Sally Rogers from HappyPaws Haven wants to reduce the number of unwanted animals being born in the Clarence Valley.
Sally Rogers from HappyPaws Haven wants to reduce the number of unwanted animals being born in the Clarence Valley.

Call for pound pets to be desexed

MANDATORY desexing is the key to reducing Grafton Pound’s death row of pets, according to the manager of a local animal rescue and rehoming centre.

Sally Rogers from Eatonsville’s HappyPaws Haven said she believed Clarence Valley Council needed to follow the example set by a number of other rural councils across New South Wales to address the large numbers of animals being euthanased locally.

According to figures obtained by Grafton Animal Welfare, the Grafton pound has a “kill rate” of 90 per cent of cats and 70 per cent of dogs.

Ms Rogers said Cessnock, Armidale, Mildura, Hawkesbury and Wagga Wagga councils all had systems in place whereby residents could not adopt an impounded animal unless it was desexed, a process organised by the councils, but paid for by the new owners.

The cost, on average, is $300 for a dog and $230 for a cat – a large difference to the current $50 charged at Grafton Pound for microchipping and a selling fee.

Ms Rogers said if the mandatory desexing was introduced the euthanasia rate might at first increase “very slightly”.

“But looking at the big picture, it’s not about euthanasia, it’s about stopping unwanted animals being born,” she said.

“People value things they pay for, and [mandatory desexing] sorts out the people who can and can’t afford that animal.”

Ms Rogers said while CVC offered a 25 per cent discount on the desexing of animals adopted from the pound, it also relied on the resident taking the animal to the vet – a practice which was problematic.

Clarence Valley Council deputy general manager of environment and economic services Des Schroder agreed with Ms Rogers, stating that desexing and responsible pet ownership were the keys to the issue.

“The input end is the right end to attack,” Mr Schroder said.

However he said addressing the matter came back to “resourcing” and “budgets”.

A report into animal operations at the pound will be discussed at this afternoon’s Environment, Economic and Community Committee meeting in Grafton.

Council officers have recommended that council “note the report on animal control management and operations and continue to investigate measure to improve rehousing of animals within existing budgets”.

The report states that to extend the desexing service would involve costs that were not budgeted for.

The report also details improvements made to the pound’s operations following an online petition, which was lodged with more than 1000 signatures seeking improvements to the pound.

Among the improvements are a new “looking for a pet” webpage on Clarence Valley Council’s website and extended operating hours at the pound located on Induna Street (now open from 8.30am-10.30am weekdays instead of 9am-10am).

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