Townsville Bulletin: RACHEL TOUNE | August 28th, 2010
TOWNSVILLE pollies have been shocked to hear of the RSPCA’s plight with news six animals are being dumped every hour at the shelter.
The shelter has been inundated with close to 500 cats and dogs during the past two months, with workers forced to put down those who are not claimed by their owners and fail to pass behavioural tests.
Following yesterday’s Bulletin report, three dogs and three cats found loving homes but the shelter still had about 150 dogs and 80 cats ready to adopt.
Member for Townsville Mandy Johnstone said she was shocked to hear of the shelter’s struggles.
“The numbers are clearly unacceptable,” she said.
Ms Johnstone said she would speak to the RSPCA about their concerns.
“I know the RSPCA as a state body has been speaking to the minister’s (Local Government Minister Desley Boyle) office about their concerns,” she said.
“Certainly I would be interested in anything done on a local level, for example me speaking to them about funding.”
She said the State Government Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008, which would be introduced on December 12 in Townsville, was aimed at alleviating the problem.
The act includes mandatory registration for cats, with all dogs and cats also required to be micro-chipped. However, the RSPCA wants more to be done, including mandatory desexing, an official register for breeders, and funding for their programs and services.
“My perspective is we want to get the balance right and we want people to be responsible for their animals,” Ms Johnstone said.
“Again, I can take these issues up on behalf of the local RSPCA and ask they be taken into consideration when the legislation’s reviewed after it’s implemented.”
Member for Thuringowa Craig Wallace said he was also open to communication on the issue.
“My door’s always open,” he said.
“We work with councils across the state and if (Townsville City Council) has got some ideas on what laws they want to introduce I’d like to hear them.”
He encouraged pet owners to have their animals desexed and families looking for a pet to check out the RSPCA.
Member for Mundingburra Lindy Nelson-Carr said residents needed to be aware having a pet was a luxury and she backed Queensland’s plans for legislation on animal management.
She said there would be community consultations as part of the review of the act introduced by the State Government.