Unusual animals arrive at pound
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.