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‘‘I am sorry the group has withdrawn its support to the council but we have to be ensure the dogs released for adoption would not endanger the community,’’ he said.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