SMH; RACHEL BROWNE; June 6, 2010
NOT all pounds are created equal.
Two years ago almost 60 per cent of the animals entering Wyong Shire Council’s facility were put down.
Now the rate is closer to 22 per cent. About a third of those animals are euthanased because they are ill or unsuitable as pets.
The council’s manager of regulation and compliance, Rob Van Hese, is aiming for a zero kill rate within the next 12 months.
”We have a couple of programs in place to reduce the number of animals being put down,” he said.
”We have low-cost, high-volume desexing, so no animal passes through the facility without being desexed.
”We are looking at starting a pet therapy program where we would fund the supply of dogs and cats to people who might be elderly or disabled.”
Blacktown City Council’s pound, which also serves seven other council areas, gets about 8000 animals a year. About a third are euthanased.
The council runs a tender system under which people can bid on unclaimed animals. A spokeswoman said that helped deter commercial breeders.
But a source at the pound said mandatory desexing before animals were released to people offering homes would be more effective.
”Backyard breeders will come in looking for anything which looks purebred and they will bid on it,” the source said. ”They can recoup their costs with one litter. Meanwhile those animals are subjected to a terrible life living in cramped cages and breeding non-stop.”
A council subcommittee will discuss the tender system and mandatory desexing tomorrow night.