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City Council showcases new pound

Wednesday, 12th February, 2020

City Council Ranger Geoff Creed with a colleague’s Irish Wolfhound that he borrowed to test out the size of the new animal shelter facilities. PICTURE: Emily McInerney City Council Ranger Geoff Creed with a colleague’s Irish Wolfhound that he borrowed to test out the size of the new animal shelter facilities. PICTURE: Emily McInerney

By Emily McInerney

Local media took a tour through the city’s new animal shelter yesterday ahead of its official opening on February 21.

The new City Council facility is within the airport precinct and will serve as a base for the city’s Rangers, and as a holding and adoption facility for stray animals.

The indoor shelter will host 20 dogs and 16 cats, all in air conditioned comfort.

The cages have a new design, thanks to ranger Geoff Creed, which makes for easier access to clean and if an animal is dangerous.

The decision to build a new animal shelter was made in 2016 after the current site was deemed to no longer fit government regulations.

The contract for the current pound had ceased and so Councillors voted to take back the running of the service.

Since then, the contractor, local vet Dr Guillame “Tabby” Tabateau, has maintained the old pound on a month-by-month basis.

In 2017, $210,000 was committed to the project.

The proposed development comprised a shelter at 86 Airport Road which would provide essential services. Noise would be mitigated by the vegetation, topography and distance from existing developments.

Unfortunately by 2018, a lack of tender applications pushed the project back by 12 months.

Council then sought approval to outfit a former refuelling depot at the airport to serve as the new shelter with a revised budget of $250,000.

Then last year, Council allocated a further $180,000 towards the project and Councillors voted to implement new fees for the shelter.

A review of the current fees and charges for the Animal Shelter identified anomalies and gaps in the fee structure for when Council took over the running of the pound’s operations.

The proposed fees and charges are required to clearly identify the costs involved when an animal is impounded but a $100 charge for surrendering a dog that you own has not been popular with some. It is still free to surrender a stray.

Animals will start being admitted to the new shelter on February 17.

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