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.