NSW council pounds never came out alive.
Baulkham Hills Council uses the Hawkesbury’s Companion Animal Shelter for animals found within its local government boundaries. In nearby Blacktown City Council, almost 75 per cent of all animals that entered the Blacktown Animal Holding Facility were put down.
While Baulkham Hills residents have their stray animals sent to Hawkesbury, where 66 per cent of impounded animals leave the pound alive, the fact that 613 animals were killed during 2006/07 is still a disturbing result,” Cr Tolar said. “My greatest concern is that in neighbouring Blacktown City Council, 3448 animals were killed and I am very worried that some of those animals could have been those from Baulkham Hills Shire that have wandered over to the adjoining local government area.
“Let’s be honest, most people do not know where local government boundaries start and finish, so what hope do our cats and dogs have.”
Blacktown pound euthanased the largest number of dogs and cats last year – 3448, while Hawkesbury Council’s pound came in at number 10 on the list, with 613 dogs and cats being euthanased. Cr Tolar has been the driving force behind Baulkham Hills Council’s new companion animal strategy.
“This new strategy places an increased emphasis upon education and ensuring that pet owners take their responsibilities seriously,” Cr Tolar said.
The introduction of new off-leash areas, educational brochures and a responsible pet ownership program in schools are just some of Baulkham Hills Council’s initiatives.
Cr Tolar said he will also be pursuing the introduction of a “no kill” policy, which has already experienced success in Gosford, Pittwater, Hastings, Blue Mountains and Mosman.
A registered breeder of Australian Shepherds, Cr Tolar is also concerned about the increasing popularity of designer breeds such as ‘pugaliers’ (pug cross King Charles cavalier) and ‘spoodles’ (cocker spaniel cross poodle).
“Designer breeds are usually produced to make money for the breeders and sold through pet shops,” he said.
Source: Hawkesbury Gazette, NSW