Un­usual an­i­mals ar­rive at pound

The Press - - Mainland Live - JOEL INESON

Rose-adorned sheep let loose in a school on Valen­tines Day have joined the list of un­usual jobs fielded by an­i­mal con­trol.

Many may ex­pect the Christchurch City Coun­cil’s an­i­mal man­age­ment to deal solely with the usual city-dwelling pets, but what hap­pens when those pets would oth­er­wise be con­sid­ered a pro­duc­tion an­i­mal? They too get im­pounded.

An­i­mal man­age­ment team leader Mark Vin­cent said his staff were called to a lo­cal high school on Tues­day to cap­ture two coloured sheep, with roses in their horns, likely set on the school as a prank.

‘‘I guess [it was] not to alarm the col­lege too much, but they were ob­vi­ously there try­ing to at­tract male and fe­male re­la­tion­ships . . . a bit of a joke for some young lads through­out the com­mu­nity.’’

The sheep joined a black ram, a white ewe and a nanny goat re­cently re­cov­ered by Vin­cent’s team.

‘‘We get all sorts. Next thing you know there’ll be kunekune pigs turn up in the mid­dle of the cen­tral city.

‘‘The [an­i­mals] don’t very of­ten, in­ter­est­ingly enough, come from the ru­ral parts of the city.’’

Horses, pea­cocks, pigs and lla­mas were among the other an­i­mals taken into the coun­cil fa­cil­ity, with such calls com­ing at least twice a month, Vin­cent said.

A staff mem­ber would get in touch with peo­ple around the school com­mu­nity to try to find the sheeps’ home.

He said the re­main­ing three an­i­mals were des­tined for an auc­tion on Thurs­day, as was re­quired by law.

The goat, mak­ing its home with the 30-or-so chick­ens at the Brom­ley shel­ter, was found by a park ranger at the Travis Wet­lands.

‘‘The law doesn’t re­quire us to deal with those types of pro­duc­tion an­i­mals, but who else is go­ing to deal with them?’’

He said the an­i­mals would not be put down if they were not pur­chased.

‘‘We’re hop­ing the own­ers of th­ese an­i­mals will ar­rive.

‘‘If they don’t, they’ll just stay with us, the goat will eat down the bits of scrub we’ve got here and the sheep will keep the grass nice and flat..

‘‘She’s a beau­ti­ful goat. I wouldn’t mind keep­ing her, to be hon­est.’’

Vin­cent said he wanted to dis­pel the mis­per­cep­tions a lot of peo­ple had about the peo­ple and prac­tices of an­i­mal man­age­ment.

‘‘Peo­ple have the view that we’re here pro­vid­ing a ser­vice where we want to put [an­i­mals] down. That’s ab­so­lutely wrong. We don’t want to do that.

‘‘In fact, we’re all dog lovers, we’re an­i­mal lovers, and our view is we want the an­i­mals to get back to their homes as quickly as pos­si­ble.’’

"I guess [it was] . . . a bit of a joke for some young lads through­out the com­mu­nity." Mark Vin­cent An­i­mal Man­age­ment team leader Christchurch City Coun­cil


Mark Vin­cent’s team has been pick­ing up an­i­mals many might not ex­pect to re­quire a city an­i­mal shel­ter.

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