Since 1 July 2023, City of Mount Gambier has reunited all 16 stray dogs that have been picked up by Council’s General Inspectors with their owners, besides a small puppy. That dog was collected earlier this week and has been transferred to a foster home through Wet Noses Animal Rescue.
‘Hector’ the Jack Russell cross was the first dog to require impoundment at Council’s holding kennel facility this week after he was found wandering on Wireless Road West, Mount Gambier. Council was however pleased that his time in the holding facility was short lived as he was able to be placed in foster care for the period of his impoundment.
“He didn’t have a tag and wasn’t microchipped, so we couldn’t return him to his owner,” Team Leader General Inspectorate Derek Ferguson said.
We remind our community that the best way to ensure that your pet can be reunited with you as quickly as possible is by ensuring its microchip and registration details are up-to-date so our inspectorate team can get in touch should they get lost. Team Leader General Inspectorate Derek Ferguson
Hector has been vet checked and will be microchipped, vaccinated and registered, and following the legislated 72 hour holding period, he will soon be rehomed through Wet Noses Animal Rescue.
“Hector’s health and behaviour will be assessed in the coming weeks, and he will receive behavioural training to prepare him to be rehomed,” Wet Noses Animal Rescue Director Marie Dukalskis said.
“He’s very active and busy and loves to chew and he seems quite content and secure. He will be in the care of a foster home until he is ready to go to a suitable new home.”
City of Mount Gambier CEO Sarah Philpott hopes to allay any community concern regarding Council’s new pound and rehoming procedures, 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 their facility outside of Mount Gambier.
“We understand and appreciate that animals are important to our community and their health and wellbeing are important to us too,” City of Mount Gambier CEO Sarah Philpott said.
“We have four dog kennels at the Council depot to temporarily hold stray dogs for 72 hours while we look for their owner by scanning and checking microchip details on Dogs and Cats Online, checking for registration and posting details about lost dogs on our new City of Mount Gambier Impounded Dogs Facebook page.”
“Our General Inspectors have done an exceptional job in the past few weeks to avoid impounding 15 dogs by reuniting them with their families soon after finding them.”
Council’s kennel facilities have been approved by the Dog and Cat Management Board in accordance with the Dog and Cat Management Act to house up to four dogs at a time for the mandatory 72 hour period.
“The kennels are a temporary holding facility for stray dogs until they are reunited with their owner or rehomed. The facility provides shelter and protection from the elements with a raised bed off the concrete floor as a requirement for hygiene and sanitising purposes, and fresh air and ventilation from mesh that provides natural light.”
“Beyond 72 hours, we are currently exploring various options for rehoming services. Options include volunteer-run animal rescue organisations like Wet Noses, that utilise foster carers to care for the animals until they are ready for adoption, as well as other local councils that have established rehoming programs. As Hector shows, our focus is on reuniting and rehoming - we are certainly not just going to euthanise dogs after 72 hours as has been suggested on social media.”
To effectively manage the capacity of different organisations, Council is considering multiple agreements. Doing this will help address situations where these organisations reach their full capacity and are unable to accommodate any more animals. Additionally, Council is exploring the possibility of rehoming some dogs internally, within its own facilities.
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.
The Request for Expression of Interest (EOI) to identify and evaluate individuals or organisations that may be interested in discussing potential solutions related to the provision of animal pound and rehoming services closed on Thursday 13 July 2023.
“The purpose of the EOI process was to gauge interest and gather information that will help shape the final procurement process,” Ms Philpott said.
City of Mount Gambier and District Council of Grant will review the submissions in the coming weeks to determine the next steps which may include proceeding to a tender process or appointing a provider/s directly.
Contact Wet Noses Animal Rescue if you’re interested in potentially adopting Hector. Facebook page: www.facebook.com/wetnosesanimalrescue
Details regarding impounded dogs will be posted on the City of Mount Gambier Impounded Dogs Facebook page: www.facebook.com/mountgambierimpoundeddogs
Media contact: City of Mount Gambier Communications Officer Madeleine Brookes on 8721 2577 or email@example.com