Blacktown Sun ; CALLAN LAWRENCE; 23 Jan, 2012
Death row? Pound Rounds volunteer Mel Norman with an American bull terrier cross at Blacktown Animal Holding Facility.Picture: Carlos Furtado
ALREADY this year about 400 animals have had to be impounded at the Blacktown Animal Holding Facility, at a rate of about 200 a week.
Cats and dogs that are not microchipped are destroyed at the pound after seven days if they are not claimed and those that are microchipped are kept for 14 days before they are killed.
One volunteer who battles the odds to re-home and save some of these animals is Mel Norman, who travels an hour and a half from her home in Curl Curl each week to help at the pound. She believes unregulated “backyard breeders” contribute to the high number of animals that are being killed in Blacktown.
“If I could nail one single cause, it’s quite clearly backyard breeders,” she said. “When you look at it breeders can get $300 a pooch and dogs can have a litter of nine.
“So that’s $2700 in tax-free cash each time. Some breeders don’t care where the pups go. Whether they’re chipped or de-sexed, they just churn them out.”
She said these backyard breeders are operating all over Blacktown.
“Even when I go to the pound to rescue seven dogs from the kill list, I go past a dozen signs that say pups for sale.”
Although Blacktown pound takes animals from up to seven other councils, about 70 per cent of the animals impounded come from Blacktown.
Blacktown mayor Alan Pendleton said the problem was multifaceted but he believed educating residents about responsible pet ownership was the biggest challenge.
“Some people go on holidays and take their cat or dog to the pound then come back and get another when they get back,” Councillor Pendleton said. “That type of attitude is just disgraceful.
“We’re trying to educate our community so that when everyone does the right thing by their pet, we won’t need a facility like our pound, except for when an animal is lost.
“Then it won’t churn through the numbers that it does.”
Details: Anyone who is interested in helping re-home animals can call Vicky Goulding, Pound Rounds, 0425 705 561.