The Advertiser June 8 2011
Cessnock City Council has put on hold any decision on the future of its Kurri pound until inspections are carried out on site and at the RSPCA’s facility at Rutherford.Council had been asked to make a decision on entering into an agreement with the RSPCA that it be approved as the council pound that would close down the Kurri shelter.
Supporting the deferment, Cr. Neil Gorman said there appears to be a number of issues council should be looking at, including site inspections and it would be silly to hear people criticise the move and not know what they are critical of.
Cr. Dale Troy said by what councillors have heard at the meeting he was not aware of what council has and what it would replace it with.
Cr. James Ryan questioned the cost of taking the pound’s operations to the RSPCA at Rutherford and why they should remain confidential. General Manager, Lea Rosser told Cr. Ryan that with council opting for deferment she could check if the cost could be made public.
Mr. David Atwell addressed council on the issue saying there had been no community consultation and that animal rescue groups had not been contacted.
He said staff at the Kurri shelter had won a national award for their work at the shelter where there is a kill rate of 23 per cent.
He said animals would be crammed into Rutherford where the kill rate is 40 per cent.
He added that with people having to travel the extra distance to Maitland it could act as a determent for people to collect their dogs.
The report to council told about reports to council over that past 18 months and a council briefing on February 9 that highlighted a number of issues with the animal shelter.
The Land and Property Management Authority has advised it will not consent to any further improvements and or major works on the site (including animal shelters and kennel improvements) until a number of issues relating to contamination of the site and approved use of the reserve and aboriginal claims are resolved,.
The shelter is built on the former sanitary depot that had been used for sanitary for about 100 years and ceased operating in 2002.
Message from CAN: this story relates to Cessnock Council awarding a $2.2 mil pound contract to RSPCA NSW . RSPCA plan to close down the current Kurri Pound and take animals to thei Rutherford facility. There has been no due process by Cessnock to explore other options – it was a done-deal without community consultation.