Death row pets

Grafton Daily Examiner; Tim Howard | 26th March 2010

NINE out of 10 cats and seven out of 10 dogs that go through the front door of Grafton Pound don’t make it out alive, claims an animal welfare group.
The president of Grafton Animal Welfare, Pam Holmes, has begun a campaign to lower these figures and improve conditions at the pound, known as the Grafton Animal Shelter, which she said is a ‘dark, depressing kill factory’.
She has written a letter to all Clarence Valley councillors, has more than 800 signatures on a petition and a further 300 on an online version calling for improvements to the pound.
The group wants Clarence Valley Council to improve facilities at the pound, expand the opening hours, encourage volunteers to help staff the facility, create website access for people looking for a pet, give the public more pleasant surroundings and de-sex all the animals.
“The Grafton Animal Shelter probably has one of worst kill rates in NSW,” Ms Holmes said.
“Deathrow Pets (an animal rights organisation that monitors kill rates at pounds) posted the figures for Grafton.”
Council’s open spaces manager Peter Birch has refused to accept Ms Holmes’ description of the pound.
“We have refurbished the building and built up the level of the floors,” Mr Birch said.
“I will be taking any councillor that wants to have a look out to the pound.”
Mr Birch said council did not have the luxury of putting up ‘shelter full’ signs.
“At times HappyPaws and Grafton Animal Rescue have ‘shelter full’ signs. The pound does not have that luxury. We have regulatory and legislative requirements to deal with problem animals and animals surrendered by the public.”

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