Singleton Argus; BY RACHEL OLDKNOW;04 Feb, 2011
AN ANIMAL rescue group has accused Singleton Council of not cooperating with a service that posts photos of unwanted animals online in an attempt to re-home them.
Dog Rescue Newcastle has criticised Singleton Council for not allowing a volunteer photographer access to photograph dogs and cats on death row at the pound.
Dog Rescue Newcastle co-founder Sue Barker told The Singleton Argus this week she was disappointed to learn that photographer David Atwell, who works in conjunction with the rescue group, and who also takes photos at Muswellbrook and Kurri Kurri pounds, was denied access to put photographs on a website called dogzonline.
It’s not a practice that is normal, most pounds are happy for people to come in and take photos, Ms Barker said.
In response to the accusations, Singleton Council’s director planning and regulated services Mark Ihlein said yesterday council worked with local community members, local publications and animal rescue groups to re-home suitable animals as soon as possible.
We understand some rescue groups are advocating to allow one of their photographers into the pound to take photographs of available animals for posting on social media websites.
Currently Singleton Council provides the details of any available dogs to Dogs Rescue Newcastle for promotion, Mr Ihlein said.
We are currently assessing how to provide photos to the public of animals which take into consideration the legal and ethical obligations of council as well as the wellbeing and safety of the animals concerned and community, he said.
Ms Barker said it would ease the burden placed on the volunteer rescue organisation if the work load could be shared and photographers who work with rescue groups could be allowed access to Singleton Pound.
More importantly, she said animals posted online had a better chance of finding a home.
It would be so much better if they (photographers) could take pictures so they could be put on dogzonline like other pounds do so the dogs and cats have a much better chance getting homes, she said.
At the moment we have a five-year-old Staffy that desperately needs a home, it would be great if we could get a photo of her to put online.