EXCLUSIVE: Maggot-infested dog at Blacktown Pound helped by volunteers

Blacktown Advocate; 05 Mar 10 by Christine O’Maley

THE volunteers who help make Blacktown’s Animal Holding Facility a more pleasant place for dogs and cats were hopeful of “drastic change” after a meeting last Monday night.

About 15 volunteers were joined by dozens more, including representatives from animal welfare groups and Blacktown councillors Nick Tyrrell, Jess Diaz and Russ Dickens, to campaign for what they say are crucial and overdue changes at the pound.

It was such a strong showing that chairman of the Blacktown City Council companion animals management advisory sub-committee Alan Pendleton was said to be surprised.

The main issues up for discussion were a no-kill policy, meaning no rehomeable animal would be put down; the tender process which forced potential pet owners to bid on animals; the low staff to animal ratio – about 1:100 – the introduction of mandatory desexing and a set of standard operating procedures.

Volunteers say they were surprised a basic operating procedure was only now being written up.

After campaigning for up to 25 years on some of the issues, attendees were optimistic that at least some changes would be forced once the matters passed through the policy committee at the end of the month and were put to a vote.

“We’ve had a gutful of being fobbed off,” one volunteer said. “This time we were better organised.”

“There’s so much wrong at Blacktown pound – we want to see some drastic changes.”

Volunteers say a general lack of staff is contributing to the suffering of animals.

In one case, a matted malamute was left for days with maggot-filled sores on its back. It took three volunteers five hours to clip Bear, who is currently being nursed back to health.

“Cruelty happens because of a lack of staff which leads to neglect,” a volunteer said.

She told the Advocate volunteers often paid for vet bills because treatment was not authorised unless it was deemed “life-threatening”.

Cr Tyrrell said staff should work with volunteers, who were giving up their time to ensure the animals were comfortable, not against them.

He said it was time for the council to act on the lack of staff, enforce the no-kill policy, abolish the tendering process and move on mandatory desexing.

“The idea that any dog or cat is leaving the pound undesexed means we’re contributing to the ongoing problem, instead of doing something proactive about solving it,” he said.

A spokesman for the council said the no-kill policy and tendering system were among several issues under review.

To access the original article, click here..

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “EXCLUSIVE: Maggot-infested dog at Blacktown Pound helped by volunteers

  1. companionanimalnews

    To read a full report about the Blacktown Pound situation, go to the blog section of http://www.deathrowpets.net

  2. companionanimalnews

    We sent this message to Cnlr Pendleton:

    “Dear Alan

    You may not know of us, but we have a keen interest in seeing progress at Blacktown Pound. That progress is alarmingly slow, despite Clr Dickens and Rick Smith attending the Summit to end companion animal overpopulation last year.

    There are many sad and bad things happening at Blacktown. There is seemingly a general lack of competence in the service that Blacktown Council provides, amongst management and staff at the facility, and it is the animals that suffer.

    The public have had enough. It’s wrong, wrong, wrong and I’m sure you know it. All we are asking for is a basic humanitarian care for animals that deserve better, and a clear and un-ambiguous strategy to end the totally un-necessary killing by rehoming more animals. The means to end the killing exists, your Council just needs to do the right thing and enact it.

    I have explained this in detail to David Attard, who asked our opinions in helping compile his report to Rick Smith.

    I fell off my chair when I heard your own comments on desexing. This is what was reported to me: “Cr Pendelton was against mandatory desexing. He argued that as he was a responsible owner, his female dog was not desexed, and therefore mandatory desexing was not necessary (…great logic!).”

    Alan, whether you personally are a responsible owner or not is not the issue. It’s the other mongrels out there who are not responsible dog owners. And it’s about your Council showing leadership. How can we ask the public to be responsible owners and desex their animals, when we don’t? ( by the way, we have three dogs, you won’t find more responsible dog owners than us, and yes, all three are desexed).

    The way Blacktown continues to sell un-desexed animals is just a very poor and regressive practice and needs to be stopped urgently before more whole animals go into the market to continue the sad cycle of over-breeding.

    Knowing what we know today, your Council is actually a contributor to the excess of animals in the market that results in so many killed. Do you really honestly want that on the shoulders of the Council?

    And above that, a huge number of volunteers are willing and able to help – at no cost to the Council!!

    Very many people are watching what is going on at Blacktown, perhaps more than you might imagine – as arguably the largest pound in NSW, what goes on there, and the opportunity presented to you for positive change, is top line news.

    • If the management of the facility are not up to the job, replace them

    • Get more staff into the place, and people who care about animal welfare

    • Stop selling un-desexed animals

    • Stop the tender system

    • Get some basic standard operating procedures in

    • Stop taking in animals from other Councils so you have a manageable number to work with

    • Work with the volunteers who can and want to help

    • Target, incentivise the staff on increased numbers of animals re-homed

    • Listen to the good advice that is available today on No-Kill strategies that have proved to work

    I remain optimistic about what can be achieved.

    But we are all looking to the Councillors at Blacktown to show leadership for the rest of NSW and Australia.

    Please feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss any of this.

    Yours Sincerely

    Paul Archer
    info@deathrowpets.net

  3. Jan Baker

    Great letter Paul, this is what it is all about. Council have taken on more than they can chew & the animals are paying for it. I have sent letters to Mr Pendleton with no replies, which I am not surprised. I have stated everything that you have said in my emails to him. But they are passing the buck as usual. I can’t understand if his dog is not de sexed what is he trying to say. His dog has a home, these pound dogs don’t & half or more never will.We will keep writing letters until we get a response. I have even asked him to meet us anywhere, anytime. But money plays a big part, back yard breeders will always out bid peope just wanting to buy a pet, these irresponsible people know they can make money exploiting these animals. Council has to stop this NOW the pound will always be full unless they bring in mandatory de sexing.

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