Ninemsm By Emily Crane, ninemsn Aug 31 2012
These three playful dogs are just some of the faces you will see at Sydney’s largest animal pound – but sadly they may not be around for much longer.
Unless someone comes forward to adopt Lala, Mika and Leroy, they will be put down.
This could happen within weeks.
Blacktown Animal Holding Facility’s service officer, Jacqueline Benito, said dogs were put down when the pound ran out of space.
“It’s not something that we want,” she said.
“No one wants to see a dog get put down.”
It is a reality the employees at the Blacktown pound in Sydney’s west are familiar with.
“Unfortunately, at times, we have to put up to 10 dogs to sleep a month,” Ms Benito said.
Animals are held for a mandatory period of seven or 14 days, but in some cases that stay is extended depending on whether there is enough room at the pound.
Leroy, a 2-3-year-old kelpie cross, has already been at the Blacktown pound for a few weeks and needs to find a home quickly, according to animal service officer Amanda Harper.
“He’s a star favourite here,” Ms Harper said.
“He would be suited to an active family willing to spend time with him, he likes a good run and a bit of a cuddle.”
Two-year-old Mika is a border collie cross.
“I have a real soft spot with her, she’s a really affectionate girl and responds well to any training,” Ms Harper said.
Lala, a five-month-old mini fox terrier cross, is a little on the timid side, according to Ms Benito.
“She’d really suit someone who can spend a bit of one-on-one time with her just until she can settle in,” she said.
“Since she’s been here she does love the toys, she loves being out in the yard running around and she gets along well with some of the other dogs.
“She’d love to snuggle up to someone on the couch but loves being taken for walks too.”
In the event that the dogs do get put to sleep, Ms Benito said employees comforted the animals as if they were their own.
“We talk to them, pat them and comfort them in their final moments… it’s a horrible part of the job,” she said.
Despite the emotional strain of putting down the animals, Ms Benito said it helped to focus on the positives.
The pound now re-homes 88 per cent of the dogs that are brought in.
“We’re making progress so it is looking hopeful… five years ago we might have put down 40 dogs a month,” Ms Benito said.
“We are putting initiatives in place to get that number down even lower.”
The pound, which is facilitated by Blacktown City Council, caters for seven other local government areas.
If you would like to adopt a pet, visit the Blacktown Animal Holding Facility’s website.
Source: Blacktown Animal Holding Facility
Author: Emily Crane. Approving editor: Fiona Willan