Geelong Advertiser; Jenna Meade | October 17th, 2011
HUNDREDS of outraged Geelong residents fronted City Hall with their pets on Saturday to protest for a change of management at Geelong Animal Welfare Society.
Concerned animal-lovers lined Gheringhap St to show their support for the council to regain control of the Moolap pound following last week’s release of distressing video footage by protest group GAWS Exposed.
In what an RSPCA spokesman has described as “distressing on a number of levels”, the footage from the pound shows cats and dogs disoriented, seizing and vomiting before being dragged on to operating tables for lethal injections.
GAWS Exposed spokeswoman Tarsha Andrews said while it was important for the centre to remain, new management must be put in place to ensure a series of changes could be made.
“They’ve had the same management there for 30 years and they desperately need new people, a new direction and a new vet for the sake of the animals,” Ms Andrews said.
“They need some new people to put the welfare back into the Geelong Animal Welfare Society.”
The group is seeking support to implement a new system where volunteers work from the shelter to assist in adopting out the animals or helping to find them suitable foster carers until a permanent home can be found.
Fellow spokeswoman Joyce Doherty urged people to consider providing short-term foster care for the animals at the centre to ensure they didn’t end up on the kill list.
Thousands of people have viewed the footage on YouTube, as well as signed an online petition calling for City Hall to take back control of the pound.
Geelong Animal Welfare Society acting vice-president David Cecil said Saturday had been one of the busiest adoption days at the centre.
“I don’t agree with their (the protesters) methods, but more people wanting to adopt is a good thing, the staff, board and council just want to see animals go to a good home,” he said.
“In April some things were brought to the board’s attention and were changed and on other matters we’d like to know what we could do to improve. We’d be happy to have DPI (Department of Primary Industries) back, as the original (audit) was done at our request.”
Mr Cecil said the society was not considering legal action against the GAWS Exposed group.
Earlier in the year lawyers wrote to the Deathrowpets blog warning of legal action if they continued to post damning comments about the pound.