What are they doing about the problems at Grafton Pound and what you can do to help?

Grafton Animal Rescue sent this letter to their Council in April:

“The Grafton animal shelter facility is located in South Grafton and is a council service of the Clarence Valley which covers an area of some 10.440Km 2; it services 44 towns and city environments.

Built many years ago, what was once fitting in its day has been allowed to decline in both quality of animal care and maintenance for several years. This is not the fault of the current staff members who do whatever they can under the present conditions.

Successive council administrations have been neglectful of their duties under various Acts of the New South Wales State government, in ensuring that such a facility, not only services the citizens of the Clarence Valley Council, but also the animals impounded at the facility.

Under the Code of Practice ( section 4, subsection 4.1, paragraph 7), the general public should have access to view animals impounded.  Due to the limited opening time of one hour per day, this is almost impossible for many people who may wish to adopt an animal from the pound.

Considering that a comparable facility located at Armidale is open between 30 and 40 hours per week, the Grafton opening hours are unacceptable to rescue groups, local citizens and other interested parties.
Particularly residents who might attend to purchase an animal, only to find the place closed.
This restriction in itself could be considered a breach of the Companion Animals Act 1998-sec64, which states that (5) before destroying a seized or surrendered animal, it is the duty of the council concerned to consider whether there is an alternative action to that of destroying the animal.
At present there are 2 rescue groups in the Grafton area, both these have a re-homing rate of 99.8%.
Grafton Animal Shelter/pound has a kill rate of almost 70% for dogs and 90% for cats and as community demands for do-not-kill pounds are becoming louder and louder this is a dismal rate and makes a mockery of Grafton Animal Shelter/pound.

Most pounds operate in a business-like manner these days and there are several things that would improve the operation of Grafton pound.

Firstly improved facilities for impounded animals, such as up to date kennels/ exercise and play yards, suitable for the general public to view impounded animals in a pleasant atmosphere.

At present the pound is not a nice place to visit even when you can get access, with dogs at times crowded in together/stressed and scared in dark, damp kennels.
Also a cattery suitable to holding impounded cats for a reasonable amount of time, giving them a chance at re-homing.


Secondly, a volunteer program where general members of the public experienced in animal welfare and deemed suitable by the current staff, could conduct work activities approved by said staff.

This could ensure that, not only is the extremely demanding workload eased on staff and rangers, but the rangers could conduct their other duties more efficiently and effectively.
Most importantly, however, the welfare and rehabilitation of impounded animal would be significantly improved, by having dedicated volunteers seeing to their requirements.

Hence issues about exercise, inhumane confinement, and degrading health by not being met under the Companion Animals Act 1998, impounding act 1993 and Code of Practice, would not be a concern.

De-sexing is another important issue as the majority of pounds in Australia now de-sex all their animals before re-homing; this must be done if we are ever to stop the needless killing of healthy domestic animals.
Entire animals released to the region simply continue the vicious cycle of ensuring more supply of animals then demand.
Costs are recouped by asking a higher adoption fee and working with a vet willing to give discount de-sexing.


Web-site exposure is a necessity these days, both Happy Paws and Grafton Animal Rescue, have re-homed many cats and dogs to interstate areas.  How can the public adopt Grafton pound cats and dogs if they don’t know about them?.


In short, with





  • Improved facilities,
  • longer opening hours,
  • Volunteer help,
  • Web site exposé
  • Access by the public in suitable pleasant surroundings
  • De-sexing


There is no reason why Grafton Animal Shelter can’t change from a high kill facility with a reputation to be ashamed of, to a more up to date and forward thinking pound of which our local community is proud of and happy to support.


Grafton Animal Rescue Inc
And 700 + others.”

DRP Comment

Congratulations to Grafton Animal Rescue for taking a stand on this. There are LOTS of Council Pounds just like this, and it’s unacceptable.

Click here to read the media article

Actions you can take:

Write to these Councillors:  Please always write politely, but firmly, state your concerns in a level-headed professional way and always end your letter asking what actions they can  and will take. This Pound needs action fast – seemingly the Councillors don’t realise there is a problem there.

Clr Richie Williamson ( Mayor) richie.williamson@clarence.nsw.au

Clr Jim Simmons ( Deputy Mayor) jim.simmons@clarence.nsw.gov.au

Clr Pat Comben pat.comben@clarence.nsw.au
Clr Ian Dinham ian.dinham@.nsw.gov.au
Clr Craig Howe craig.howe@nsw.gov.au
Clr Sue Hughes sue.hughes@nsw.gov.au
Clr Margaret Mckenna margaret.mckenna@nsw.gov.au
Clr Ian Tiley ian.tiley@nsw.gov.au
Clr Karen Toms karen.toms@nsw.gov.au

Finally, please investigate your own local Council Pound and start up similar actions. We can support if you need help.

2 thoughts on “What are they doing about the problems at Grafton Pound and what you can do to help?

  1. Stephanie June 12, 2010 / 2:19 pm

    I tried to send an email to the above email addresses, and most of them bounced back and were undeliverable. If the author of the blog could look into this and make sure the emails are correct. Thanks!

  2. Animal Rights & Rescue Group Northern Rivers August 25, 2010 / 8:36 pm

    ARRG would like to know if the Grafton council pound are still allowing totally untrained & possibly uncaring pound staff give the lethal injection to unclaimed animals to kill them, rather than pay a qualified vet to kill these tragic victims safely? & if so why is this not stopped & how can we stop it now. Consider the fact that a qualified vet nurse can’t even vaccinate a clients animals under AVA rules. Why then can homeless animals be treated so differently under the AVA laws, who made the exemption for pound staff at AVA for pound staff??? Get some sensible & equitable answers now so we can challenge this abuse.

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