Shoalhaven City Council will temporarily undertake the operation of the Shoalhaven Animal Shelter after the RSPCA decided to withdraw from managing Council animal shelters across NSW in the future, allowing them to concentrate on their core focus of animal welfare.
The latest public tender put out by Council did not receive any tender to carry out this service. Council will resume responsibility of the Shoalhaven Animal Shelter after Councillors at the Ordinary Meeting held on 22 May 2018 agreed that Council would be the best option for management under the Rangers Services Unit. This will be reviewed in March 2019.
Ranger Services Unit Manager Michael Jarman said, “Our main aim is to ensure the animals we find receive the best care and can be adopted to caring people.”
“We will continue to build on the great reputation the RSPCA has had in our community. We thank the RSPCA for their contribution to the shelter over the years. They have made a big difference to so many animals which we will continue.”
The Shoalhaven Animal Shelter will also move into its brand-new premises on the corner of Nowra Hill Road and BTU Road, Nowra Hill from Mundamia in June 2018. The new shelter has been built to ensure safety and comfort for the animals.
Set on five acres, this modern purpose-built facility provides more space and includes:
- 20 kennels
- Exercise Yards direct from kennels
- 2 mum and puppy pens
- 24 cat pens
- Animal Treatment Room
- Meet and Greet area for adoptions
- Welcome Room
- Extra Storage
The six full and part-time staff who currently work with the RSPCA at the Shelter will have the option to transition short term to Council until permanent arrangements can be made.
Last financial year (2016/2017), the Animal Shelter rehoused 1380 animals including cats, dogs, sheep, horses, goats and even a pig. This financial year to the end of April 2018, the shelter has supported 1179 animals showcasing there is a great need in the area for the service.
Council is committed to keeping the shelter open and has an obligation under the Companion Animals Act 1998 and the Impounding Act 1993 as the responsible authority for collecting roaming strays and impounding animals. This action is showing the community Council’s commitment and is urging the community to keep supporting the not for profit venture to ensure the animals are taken care of and rehomed whenever possible.
“We will still need people to volunteer at the centre, to sponsor kennels, sponsor food and vet bills and more importantly, to adopt the animals that come through the door. We are trying to offset as many costs as we can through adoption fees, surrender fees, merchandise sales and sponsorship from our local community.
“The team at Council are already making plans to ensure that this animal shelter will be a centre of excellence in best practice and in offering training for vets and students, through local universities.
“We urge you to sign up to the new adoption Facebook page or visit the Council website to see what animals are available for adoption.”
The new facility build was funded by Council’s Waste Management fees and business operations at a cost of $3 million. The old site in Flatrock Road, South Nowra will make way for a new Waste Recovery Transfer Centre.
There are over 40,000 animals registered in the Shoalhaven which means nearly one animal per 2.5 people in the area.