These two puppies were euthanised after they contracted parvovirus, despite rescue organisation Fresh Start offering to pay for treatment.
These two puppies were euthanised after they contracted parvovirus, despite rescue organisation Fresh Start offering to pay for treatment.

Rockhampton Regional Council changes position on parvo

DOGS suffering from parvovirus at the Rockhampton pound now stand a reasonable chance of survival.

Council's new policy is to treat any dog identified as suitable for rehoming if a veterinarian believes it has a reasonable chance of survival.

Mayor Margaret Strelow announced the changes on Thursday following an investigation into the euthanasia of two stray puppies last week who contracted parvo after they were taken to the pound.

She said council had to take responsibility for the parvo issues affecting the pound.

"It's about the reality that at least some of the parvo cases are contracted at the pound," she said.

"To me, that puts the onus on us to treat, at least until we've got a better handle on cross contamination at the pound.

"It means from now on we will also treat strays."

She said if this policy had been in place when the pups were brought in they would have been treated.

Rockhampton Regional Council contacted eight other Queensland council pounds this week to compare parvo policies.

Cr Strelow said only two would have commenced treatment for parvo without agreement from the owners to pay costs.

She said the more common practice was to euthanise immediately.

"Our previous policy (if we knew who owned the dog) was to get the dog back to them as quickly as possible, which we tried to do on the Monday (when the pups were brought in) - on three different occasions.

"If the dog was a stray or if the owner wasn't prepared to pay for treatment, yes they were euthanised," she said.

She said the council was well aware it needed a new pound.

"No one is arguing that we don't," she said.

"It's one of the things that got 'pushed out' for a few years when we were reshaping our finances after de-amalgamation.

"We have allocated $3.5m in the forward budgets (2019 and 2020). And if we can bring that forward we will."

Council has taken delivery of a quarantine donga for sick and diseased animals and hopes to have fittings installed by February.



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