Article by Corinne Daw
Did you know that there have been some very disturbing developments at certain pounds?
Could this happen to your dog?
If your pet became lost and was impounded by the Council you would expect, until you were able to claim it, that he/she would be kept in a facility which guaranteed that they would be safe from harm by other animals. That your pet would be well fed, kept dry and warm, in a clean environment and isolated from contagious diseases. If sick or injured that they would be given at least some veterinary treatment/pain relief until you were able to be contacted.
These are just the very basics of care and yet in many pounds this does not happen. In fact the truth about what happens in some pounds would make your blood run cold……
Many Council pounds are not only very over crowded but so short staffed that sometimes the larger holding facilities have only one paid staff member to care for over 100 lost /abandoned dogs. Imagine? The dogs bark incessantly or whimper in their bewilderment and fear.
What happens to sick or injured animals? This incident happened recently in a local pound…
A German Shepherd took 3 days to die of Parvovirus, where the presence of blood in vomit and faeces was noted on the kennel door, and was visible from the outside by the general public. No attempt was made to euthanize the animal and it was found dead one morning.
Pets are a wonderful part of our life and it seems unimaginable that in some pounds sick and injured animals are left to suffer. To die ALONE and NOBODY CARES! Are there so many animals in these ‘super’ pounds death has no meaning but becomes a daily occurrence, to be accepted?
As a responsible owner, your dog is micro chipped so, if lost, you will be immediately contacted and your dog’s stay in the pound will be minimal. The mandatory holding period is 7 days for unregistered and 14 days if the dog is registered. Recently there was an incidence of a dog being euthanized the day after being admitted instead of being held the required 7 days. When the owner turned up the pound denied all knowledge. A case of over crowding, under staffing, sheer incompetence or a tragic, FATAL mistake!
The volume of animals who remain unclaimed grows larger every year. What happens to these animals? Do they have no rights? Are Councils obligated to find homes for them — I mean, we care about recycling our rubbish but not our unwanted pets? Some of the luckier animals are adopted and various rescue groups try to save as many animals as they can but, tragically, thousands of young, healthy animals, unclaimed in pounds are euthanized, especially in the larger, multi Council facilities where lack of space is an issue!
All Councils MUST be held responsible for animals in their control.
Remember a stray dog/cat is simply a lost pet until the 7 day (or 14 days if registered) holding period is up and should be treated as such— with respect and kindness
As a responsible council facility, all dogs who are lucky enough to be sold should be desexed but are they? No, they are not— although there are some pounds like Wyong who are leading the way!
Is it possible for a dog to be sold to a backyard breeder? Yes it is. In some pounds dogs are sold to the highest bidder not the best possible home and could be easily be purchased by a breeder to live a life of misery, churning out more pups. So the cycle continues and more puppies are bred for profit when there are simply not enough homes for them and then they too end up, unwanted, in the pound.
Operating requirements for all pounds…
- Trained staff—Animals should only be handled by people trained in animal care. But not only that. People who work with animals should not be given the position simply because they are qualified but essentially because they are first and foremost ……ANIMAL LOVERS!
- Customer Service—Staff at the pounds must be organised and have good people skills.
- Accessible hours—Pounds should have hours that are assessable to the general public not only for owners of dogs to view the kennels to see if their pet is there but importantly for potential adopters. If a pound is not open then the person seeking to adopt a pet will go elsewhere.
- Smaller Pounds— A pound shouldonly care for it’s own council area. ie. Smaller pounds are better able to properly maintain animals in their care. The more councils who use the one facility might make the running costs cheaper but it means the less individual care and lessens the chances of these animal finding homes / being rescued if unclaimed. Pounds should also be within the council’s area.
- Mandatory desexing—All animals MUST be rehomed to the best possible home not to the person who can pay the most money ie backyard breeder. Backyard breeders would be discouraged from applying to a pound if it was known that all their animals were only sold DESEXED.
- Basic veterinary care— All sick and injured strays should be entitled to immediate
Find out where your Pound is! How is it run? Be proactive! After all, if you have a pet, it could be of vital importance to you. Someday it might be YOUR beloved pet who is LOST and ALONE….
Petsecure works with rescue organisations across Australia – learn more about them here.