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.
Particularly residents who might attend to purchase an animal, only to find the place closed.
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
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.”
Congratulations to Grafton Animal Rescue for taking a stand on this. There are LOTS of Council Pounds just like this, and it’s unacceptable.
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) firstname.lastname@example.org
Clr Jim Simmons ( Deputy Mayor) email@example.com
Clr Pat Comben firstname.lastname@example.org
Clr Ian Dinham ian.dinham@.nsw.gov.au
Clr Craig Howe email@example.com
Clr Sue Hughes firstname.lastname@example.org
Clr Margaret Mckenna email@example.com
Clr Ian Tiley firstname.lastname@example.org
Clr Karen Toms email@example.com
Finally, please investigate your own local Council Pound and start up similar actions. We can support if you need help.