The Gosford City Animal Shelter is located in Erina (NSW) and services a population of around 170,000 residents. From January 2012 Gosford Dog Paws (GDP) was contracted by Gosford City Council to manage the dog pound with a No Kill policy.
Prior to this, the pound had been run as an RSPCA branch for over 12 years, with a 50% kill rate.
Since GDP’s tenure, the kill rate has dropped to just 6%, with a 94% live release rate.
GDP pride themselves on providing the very best care and treatment, with euthanasia a very last resort. Some dogs require vet treatment, such as dentals, eye surgeries, leg surgeries, lump removals etc.
All dogs are given a behaviour assessment - the same one used by the RSPCA. However, if a dog ‘fails’, the solution is not to kill. The organisation looks at why the dog failed and works on fixing that behaviour in rehabilitation.
They also run a behavioural program and basic training. Dogs are socialised with other dogs and volunteers help with exercising and training. The GDP facility has 42 kennels, a big yard and two large runs for exercising.
Dogs are advertised on a variety of different websites, in the local paper and their photos are sent through to business owners who are happy to hang them up and advertise for us.
Council has been encouraged to drop the reclaim cost from $82, to $35 and, as a result, the organisation has seen a lot more dogs going home to their owners rather than being surrendered due to cost.
With the city placing a big emphasis on welcoming skilled migration and refugees and it’s relatively remote location, the team at GDP have many unique challenges. However, this community facility has rapidly become a jewel in the crown of modern and compassionate animal sheltering.
Despite this fantastic result, Gosford Pound recently went to tender and GDPs weren't the successful tenderers. As of July 1st 2016 another animal welfare group will be running the impounding and adoption facility.
“Tender for Companion Animal Management Services from Harcam Pty Ltd be accepted for the contract price of $382,100.00 excluding GST.”
Gosford City Council Ordinary Meeting Minutes 26/4/16
This is obviously a disappointing result. When we have proven No Kill agencies who have been allowed to establish themselves and run pounds, what we need is for those agencies to be supported, not undercut financially and evicted by other groups, harming all in the process.
We all hope the new group are able to maintain the proven performance of GDP when they take over. We also hope that GDP are able to find a new home where they can continue their work proving what is possible with committed, hardworking people running the pound.