New pound on agenda

COUNCILLORS will decide the fate of the Griffith Pound at tomorrow night’s meeting after significant community lobbying to upgrade facilities.

Rescue charity Needy Paws notoriously withdrew its support from the pound last year, refusing to take on any more dogs until a number of issues were addressed.

Following a report from council manager of executive services, Shireen Donaldson, councillors will decide whether or not to include the estimated cost of a new pound into the draft 10-year long-term financial plan.

The estimated cost will be $42,000 in the draft 2014/15 budget for structural design and engineering fees and a further $508,000 in the draft 2015/16 budget for the construction of a new pound.

In the report, Mrs Donaldson acknowledged there has been minimal maintenance or improvement funding allocated to the pound since it was built.

Due to a range of issues, parvo virus – which can be lethal for dogs – runs rampant through the facility and many animals dumped there contract the virus.

Each year, the pound handles more than 1000 dogs and cats. 

However, the report identified that with the current state of the pound there are two breaches of the NSW Animal Welfare Code, being the porous concrete flooring and brick walls, which trap parvo, and the holding pends which are exposed to extremes of heat and cold. 

While it will be up to councillors to support the proposed overhaul, Ken Rebetzke from Needy Paws said he was pleased council had come this far.

“We’re very happy, we would have liked this to happen a lot sooner but being local government, council has to follow their own procedures,” Mr Rebetzke said.

“I understand council has put a lot of work in.

“Parvo continues to be a serious issue at the pound and so are the two breaches to the animal welfare act.”

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