Pound labelled 'archaic', region’s ‘shame’ at animal summit

ALL TOGEHER: Team McMillan and various stakeholders from Wildlife Rockhampton, Capricorn Animal Aid, Angels for Pets and the RSPCA
ALL TOGEHER: Team McMillan and various stakeholders from Wildlife Rockhampton, Capricorn Animal Aid, Angels for Pets and the RSPCA Photo Drew Wickerson

ROCKHAMPTON Regional Council pound practices came under fire yesterday at Team McMillan's "animal management summit", with representatives from the RSPCA labelling the facility "archaic".

The meeting, which hosted representatives from Capricorn Animal Aid, Wildlife Rockhampton and the RSPCA, was held to hear opinions and suggestions from the region's key stakeholders in the field in preparation for their potential election win in March.

Mayoral candidate Michael McMillan said it was his intention to make Rockhampton a model of best practice for the RSPCA, off the back of months of criticism of RRC's pound facility and lack of in-house adoption capability.

RSPCA Qld's manager of shelter operations George Costi gave a presentation to the group on what needed to be addressed from the pound's current operations.

"The reality is people won't take animals from your pound because of the cross-contamination and disease," he said.

"The sad thing is for puppies and kittens, they deserve better than that. Everyone in Queensland is better than that.

"You are setting up the animals to fail now by sending them into those facilities."

Mr Costi said the cost of a new pound could reach up to $5 million, but the investment was necessary for long-term gain.

Discussions were held surrounding the possibility of a conjoined wildlife-domestic animal facility, with stakeholders questioning the suitability based on issues surrounding potential for animal upset and rehabilitation.

With all relevant groups in attendance lending their support to a new pound facility, Division 4 candidate Brett Wass said it was the first of many discussions with the group.

"This thing is the shame of the region and we are trying to get as far away from it as possible," he said.

"We are about moving forward. We only have until March 19 and when we get in, this horror story is going to end."

Key recommendations:

  • New facility with disease prevention, in-house adoption program, increased capacity, public access.
  • Desexing subsidy
  • Micro-chipping incentive
  • Design and disease control training
  • More qualified pound staff
  • Discounted registration for desexed animals
  • Push to stop backyard breeders
  • Vet or vet nurse hired on pound staff to assess incoming animals
  • Direct dealing between council and rescue/transport agencies
  • DNA testing for dog attacks

Topics:  animal welfare pound rockhampton rspca

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