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Closure “standard procedure”

Wednesday, 19th April, 2017

The sign on front of the mini-pound over Easter. The sign on front of the mini-pound over Easter.

By Michael Murphy

City Council yesterday defended the closure of the mini-pound over the Easter break, saying it was normal practice to shut during holidays.

The mini-pound - two cages in a shed that is part of council’s rubbish tip compound - was shut over the long weekend, a sign put out the front pointing people to take unwanted animals directly to the main pound which is operated by local vet, Guillaume “Tabby” Tabuteau.

Tabby said he only found out about the closure when the police rang him on Good Friday. They had a stray they were intending to secure at the mini-pound, but they had to call Tabby when they found it closed.

But council said yesterday closing the mini-pound during holidays was a standard procedure they had employed for the last five years.

“The closure ensures strays are not left unattended at the mini-pound during periods in which council staff are not working,” a spokesman said.

He said the main pound’s opening hours were checked with “the operator” before they closed the mini-pound “to ensure the public was not left without a facility to use”.

The pound’s hours were also listed on the sign at the mini-pound facility.

Council said they expected people to take stray or surrendered animals directly to the pound during public holidays instead of dropping them at the mini-facility.

“This is standard procedure any time the mini-pound is unavailable such as long weekends, or when the mini-pound is full or closed for cleaning or decontamination,” the spokesperson said.

Tabby told the BDT on Monday that he did not have a contract to operate the pound, and he was only helping out while council decided what to do.

Council has plans in motion to build and operate a pound facility at the local airport.

It includes 20 dog cages, an office with “future amenities”, a cattery and veterinary room, a carport and patio with shade sail, exercise yards, a dangerous dog enclosure, a shipping container and car parking for five vehicles, including a space for people with a disability.

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