The NSW Government today announced a record investment of $40.6 million in funding to improve animal welfare, just days after a million dollar grant was given to Gunnedah Shire Council to build a new pound.
Minister for Local Government Wendy Tuckerman said the funding package follows a review of animal rehoming practices, focused on actions to reduce unnecessary euthanasia and to increase the rehoming of companion animals.
“This Government has made major investments in shelters across the State to fast-track upgrades and worked closely with metropolitan, rural and regional councils to better understand rehoming practices.
“We’ve also introduced free lifetime pet registration for people who adopt a rescue dog or cat from shelters or pounds, another cost-saving incentive to adopt your next family pet.”
More of Gunnedah’s pets will soon have a second chance at a happy home with the NSW Government providing more than $1 million to help fund Gunnedah Shire Council’s planned $1.5 million Gunnedah Animal Impound Facility.
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said the new facility would replace the existing, much smaller facility and provide temporary housing for dogs and cats.
“The new facility will meet the rising demand of a growing town while providing comfortable accommodation for the animals and modern office space for the staff who keep the facility running.”
The proposed new building is 33.2 metres by 14.2 metres, with a gross floor area of 361.85 square metres and on completion will support up to twenty (20) dogs and twenty five (25) cats, and will cost $1.5 million to build.
Key features of the design include a separate cattery and kennels, staff office space and customer reception areas, with facility rooms that incorporate temporary dog pens, a vet room, laundry, food preparation room, storage amenities, garage, rehoming animal orientation space and grassed free range exercise area.
The NSW Government grant is $1 million. Gunnedah Shire Council are also contributing $487,706 to ensure the facility is delivered.
Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey said it was fantastic news that Council could start the ball rolling on the much-anticipated project.
“This is great news for our Regulatory Services staff and the animals they take into care,” he said.
“The new facility will have the capacity to house double the number of dogs and triple the number of cats.”
“The dogs will have room to run in the exercise area, and cats will have peace and quiet in the separate cattery.”
Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders welcomed the funding boost for animal welfare enforcement.
“It’s important that RSPCA NSW and the Animal Welfare League have the resources they need to continue to do their important work to stamp out animal cruelty in NSW,” Mr Saunders said.
“The NSW Liberals and Nationals have a strong track record when it comes to animal welfare in NSW, following the implementation of some of the most severe penalties for animal welfare in the country.”
RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman said the enforcement capacity boost accelerates the organisation’s plans centred around the Inspectorate to achieve its mission of reducing animal cruelty.
“This funding unlocks growth in our enforcement agency so we can continue prosecuting those who cause harm, while implementing prevention programs that reduce animal cruelty across the state.” Mr Coleman said.
Top image: Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson with Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey