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It’s a dog's life

Saturday, 18th January, 2020

Lacey is a one-and-a-half year old female staffy. (251000110) Gizmo is a male ridgeback X bull arab, who is one-and-a-half years old. (251000110) Lacey is a one-and-a-half year old female staffy. (251000110) Gizmo is a male ridgeback X bull arab, who is one-and-a-half years old. (251000110)

By Emily Ferguson

Lacey and Gizmo are two of more than 30 dogs in the Broken Hill pound, which is experiencing a perpetual influx of homeless hounds. 

The dogs are being well taken care of, but they deserve a loving home and family of their own. 

Kelly Dwyer of the Broken Hill Pound said they were too often seeing people drop off their unwanted dogs, and even finding them stranded on the roadside, which was unacceptable.

“Christmas and holiday time is our busiest time, people are going away and they just don’t care about their dogs,” said Kelly.

“We find dogs that are 10 kilometres out on the Tibooburra road and it’s quite common on the Silverton or Menindee roads, too.

“We would prefer people bring their dogs in if they’re not wanting them, so we can try and rehome them,” she said.

“But we are not a dumping ground for dogs that can’t be rehomed, such as those that have shown aggression in their own homes.”

While the pound does accept litters of puppies, they encourage people to do the right thing and get their dogs desexed.

“People can surrender litters of puppies and we will take them as it saves the animals from being handed out for free and unwanted, it devalues the dog.”

When the demand is there, Mel of Angry Face Transport will collect rescue dogs from the pound and transport them to foster groups.

Broken Hill Pound was the first place that Mel delivered for back in 2012, and it is now one of 40 pounds, which she helps transport dogs for.  

“The important thing with rescue dogs it that they’re going to the right home for them, we match the dogs to the right person,” said Mel.

“It is vital that the dog is always going to a better situation than they were in previously, because if it’s not equal to or better care than before then the dog hasn’t really been rescued.”

“The definition of rescue is to give the dog a better life.”

The number of dogs being left homeless in Broken Hill was staggering, and Mel said it was a problem that needed to be addressed.

“We transported 60 dogs in one month last year, 120 were moved in two months, people need to realise the volume of dogs being devalued in Broken Hill,” said Kelly. 

“These dogs are being thrown away as a commodity rather than a life companion, which is what they are,” said Mel. 

Kelly said there were easily 500-plus dogs and puppies transported to rescue groups last year.

“But not one is euthanised here, we try very hard to get them all out,” she said.

“Sadly it is very common for dogs to come into the pound that have not met other people or other dogs, they’ve never been outside in a yard, or on a lead, wormed or even vaccinated.”

The dogs are all friendly and just looking for someone to love them.

“People who are looking to adopt a pound dog, we encourage them to come out here and we can introduce them to the dog, because it’s all about meeting the dog,” said Kelly. 

“We can let them out with the people for a while so they can get to know each other, and we also suggest that if they have any other dogs they bring them out too so they can meet.

“It’s very important to do a meet and greet, to match the dog to the right person.”

A way that locals can help to lower the number of dogs in the pound is to ensure their contact details are up to date on their dog’s microchip, so if they do end up at the pound the owners can be easily contacted. 

Microchipping can be done at the vet clinic for $35 and microchip details can be updated at City Council.

All dogs that get adopted come vaccinated and microchipped, with an adoption price of $120. For further information or to meet any of the friendly dogs in the pound visit the Broken Hill Vet Clinic on Rakow Street. 

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