THE region’s animal pounds are an absolute disgrace and must be replaced as a matter of urgency, the councillor in charge of them declared yesterday.
Cr Tony Williams, who chairs Rockhampton Regional Council’s Health and Regulatory Services Committee, wants to see a single regional pound to replace those in Rockhampton, Yeppoon and Gracemere.
He said the Rockhampton pound had been declared inadequate by the old City Council because of its capacity, location and design, and he was disappointed that plans to update facilities for the region’s stray dogs and cats had been delayed by budget restrictions.
“The Rockhampton pound is in a disgraceful state and we urgently need a much better facility as it floods regularly,” he said.
Cr Williams said Gracemere’s pound was also poor and although Yeppoon’s was the best of the three, he wants his council colleagues to take an official tour to see for themselves why there is such a desperate need to invest in a modern facility to service the region.
He’s asked council officers to prepare a report on possible options, locations and projected costs.
The council is conducting a wholesale review of its animal management strategies and yesterday the health committee agreed to abolish the fees it charges residents who take cats and dogs to the pounds.
Cr Bill Ludwig said it was sensible to stop charging $50 for a dog and $30 for a cat because those in financial hardship were likely to simply abandon the animals.
“That costs us far more in the long run,” he said, hoping that the pounds would stop charging before Christmas.
The committee also agreed to stop the practice of selling dogs and cats that had not been vaccinated, de-sexed and micro-chipped.
The cost – about $360 per animal, will be recovered through sales.
And it adopted a new policy on prosecuting the owners of dogs that attack people and cause grievous bodily harm.
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