Costly accommodation: Council yesterday approved considering an extra $300,000 to construct a new cat and dog pound in Warwick.
Costly accommodation: Council yesterday approved considering an extra $300,000 to construct a new cat and dog pound in Warwick.

Top dollar pound

WARWICK cats and dogs could soon be housed in a new state-of-the-art pound, if council officers get their way.

At yesterday’s Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) planning and environment committee meeting the proposed capital works for the 2010/11 budget were presented to councillors, asking for an extra $300,000 to be allocated for the upgraded pound.

There was previously only $80,000 allocated.

While a recommendation to consider this $380,000 price tag in July’s budget was given approval at the committee meeting, it will need to be approved again during budget considerations.

Planning and environment director Ken Harris told the Daily News the State Government was currently compiling a new Cats and Dogs Act, which would be legislated from the end of the year, meaning cat registrations and the construction of a cat pound would become SDRC’s responsibility.

Another issue which councillors will have to consider once a new pound is constructed, or the existing one is upgraded, is who will run the facility.

Mr Harris said the RSPCA ran pounds in other council areas, and he said the SDRC was in preliminary discussions with the organisation about the possibility of it running the Warwick pound.

“At this stage really all we’re proposing is that we have a certain amount of money allocated,” he said.

“We haven’t done a final design at this stage.”

He said another serious defect with the current pound, that each of the pens did not have individual drains. “When we wash down the pens on a daily basis, the water gets washed between the pens and therefore things like viruses pass between the pens,” he said.

Mr Harris said there had been cases of the highly-contagious parvo virus spreading through dogs at the pound. He also said there were not enough cages at the current pound, meaning there was sometimes more than one animal to a cage.

At yesterday’s planning and environment committee meeting SDRC chief executive officer Rod Ferguson encouraged councillors to consider the location of the pound. “If we’re going to spend that sort of money ($380,000), is it still the best place for the pound in this district,” he said.

Cr Mally McMurtrie moved in line with the recommendation, which also included the approval for the remainder of the proposed capital works budget. Cr Vic Pennisi seconded the motion and it was carried.



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