Pound pups moved on

Pound pups moved on

Dogs impounded in the greater Mount Gambier district are now being sent to pound facilities interstate.

The Mount Gambier City and Grant District councils have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Southern Grampians Shire Council, after last year opting not to renew a tripartite agreement with the South East Animal Welfare League.

The Southern Grampians Shire Council is the councils’ third partner, with agreements in place with rehoming partners Wet Noses Animal Rescue and Dusty Paws Dog Rescue.

The shire runs an established rehoming program from its Hamilton pound and also provides pound and rehoming services to Moyne Shire Council and had the existing framework and process in place to ensure a seamless partnership between the Shire, City and Grant Councils.

City Council announced last week that it had reunited 93% of wandering dogs with their owners since it began operating its own dog pound on July 1 last year.

Council’s Corporate and Regulatory Services general manager Jane Fetherstonhaugh said its impounding facility is approved by the Dog and Cat Management Board under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 for impounding up to four dogs at any one time for the legislated holding period of 72 hours and beyond.

“Council has been operating the pound for more than seven months now,” she said.

“During that time, the General Inspectorate team have collected 195 dogs wandering at large and have returned 182 dogs to their owners without requiring impoundment.

“We have established the City of Mount Gambier Impounded Dogs Facebook page to help us do this, and the return rate demonstrates just how dedicated our council officers are.

“They really do go above and beyond to return the dogs back to their homes.”

Mrs Fetherstonhaugh said seven dogs have been transferred to rehoming partners after the mandatory holding timeframe, and five dogs have been fostered since the start of the financial year.

“We have sent four dogs across to the Hamilton based pound,” she said.

“Similar to our other agreements with Wet Noses Animal Rescue and Dusty Paws Dog Rescue, City of Mount Gambier pays a fee towards the costs of rehoming the dogs we transfer.”

Ms Fetherstonhaugh said the MoU is in accordance with council’s Unclaimed Dog Policy.

All dogs receive a veterinary check, microchip and vaccination prior to transfer.

“Mount Gambier residents still have the opportunity to adopt dogs listed for rehoming through the Hamilton pound, and Council will share the details on our City of Mount Gambier Impounded Dogs Facebook page,” she said.

“Discussions are currently under way with a fourth potential rehoming partner.

Having multiple partnerships is important as it assists in situations where organisations may reach full capacity and are unable to accommodate additional animals.

“Council continues to explore future options and improvements to its impounding facility.

“Council can continue to operate in this manner while current legislation is in place, or until such time as a state-wide solution is developed for the sector.

However, when legislative changes occur that may introduce cat management to council’s obligations, council will need to review its operations accordingly, which may mean the development of an additional pound.”

Southern Grampians Shire Council chief executive Tony Doyle said his council was pleased to partner with City of Mount Gambier and District of Grant Council in this “important program”.

“Our team at Southern Grampians has worked hard to establish its successful animal rehoming program over the last few years, finding loving new homes for many animals,” he said.

“We are pleased to now be able to expand the service to include Mount Gambier and Grant councils and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”

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