THE depressingly stark dog pound run by Bayswater council is set to get a $41,000 upgrade to meet “community expectations”.
In December mayor Dan Bull asked for the state of the council’s Wright Street pound to be reconsidered in light of new animal welfare standards currently working their way through WA parliament.
A new report from Bayswater staff says the pound does meet those “minimum standards”. However people have complained about conditions there and it “falls short of community expectation and lacks basic facilities such as hot water, suitable exercise/outdoor areas or an isolation area for sick animals”.
The council considered outsourcing the pound operations to a private facility in Malaga, but the costs would’ve gone from $10,600 a year to about $28,000 and rangers reckon the digs for stray dogs at the private place aren’t any fancier.
Feeding, watering and keeping dogs at the private facility would’ve cost about $20 per dog per day, while the council spends $3.77 at its own pound (most of that cost is staff time: Food makes up just 30 cents per day).
Keeping an in-house pound also means junior rangers can get some training being around angry dogs.
Planned upgrades include pulling out old asbestos, installing partitions so dogs can have some alone time, improved skylights to let in more natural light, fixing up the exercise area fencing to prevent burrowing, and grinding ripples in the concrete floor so liquid stops pooling around the centre drain. New heavy duty security doors are hoped to deter future break-ins following some “recent burglaries”.
Councillors decide on June 23 whether to go ahead with the upgrades, or to seek out other private operators for outsourcing.
By DAVID BELL