Calls for change at the pound

Blacktown Advocate: 23 Mar 10:  by Bryn Kay

IRRESPONSIBLE pet owners and Blacktown Council’s inability or unwillingness to act on urgent matters like mandatory desexing have been blasted as the campaign to clean up the pound continues.

Animal Holding Facility volunteers fed up with council’s empty promises have begun writing to the Advocate in the hope of shaming them into action.

“Council’s stock, stonewalling, replies that ‘matters would be investigated’ and ‘were under review’ were no longer believed,” volunteer Mariette Blackmore wrote.

She said it was time for people who care and love animals to expose the deficiencies and inadvertent cruelty that occurs daily at Blacktown pound.

Senior volunteer Jeanette Emanuel said she was horrified that some cats were sleeping on beds covered in urine and cockroach droppings and there were no preventative measures in place to stop the spread of cat flu.

“Where does one start to tell the story of the conditions of Blacktown Pound?” she asked.

“I see first-hand how under-staffing impacts on animals.”

Our recent article about Bear – the maggot-ridden malamute left for days without treatment – prompted heated responses online.

Readers called for immediate legislation to make it compulsory for all dogs and cats to be desexed to prevent backyard breeders making a quick buck.

There were calls to end council’s tendering system and introduce screening of potential owners and a follow-up visit to ensure pets were in the right hands.

Susie Hearder, a volunteer at Tweed Shire Pound, said compulsory desexing was the facility’s greatest achievement and a screening process protected pets from “a hell of a lot of bad dog-owners out there”.

That is want we want, Jan Baker said. “Why does Council have to take so long on these issues?” she asked.

As well as Blacktown pound’s alleged shortcomings, readers passionately urged pet-owners to be more responsible.

“Learn how to look after your own pets so others don’t have to,” C Stocker wrote.

Although the pound takes animals from seven council areas, a council spokeswoman confirmed 75 per cent of dogs and cats housed came from Blacktown.

According to council, the main reason animals wound up in the facility was because of irresponsible pet ownership.

Cr Nick Tyrrell said he was hopeful Blacktown Council’s “entrenched operatives” were beginning to take notice.

“In a fantastic turn of events, community concern has led to solid media coverage,” he said.

Comment by pound volunteer Mariette Blackmore:

How many humans offer friendship and love unconditionally, whether rich or poor, beautiful or ugly, fat or thin, stupid or smart?

Well, animals do, they are ready to love you if given half a chance.

People choose pets because they see a cute, fluffy plaything in the pet shop window or a neighbour has an unplanned litter of pups (because they have not desexed their dog).

“It’s cute, it’s funny, a nice toy for the kids – so let’s have it,” they think without any long-term view as to the remainder of its life.

Dogs and cats can live for a long time – 12 to 15 years, even longer.

Some people seem incapable of understanding that animals experience the same fear, pain, trauma and depression humans would if they were to find themselves lost, homeless, unwanted and scared for their lives. People should be registered to show they are fit to own an animal.

All dogs and cats start out life fit to be pets. Become a responsible pet owner, please. * See Opinion, Page 10.

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2 Comments

Filed under NSW

2 responses to “Calls for change at the pound

  1. Many thanks to Marriete Blackmore, at last someone willing to speak out & also harness other voices of concern, about the awful conditions & treatment of animals in Blacktown pound, one of the largest in NSW. ARRG’s located miles away in Lismore but receives many emails & calls about the Blacktown pound & we always urge Sydney callers to take action & report what they have seen. In 2005 ARRG declined our 2nd invitation from Holroyd council to attend Petfest,(we travelled down to attend the 1st),when we realised Holroyd council sent their animals to Blacktown pound. We wrote & phoned Holroyd council telling them our concerns of animal neglect at Blacktown was our reason for non-attendance & urged other groups to boycott the event. ARRG also helped a Sydney cat rescue group rescue a large number of animals from deathrow at Blacktown pound when onnerous DLG rules left this willing group helpless to save deathrow animals. While ARRG works with 3 local council pounds in this region & rescues their unclaimed deathrow animals, all is not well & the situation in many council pounds around the country is dreadful with many breaches of the law. Animal rescue/welfare groups especially small active groups are often viewed & treated as the enemy by council & rangers, just for doing our job well & expecting them to do theirs by the ‘book’.

    Its time the DLG listen & take some collective action to the ongoing complaints & concerns from many Animal rescue/welfare groups around the state about the problems in council pounds. ARRG has contacted the DLG numerous times over the years to be told they don’t have any control over individual local councils!!
    Yet the DLG is very quick to wheal the big stick at small voluntary animal rescue groups doing all the work, if they don’t comply with the endless Companion Animal Act rules, Exemptions, paperwork & always with the big threat, closure of your group, a real fear for many groups, who just shut up.
    Why can’t the DLG use the same big stick power to control the actions and breaches by council pounds to adhere to the Companion Animal Act?
    Can’t they see that small Rescue/welfare groups do much of the work & without us they would not cope & we save them hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    Some recognition & respect for all the work we do would be much appreciated.
    Representation of our collective voices at the decision making table would be smart & welcomed.
    Animal Rights & Rescue Group Inc. Northern Rivers

    • Jan

      I think you do a great job…it’s ashame that Blacktown Council doesn’t get it’s act together & help. I have sent emails after emails to Mr Pendleton regarding mandatory de sexing at Blacktown pound…with NO response. He says that people should have a choice if they want their animals de sexed….but the animals have NO choice. Blacktown council should be ashamed to have so many animals euthanased…only because they are not willing to do anything about making changes to the pound. If it was not for you rescue people there would be a lot more euthanased, so hang in there as you have a lot of support from a lot of people. I will continue to hound Blacktown council until something is done. Good luck!
      Jan.

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