Council’s impound facility located at the City of Mount Gambier depot has been audited by the South Australian Dog and Cat Management Board, and the existing approval has been reconfirmed.
The additional audit was arranged by Council following community concerns shared on social media regarding the welfare of impounded dogs in our care during warmer weather.
“We want to allay any concerns regarding wandering dogs in our care, so we invited a senior officer of the Board to come down from Adelaide to inspect Council’s facility and discuss our process and procedures when handling dogs,” City of Mount Gambier General Manager Corporate and Regulatory Services Jane Fetherstonhaugh said.
“Our facility was already approved to hold dogs for 72 hours in accordance with the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 in July last year, but given recent community concerns we wanted to ensure that we continue to follow the Dog and Cat Management Board’s guidelines.”
A Dog and Cat Management Board Senior Project Officer inspected Council’s temporary impound facility this week and the Board has formally advised Council that it is satisfied with the facility.
“During the visit, we also discussed preliminary plans for future impounding facilities, as we’ll also need to consider and plan for the potential requirement to impound cats in the future which is under consideration as part of the current review of the Dog and Cat Management Act,” Mrs Fetherstonhaugh said.
Wandering dogs are housed in Council’s temporary pound during the 72 hour hold period.
“We keep the dogs as safe and comfortable as possible until we can reunite them with their owner, or transfer them to one of our partner organisations for rehoming.”
“During warmer days we visit the temporary kennel frequently to ensure dogs have access to food and water. We also monitor the temperature inside the kennel and if required, hose down the floor, and the dog and enable outside access within an enclosure.”
“We have installed shadecloth on the outside enclosure and we have a small plastic children’s swimming pool for use on hot days. We continue to investigate making other improvements such as roof ventilation in the kennels and an additional shade sail over the holding pen.”
Council’s impound facility was constructed in accordance the Dog and Cat Management Board Detention Facility Guidelines which outline that dog pens must be fully enclosed and constructed from impervious, washable and durable materials.
“In comparison to the comforts of home, the facility may appear basic. However, these specific requirements are outlined by the Board to meet health and safety standards for the dogs and our staff,” Mrs Fetherstonhaugh said.
“We need to ensure that the floors are constructed of impervious materials that are free of cracks or small gaps that potentially harbour infectious bacteria.”
“When we receive a dog, we don’t know its medical or behavioural history. It may not be vaccinated or may be carrying an infection or disease. The dog needs to be quarantined and there needs to be effective housing and hygiene protocols in place to prevent the potential spread of disease to other dogs held at the facility.”
Please remember that the best way to keep your dog out of the pound is to ensure that you microchip and register your animal to enable it to be returned to you quickly by Council’s general inspectorate team. - General Manager Corporate and Regulatory Services Jane Fetherstonhaugh
Since July 2023, 188 dogs have been collected by Council inspectors, 176 dogs have been returned to their owners and 12 dogs have been impounded. Six dogs have been transferred to partner organisations for rehoming and six were fostered.
For further information about Council’s animal pound and rehoming services view the FAQ.
Media contact: City of Mount Gambier Media and Communications Coordinator Sharny McLean on 0413 798 327 or firstname.lastname@example.org