Newcastle Herald; BY JOANNE MCCARTHY;19 Feb, 2011
The RSPCA could investigate Singleton Council’s treatment of an impounded pregnant greyhound left in the pound on a Sunday without veterinary care after she was found with a dead puppy.
Dogs Rescue Newcastle paid the veterinary bill after the council took the dog for treatment the following day where another two dead puppies were surgically removed.
The council has defended its treatment of the dog, saying she was thin but in “stable health” on Sunday, February 6, when a council ranger found the dog and pup during a routine weekend check.
But Dogs Rescue Newcastle co-founder Sue Barker said the situation highlighted concerns her organisation had about the operation of some council pounds and the vulnerability of ill and injured animals.
“We would like to know why this animal wasn’t taken to a vet immediately, and what steps the council has taken to investigate why the dog was in the condition it was in when it was impounded,” Ms Barker said.
A Dogs Rescue foster carer who did not want to be named said the dog was in a “dreadful” condition when she agreed to take responsibility for its care, and “she still looks quite awful”.
“She weighs 18 kilograms. My greyhound weighs 33 kilograms. She has ulcers on her body but she has the tattoo marking that would allow the greyhound association to trace her ownership,” the foster carer said.
“I don’t know what would have happened if we hadn’t agreed to pay for her treatment.”
Singleton council director of planning and regulated services Mark Ihlein said the dog had no identification and was not registered.
“The dog was thin, but did not show any signs of ill-health or pregnancy, and once being received at the pound was eating and drinking well,” he said.
RSPCA NSW chief inspector David Oshannessy said he was “very happy to look at the situation” and wanted more detail about why the dog did not receive veterinary care when first found with the pup, and whether the council had contacted the Greyhound Association about ownership.
The RSPCA has campaigned for a code of practice for council pounds, similar to codes of practice that set out how nine other animal-related industries such as pet shops and boarding establishments should operate.