Pet death row shame

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

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.

Original here……..

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4 Comments

Filed under NSW

4 responses to “Pet death row shame

  1. companionanimalnews

    ‘alan.pendleton@blacktown.nsw.gov.au’

    Dear Mayor Pendleton

    You are reported as saying that the biggest problem is educating residents about responsible pet ownership.

    There is no doubt that education is important, but in my view the majority of irresponsible pet owners are always going to be irresponsible.

    The biggest problem is un-regulated breeding – you must be aware that there are a vast number of backyard breeders who pump thousands of pups into an over-crowded market.

    Your own personal-view about desexing has blocked for years the introduction of mandatory desexing for Blacktown Pound animals – you are just allowing the fuel for continued back-yard breeding. How you do not see that is incomprehensible.

    De-sex animals leaving Blacktown Pound, introduce strategies to stop or limit back-yard breeding and a large part of the problem will go away.

    Until that happens, I’m sorry to say that you are a big part of the problem.

    Yours Sincerely

    Paul Archer

  2. companionanimalnews

    Letter to AWL NSW , copied to Deathrowpets last year, July: ”
    The numbers of dogs and cats entering Blacktown Pound from the Blacktown area is evidence of a huge community problem. There are obviously a large number of residents who own pets, but many are NOT animal-lovers, or responsible pet owners.
    Eight different Councils use the facilities of Blacktown Pound for their stray and unwanted animals, which number around 8,000 dogs and cats (around 50% each) per year, over the last few years.
    Of the eight Council areas, Blacktown’s is the largest, representing 34% of the total population of around 900,000 people from all eight Councils (from 2009 Census).
    This is a breakdown of the ratio – population / animals entering the Pound (2009-2010) –
    Blacktown Council Other 7 Councils
    Population 34% 66%
    Dogs in Pound 68% 32%
    Cats in Pound 71% 29%
    (Figures were derived from DLG Council statistics, please see attached document for more detail and bar chart comparisons of figures.)
    As you might see, Blacktown is vastly over-represented as to the numbers of lost and discarded pets, with 34% of the population being responsible for around 70% of the animals, as against the other seven Councils, with 66% of the population, only contributing 30% of the animals.
    What does this say about the Blacktown Community? Does anyone care? Is the AWL, concerned with the welfare of animals, prepared to stand up and do something about it? There is evidence of a certain attitude in this community particularly (although it pervades society in general), that animals are disposable. Is that to be tolerated or ignored by those who profess to love animals?
    The Blacktown Mayor, Cr Alan Pendleton, is aware of these statistics, but sadly he is part of the problem, since he has blocked initiatives to introduce a mandatory desexing policy to the pound for over 10 years. (A recent report on introducing this policy has been held up with a request for more information, ie. another delay which may take a year.) Is the AWL able to persuade Blacktown Council to address the issue revealed by the statistics? Is the AWL able to introduce programs and perhaps work with Council on this?
    An education and awareness campaign is needed regarding the ramifications of uncontrolled breeding of animals in the community by irresponsible people who do not desex their pets, back-yard breeders and puppy farmers. Many people, who do care about animals, are just not aware of the situation, and what is happening to discarded animals. They are not aware that there is a problem of Supply and Demand, that uncontrolled breeding in an already saturated market, leads to an oversupply of unwanted pets – and a lack of demand for those unlucky animals that end up discarded in the pound. The lack of demand for discarded animals is largely due to pounds and shelters not caring enough and being ignorant of the modern rehoming strategies that are available today. Blacktown Pound, the largest pound in NSW, is one example of a pound which does very little to encourage increased adoptions from its facility. There is a role here for the AWL to play.
    A good start, to reduce the supply of animals to the market, would be for the AWL to do some investigative work to identify the prolific back-yard breeders, and the puppy farmers who live in the Blacktown area – there are many. Is the AWL, as one of the enforcing bodies of animal welfare codes, doing its job to inspect the premises of these breeders to see the conditions where these animals are bred? Are the premises and these businesses meeting the legal requirements? Council also has a role to play, but is it doing its job? (Is the RSPCA doing its job? We think not.)

  3. It is fine to blame this situation on the so called “backyard breeder”, but from my experiance its the lack of resposibility of the owner of the dog that is more of the issue.

    I have had some expensive, pure bred dogs in the pound that you would not think would be captured dogs.

    In the mining town I worked in, it was mostly cross bred “bogan” type dogs that were dumped on other people when the owners left town and camp dogs left from “sorry buiness”. the amount of people that say to thier neighbours “Can you look after my dog, the removalists cant take it, I’ll send for it” (words to that effect), are “suddenly” not contactable.

    To put blame on only one source is not looking at the issue in whole. There are other factors that affect the impound rates.

    Sure, commercial orientated “backyard breeders” may contribute to this situation, but lack of education, ignorance and beligerance to the law, irresponsible ownership, cultural issues and even the rental market and FIFO employment have an impact as well.

    We all may have issues with the RSPCA and local government (in respective states) on animal management issues but until a better solution or model is put forward and impliamented, a reasonable job is being done under these circumstances.

  4. Jan Baker

    Blacktown’s Mayor Mr Pendleton has a dog that is not desexed, he has said that people should have a choice to desex or not desex….these dogs & cats don’t have a choice. They just get exploited by money hungry people that breed & breed with these dogs. We have fought the council for mandatory desexing, why doesn’t the council bring it in, I can’t see the problem here, only a very stubborn & selfish Mayor, who in my opinion couldn’t care less about these dogs or cats. His issue is money, but there are vets that will come on board to help get these animals desexed as well as the University & the AWL. Why is it being put on the back burner for so long. Healthy dogs & cats are being pts while the Mayor & his side kicks are making their mind up.

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