Group protests over deaths of dogs at Blacktown Pound

Blacktown Sun; Nick Soon, March 18th 2013

AN animal rescue group with about 25,000 supporters on its Facebook site has suspended ties with Blacktown Council in protest over the death of five dogs they wanted to ‘‘re-home’’.

Melanie Norman and about 30 members of Pound Rounds NSW, and their supporters, held a protest rally in front of Blacktown Council today.

She said they waited in vain to meet with general manager Ron Moore and Richard Smith, manager Waste Urban Animal & Emergency Services.

‘‘We have suspended our support and ties with Blacktown Council until they agree to meet us to explain why they killed the five dogs last Friday,’’ she said.

‘‘Staff at the dog pound told us the animals would only be executed on Sunday.

‘‘When we arrived to pick up the dogs on Friday they told us they had been killed earlier.’’

A supporter, Sophie Nesci of Bondi, said her brother Scott was told the dogs had been euthanised.

Ms Norman also wants the council to withdraw its animal temperaments test on dogs before it would restore ties.

‘‘One of the tests involved labelling a dog dangerous and unsuitable for adoption if it reacts aggressively to people taking away his food.

‘‘It’s nonsense as any animal will react in this way if you take away his food.’’

Deputy mayor Russ Dickens, who is also chairman of Council Urban Animals Advisory Committee, said he was told the dogs were deemed unfit for adoption.

‘‘I am sorry the group has withdrawn its support to the council but we have to be ensure the dogs released for adoption would not endanger the community,’’ he said.

Cr Dickens said he would contact Ms Norman about organising a meeting over the issue.

A BlacktownCouncil spokeswoman said the council recently carried out independent temperament testing at its Animal Holding Facility following serious safety concerns that some animals were showing dangerous signs of aggression towards staff, volunteers and other animals.

“Temperament testing is conducted by an independent provider engaged by the council, and is part of the council’s commitment to reviewing its policies and procedures at the facility on an ongoing basis,” she said.

“It is also the council’s social responsibility to ensure that animals that are re-homed or go onto re-homing agencies are safe and suitable for re-homing.

“An Urgent Re-homing List is sent to rescue agencies when the AHF is at maximum capacity and urgent assistance is needed to re-home animals that have had no previous interest shown in them.

“In this particular case, a list was issued on Thursday, March, 14, which held a disclaimer stating – unless deemed unsuitable for re-homing by the council’s independent temperament assessor.

“Temperament testing was carried out on Friday March 15 on dogs which had raised safety concerns.

“Five were deemed not suitable for re-homing due to aggression issues and as a result these dogs were euthanised.

“It is the aim of the AHF to reunite or re-home as many animals as is possible and Council works closely with numerous re-homing agencies in an attempt to find homes for as many animals as possible.”

Original here: http://www.blacktownsun.com.au/story/1371423/group-protests-over-death-of-dogs-at-blacktown-pound/?cs=12

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6 Comments

Filed under NSW

6 responses to “Group protests over deaths of dogs at Blacktown Pound

  1. companionanimalnews

    ……………………**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT**………………………
    On Tuesday 26th March representatives from Pound Rounds and the public met with the senior management of Blacktown City Council; those who control the operation at the pound.

    Senior management claimed full responsibility for the decisions made in the lead up to the killing of 5+ dogs on Friday the 15th March. The council stand by their decision to have outside assessors “temperament test” pets and kill those that failed the test applied.

    The council, however, confirm that they have now rescinded the universal application of this model going forward. They confirmed they would seek independent review in mid April of the processes undertaken at the pound regarding rehoming options. They confirmed that until that review was complete and the report submitted to their Urban Animal Management subcommittee , the process of rehoming and pet rehoming assessment would return to the status quo; the status quo that has achieved the most successful rehoming period in the pounds history.

    What was also presented by Pound Rounds however was the need for that overview (to be done in April) to NOT focus exclusively on the mere process of temperament testing. What would that achieve?

    The current method and model of temperament testing is unreliable and unscientific (at the best of times let alone in a pound environment) and this fact is categorically supported the recent report issued by the NSW Companion Animal Taskforce calling for the development of a “behavioural assessment” model that “must be consistent, repeatable and validated (ie: through appropriate peer review, widespread use over the long term etc)” and “must remove (as much as possible) elements which may provoke negative reactions in animals” (Page 18 of the NSW Companion Animal Taskforce [NSWCAT] Dangerous Dogs report).

    It was also accepted by the Taskforce that it should be ensured “all relevant stakeholders (including representatives from councils, animal welfare organisations and animal rescue groups) are able to have input into the agreed standard.” (Page 18 NSWCAT).

    Facts and viewpoints that were not taken into account on Friday 15th March.
    (From Causes Petition site/updates)

  2. Bobby Bree

    Cause its unreliable and not scientific.Same tests as these pound keepers at Vic pounds eh?Walk past a dog eating its food ,dressed like Ronald McDonald and wowww. the dog snaps at you, away to the chamber off with its head. There is just no compassion nor common bloody sense in the animal welfare hiarachy its all about bloody money and self building for better position. Thank heavens for the loyal activists that still stand by their convictions and try and bring down these parasites that control or should I say try to control animal welfare and have forgotten the dignity of trust for our animals!

  3. Jan Baker

    Assessing dogs in a pound environment is ridiculous….these dogs come in under different circumstances…some have been treated cruelly, some have been surrendered just because they dig up the backyard, some because people just don’t want them anymore…..these dogs don’t know what is happening to them….then they are put in a confined cement kennel & become withdrawn, protective of their food & bed…do we call these dogs aggressive…NO they are just frightened wondering what is going to happen to them….people walking past, dogs being walked past them….they are on the inside of bars!! just how would you feel being put in a situation like these dogs have been put in…..can’t we find the time to try to rehabilitate these dogs….to give them some help….that’s what Animal Welfare is all about, but I think that has gone out the door….They need a voice to help them not a NEEDLE to get rid of them….well we as animal lovers will not let this happen & we will fight for the rights of these dogs.

  4. John Gray

    I agree with the comments above and congratulate Pound Rounds NSW and the local community in your protest. Well done.

    John Gray

  5. Reblogged this on Animals Deserve to Live and commented:
    Taking a stand.

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