Rockhampton Council Pound continues to inflict suffering, illness and death on pet dogs and cats

September 11, 2017

A pup in Rockhampton pound (2015)

In 2009... 

Rockhampton City Council's pound had a problem with flooding, a problem with parvo and a problem with facilities being a run down pile of crap:

The region’s animal pounds are an absolute disgrace and must be replaced as a matter of urgency, the councillor in charge of them declared yesterday.

Cr Tony Williams, who chairs Rockhampton Regional Council’s Health and Regulatory Services Committee, wants to see a single regional pound to replace those in Rockhampton, Yeppoon and Gracemere.

He said the Rockhampton pound had been declared inadequate by the old City Council because of its capacity, location and design, and he was disappointed that plans to update facilities for the region’s stray dogs and cats had been delayed by budget restrictions.

“The Rockhampton pound is in a disgraceful state and we urgently need a much better facility as it floods regularly,” he said.

Cr Williams said Gracemere’s pound was also poor and although Yeppoon’s was the best of the three, he wants his council colleagues to take an official tour to see for themselves why there is such a desperate need to invest in a modern facility to service the region.

He’s asked council officers to prepare a report on possible options, locations and projected costs.

The Morning Bulletin - Shelters are Tony's pet hate (December 2009)

In 2011...

Rockhampton City Council's pound had a problem with flooding, a problem with parvo and a problem with facilities being a run down pile of crap:

Cr Tony Williams, who has campaigned for years for a state-of-the-art replacement for the city’s run-down and flood-prone pound, says it has been a long and frustrating process.

He’d like to shut the “disgraceful” Quay Street pound as quickly as possible and hopes now a site in Werribee Street has been chosen, and funding for a $1.25 million regional pound set aside, that there are no more hitches in the drawn-out saga.

Councillors are due to be updated today on progress towards a final design of the new pound which will have a much larger capacity.

“It’s been difficult finding a flood-free location which we own but this site is good. It’s on an industrial estate and as the animals will be indoors, I don’t anticipate any objections from the neighbours,” said Cr Williams, who chairs the council’s health committee.

“The existing pound has been closed for weeks by the flood, re-emphasising that it must be replaced. There are disease issues there with parvo, but the new facility will be far more hygienic with elevated cages.” (ref)

. . . . . . . . . .

“As far as the location of the Rockhampton city pound, it is in a flood prone area beside the sewage treatment works and it’s not a very nice location,” says (Councillor Tony Williams). (ref)

But mostly they had a problem with animals ending up dead;

(Compliance officer Chris Phillips) admitted just 11% of cats survive a spell at the pound and during April only seven of the hundreds of animals taken to the pound were rehoused by the council.

. . . . . . . . . .

The statistic that shocked most was the euthanasia rate in March this year with 189 cats and 121 dogs destroyed. (ref)

In 2015...

Rockhampton City Council's pound - still not redeveloped and still not moved to a new site - continued to have a problem with flooding, a problem with parvo, and problem with facilities being a run down pile of crap;

(This is) a genuine issue in our community. 

The pound needs to be totally rebuilt - and at a new site.

Mayor Strelow
 Letter to the Morning Bulletin 9th Sep 2015

and it also still had a problem with pets ending up dead;

This morning, the call went out. All of these dogs would be killed TODAY unless rescue groups could step in and save them - Saving Pets on Facebook
"... Rockhampton’s pound has come under fire at a national conference on the Gold Coast.

Its animal management practices were widely criticised as one of the worst examples nationally at the Getting to Zero conference last week.

The 250-strong audience heard the facility had "no emphasis on saving lives... no emphasis on disease prevention" and slammed it for using adoption as a "secondary" option over euthanasia."

... Health and Compliance Committee chairman, Councillor Ellen Smith said… the council's practices weren't uncommon. She said six out of nine "larger" councils in Queensland of a similar size to RRC used outside adoption agencies in place of an internal facility.

"If every (animal owner) was responsible we wouldn't be having all these problems and the groups wouldn't be overloaded." “... Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Margaret Strelow said tough decisions have to be made. She defended the council's euthanasia rate. (We will) not save every animal.” (ref)


RSPCA Queensland CEO Mark Townend has unleashed on the Rockhampton Regional Council for jumping too fast to euthanise stray animals.Mr Townend said Rockhampton was one of only a handful of councils left in the state that did not run an adoption program through the pound.

"Most have an adoption program, they need to get their act together and join 2015," he said. "Really that's their moral responsibility. Gone are the days of just executing animals to reduce the population and their workload." (ref)

As the pound offers no rehoming program whatsoever, the responsibility to save the lives of pets falls entirely on the shoulders of unpaid, local volunteer animal charities. As the pets coming out of the pound were so often sick with parvo and other pound-acquired disease, the cost of caring for these healthy-pets-made-sick far outweighed the money these charities could pull in, in donations or adoption fees. It will come as no surprise to hear that the charities soon went broke.

Caring for the forgotten comes at a cost as Capricorn Animal Aid (CAA) announces they are unable to take on any more animals due to financial struggles.
The organisation ran into similar problems in June this year.
The suspension of services comes in the same week as RSPCA Queensland CEO Mark Townend's condemnation of Rockhampton Regional Council for not hosting an in-house adoption program.

Mr Townend was critical of the council's practices, and raised concerns over their reliance on CAA for adoption processes, stating the charity could be "overloaded".
But Rockhampton councillor Ellen Smith said the current facilities were not suitable. (for
an in house adoption program)
"We have considered an in-house re-homing program in the past but our current pound facility really doesn't lend itself to that very well."

Mayor Margaret Strelow said a new pound site was a high priority for the council. (Ref)

The Mayor also continued to defend her Council's right to kill, rather than adopt out pets.

Saving Pets Facebook (2015)
A huge truth bomb laid out by the RSPCA QLD (2015)

And in 2017... 

You'll never guess what the problems STILL are at the pound?

There is still no new pound. The animals are still going to the parvo infested, shit-box pound they always did. In fact, this pound is so sick, that it is spreading disease to the entire community;

The need for a new compound... has come after a severe outbreak of parvo in the region suspected to have stemmed from the current pound with the council acknowledging the facility has passed its used-by date. (ref)
Teeny-tiny puppy. He can't walk yet. He's completely unprotected and totally vulnerable to disease. I know - let's put him in the parvo-soaked-photobox! (Saving Pets - February 2017)

And pets are still ending up dead;

RIP Jessie. Killed at Rockhampton Regional Council Pound on 8 September 2017 because they deemed she was too old to be adopted so they did not even list her for a chance. (The Faces we must never Forget Facebook)

Since 2009 the community has waited for a new facility for the needy pets in their community. Literally eight years has passed and there is still no adoptions from the pound. Death and suffering is the only outcome offered by the Rockhampton City Council, to the needy pets of its community. Eight years of sickness, suffering and death. What a disgusting legacy.

How many more Rockhampton? How much longer will you continue to accept and fund this cruel, sick facility as your local pound? 

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