Geelong Advertiser; Anthea Cannon | October 18th, 2011
GEELONG Animal Welfare Society will be overhauled with the aim to save more than 90 per cent of animals.
GAWS vice president David Cecil yesterday confirmed a new framework for the centre, following the US
“No Kill Equation” policy, would be presented at next week’s board meeting.
But he denied it was the result of the past week of campaigning and public outcry after the release of hidden camera footage from the pound.
The changes include: A MANAGEMENT restructure; THE vet shown in the footage banned from the centre; THREE new board members; BEHAVIOURAL rehabilitation for animals; and GREATER effort to return lost pets.
Under the “no kill” policy animals that are suffering an untreatable illness or injury, or declared as dangerous will still be put down.
The 90 per cent save rate is a huge leap on 2009/10 GAWS figures which showed just 23 per cent of cats were saved and 70 per cent of dogs.
“We’re minimising the number of healthy animals killed it’s a start-up point, it’s not that no animals will be put down because the State Government legislation and council policy on some animals wouldn’t allow that,” Mr Cecil said.
He said the management restructure was about more than the pound manger’s role, which has been heavily criticised by protesters.
“It will involve all aspects, including maybe another layer between the daily operations and the board,” he said.
Mr Cecil was not prepared to comment about whether the vet in the footage was Ian Walter, who stood down as society president in September and who was also the focus of criticism.
Returning lost pets was named in the “no kill’ policy as one of the most overlooked areas in all pounds and Mr Cecil said the new micro-chipping laws would greatly help improve the numbers of happy reunions.
Three new board members elected in September would also help to inject new blood and fresh thinking into the society, he said.
“I watched a lot of (the videos) and they were very distressing. We were working on (issues) prior to this though, we’re not just reacting to the video,” he said.