Pet palace to save strays

AN­I­MAL RE­HOM­ING SITE COULD RE­PLACE POUND

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Jenny Gal­braith

AN iconic new an­i­mal hold­ing fa­cil­ity is pro­posed to be built in Glen­den­ning in what would be an Aus­tralian first.

A re­port re­leased by Black­town Coun­cil out­lines a plan for a pur­pose-built cen­tre that aims to at­tract the com­mu­nity away from pet shops to­wards adopt­ing aban­doned dogs and cats.

The cen­tre may in­clude a vet­eri­nary clinic, “real life” rooms to ac­cli­ma­tise an­i­mals to home en­vi­ron­ments, larger rooms with fewer an­i­mals, plenty of nat­u­ral light and ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ties.

The cen­tre on Owen St would re­place the coun­cil’s ex­ist­ing pound in Prospect, which would be sold off to fund part of the pro­ject.

The re­port refers to mod­ern an­i­mal hold­ing fa­cil­i­ties cen­tres found around the world that fo­cus more on re­hom­ing pets rather than a place to put them down.

“The tra­di­tional dog pound has a sad im­age of a place an­i­mals go to be eu­thanised,” the re­port states.

“The de­sign is now shift­ing from con­crete jails for an­i­mals to com­plete com­mu­nity cen­tres where the fo­cus is on com­mu­nity in­ter­ac­tion and events as well as the adop­tion and re­hom­ing of pets.”

Rather than 20 or more dogs in one room, the re­port in­cludes plans for a se­ries of eight rooms hold­ing up to eight an­i­mals each.

Com­mu­nity events in­clud­ing pet shows, a com­mu­nity dog park, pet agility cour­ses and other ser­vices may also fea­ture.

There may also be an ed­u­ca­tion and learn­ing cen­tre where school groups can in­ter­act with a range of pets and learn about an­i­mal wel­fare.

Black­town Mayor Stephen Bali said he be­lieved the cen­tre would cost around $14-15 mil­lion and would be the first cus­tombuilt fa­cil­ity of its kind.

“If there’s a good at­mos- phere then hope­fully a few more (an­i­mals) will be re­homed and it will get peo­ple to think about go­ing to the pound rather than the lo­cal pet shop,” he said.

The Owen St prop­erty is around 10ha and is cur­rently pro­vided to the Black­town Ken­nel Club for train­ing and dog shows.

Black­town Coun­cil will con­sider whether to go ahead with the pro­ject at a meet­ing tonight.

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