Since 2002, the animal pound in Townsville had been run by the RSPCA QLD. In 2018 Townsville Council paid $1.4 million to the RSPCA as part of the agreement to transition away from providing animal management services in the city, with Council taking over running the pound from April 2018.
Twelve months on and the performance of Townsville Council is coming under fire.
A third of these animals will die.
That statistic stunned the RSPCA.
"(Townsville Council) need to deal with this urgently. The community will no longer put up with the euthanasia of animals." ~ Mark Townend, RSPCA QLD CEO
Council figures have revealed a huge jump in the number of unwanted animals put down in the past year.
Currently 38.5% of all cats, and 24.5% of all dogs who enter the pound are euthanised.
That's nearly five times the rate of cats, and nearly three times the rate of dogs put down, since the RSPCA relinquished control to council last year.
Actually, it's worse than that. From statistics provided by council.
45% of cats are ending up dead and many, many more dogs ending up killed (503) rather than adopted (284) or 'gifted' to rescue groups (146).
Council maintains it has been running the shelter successfully since it took over.
It's a funny ol' definition of "successfully" Council are using here, when over 500 dogs and 400 cats have been slaughtered in their low-volume facility in a single year. The city of Townsville is not operating a "shelter" in the sense that they offer shelter to pets from harm. Rather, they are using community resources to run a pet killing service, where sometimes, some pets escape alive.
Implementing the proven programs of the No Kill Equation saves lives. Townsville City Council could provide a safe place for these vulnerable animals and get them adopted. Killing pets for the convenience is not a thing that just happens; it’s a choice made by Council, and it shouldn’t even be an option.
Townsville residents certainly deserve to have a functioning, proactive and safe pound for their community's stray and lost pets. I hope local animal advocates join together to demand that this needless killing of pets by Townsville Council is rejected as completely out of step with community expectations.
These pets deserve protection.