Lost dogs will no longer be taken to the South East Animal Welfare League (SEAWL) from 1 July 2023 after SEAWL decided not to accept an eight month extension to its five year tripartite funding agreement with City and Grant District Councils to house stray dogs at the facility outside of Mount Gambier.
At the January 2023 Council meeting, City of Mount Gambier Elected Members resolved to embark on a competitive tender process for animal shelter services on a ‘fee for service’ basis for a five-year term in line with Council’s Procurement Policy and to represent better value for ratepayers.
“As part of the tripartite funding agreement, City Council paid SEAWL $49,500 per year. With 71 impounds this financial year, that equates to $697 per impounded dog,” City of Mount Gambier CEO Sarah Philpott said.
“In addition, SEAWL retains fees charged to the public when they collect their dog, including an impoundment fee of $70 per dog and a daily hold fee of $45 a day.”
On behalf of City and Grant Councils, we thank SEAWL for taking care of the community’s stray and seized dogs during the terms of the agreement and we are happy to continue working with them in the interim. - City of Mount Gambier CEO Sarah Philpott
“We want to provide certainty and continuity of service to any individual/organisation that may wish to submit an Expression of Interest to assist with all or parts of the care and reunification of lost dogs to their owners. We also want to make sure that we are providing a service to the community that delivers the best value for money.”
Following completion of the Expression of Interest phase, City of Mount Gambier and District Council of Grant will review the submissions and determine the next steps such as proceeding to tender or appointing a provider.
In the interim, Council’s General Inspectors will continue to pick up lost dogs and provide pound and shelter services at the City and Grant Council depots for the legislated period of up to 72 hours and beyond where required.
“There were only 33 lost dogs from both Councils kept at SEAWL beyond 72 hours this past year.”
“In the Expression of Interest Service Specification, we outline that we want providers to handle the time animals spend in their care well so that there's enough space for Council impounds throughout the year. Council is obligated to pick up all dogs and can't pick and choose, so the new service agreement needs to cover this.”
“Most dogs are reunited with their owner before 72 hours. But for those that are not, there are many other ways in which to manage their care such as the use of foster care programs, rehabilitation programs, teaming up with other animal welfare/rescue groups and adoption programs.”
The request for Expressions of Interest is online at the Tenders SA portal. Expressions of Interest close at 2:00pm on Thursday 13 July 2023.
Read further information about Council's animal shelter services decision here.
Media contact: City of Mount Gambier Media and Communications Coordinator Sharny McLean on 0413 798 327 or firstname.lastname@example.org