There’s good news for pooches and cats as the Tweed Shire Council’s Animal Pound gets set to move to a brand new facility in about two years time.
The current pound is just not up to scratch (see what I did there?) so it’s out with the old and in with the new.
A temporary home will be established by the end of 2019 to house pound services for the next two years before it moves to a ‘forever home’ at Eviron.
The temporary pound at Dulguigan will be jointly operated by council’s long-term pound partner, the Friends of the Pound as part of their continuing care and rehoming activity.
A staff presence from council’s pound will be maintained seven days a week in order to continue the high standard of animal care established at the current Stotts Creek facility.
The temporary site at 36 Pollards Road contains the remaining building and exercise yards of the former Home for the Paws animal boarding business, which ceased operations in 2016.
In April, Council resolved to invest $1.5million to construct a new modern pound on the council-owned site at 751 Eviron Road, Eviron.
Director Planning and Regulation Vince Connell said the decision to relocate the current pound wasn’t taken lightly. ‘We’re taking all steps and efforts to ensure that we maintain our current high standard of service and care of our impounded animals, throughout both the temporary arrangements and development of a modern pound and rehoming centre at Eviron’, said Mr Connell.
Plan to use the best contemporary design
Mr Connell said that the intention is that all of the current services will be available at both the temporary facility and the new one. ‘We certainly plan to use the best contemporary design that is out there for the new pound,’ he said. ‘We are researching the best practices and good examples of council pounds. We want a better design, we expect a more contemporary facility.’
Mr Connell says that one of the limitations of the current site is that it is flood-impacted. ‘The facility itself doesn’t get flooded, but the road is cut off. We are able to plan for that when it happens, but the new facility won’t have that problem as it is on higher ground.’
Connell says that one of the most challenging parts of any pound is the noise impact for residents. ‘The new site is elevated and it has significant vegetation. This is a great opportunity to shield noise. Given the fact that there is already noise from the motorway, we believe it will be a less impacting sight.’
The Dulguigan site was considered to be the most suitable temporary site given that it is close to council’s Murwillumbah office and the former Home of the Paws business had left a significant range of shelter facilities and is DA-approved, and the property provides a great surrounding, natural environment for exercising the impounded animals, and is relatively isolated from surrounding residences.
A development application (DA) is being prepared for the broadened animal shelter use by Friends of the Pound and necessary upgrades of the existing premises. At this stage, it is expected that the DA will be lodged by mid to late August and then advertised for public comment. Following an expected DA approval and a minor building and site upgrade, the new temporary facility should be operating by the end of the year.
Thanks to the Friends of the Pound
Council is also currently working with Friends of the Pound to provide a contingency of care of Council’s impounded animals in the intervening period between the expected closure of council’s current pound at Stotts Creek in October, and the commencement of the temporary facility at Dulguigan.
Council will continue to work with other animal rescue groups to rehome any animals that cannot be accommodated by Friends of the Pound. The current Council Pound at Stotts Creek has a maximum accommodation capacity of 30 dogs and 30 cats. The proposed temporary and new pound facilities will have a similar maximum capacity, with sufficient land area for future capacity expansion.
Mr Connell says that both the temporary and the new facility are positioned so that they can also be an adoption centre. ‘We’ll have the assistance of the Friends of the Pound volunteers caring for animals. People can continue to view animals at the temporary facility if they want to adopt.’
In the last nine years, the pound has housed between 200 and 300 animals per year and has euthanised between 20 and 35 per cent of those animals for various reasons – a reminder of the importance of adopting not shopping.
Council hope to be able to broaden information about desexing or adopting from the new pound.
The project team is now in the process of designing this new permanent facility at Eviron which is expected to be ready to open its doors in around 18 to 24 months following the necessary approval processes.