Council’s mobile animal shelter cat’s whiskers

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The City of Launceston’s purpose-built mobile animal shelter has picked up two major awards in the space of just one week.

Early last week, the shelter won the national prize in the innovation category at the Companion Animal Rescue Awards.

The Rescue Awards is Australia’s first and only national awards program that celebrates and recognises achievements in the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of companion animals.

Then on Tuesday night, the shelter was announced as the Tasmanian winner in the Local Government category at the Resilient Australia Awards held in Hobart.

The Resilient Australia Awards celebrate and promote initiatives that build whole of community resilience to disasters and emergencies around Australia, as well as images capturing resilience in action. The awards recognise collaboration and innovative thinking across all sectors.

City of Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the two awards were a testament to the creativity and ingenuity of the Council’s Regulations team.

“These honours are particularly satisfying and a genuine acknowledgement of all the hard work of our officers to develop such an innovative project for use during natural disasters,” Mayor van Zetten said.

Launched in November last year, the shelters are based in a 40-foot shipping container and can house the most at-risk animals in an emergency. They boast insulation, air conditioning, LED lighting, extraction fans, running water and an administration area.

The shelter was funded by the City of Launceston with assistance from a National Disaster Resilience Grant, with the shipping container supplied and fitted out by Royal Wolf Containers Tasmania.

Council’s Regulations Team Leader Peter Denholm said it was an honour to receive the two awards.

“We know the shelter is the first of its kind in Australia, but more importantly, it gives us the tools we need as an emergency service provider to assist our community during a potential natural disaster,” Mr Denholm said.

“The great benefit of repurposing a shipping container is of course that it is portable. Within a few hours we can have the shelter on a truck and in transit to anywhere in the municipality, and indeed anywhere in the State.”

As the state winner, the shelter is now a finalist in the Local Government category at the National Resilient Australia Awards, with winners set to be announced on December 8.

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