Orange’s new pound to provide safe environment for strays

Orange’s lost and stray cats and dogs are set to be better managed following today’s opening of Orange City Council’s new pound.

The purpose-built $1.5 million facility will be opened today by Orange mayor Reg Kidd and the chair of the Orange City Council Companion Animal community committee, Cr Stephen Nugent.

Cages for dogs in the centre of the pound

Cages for dogs in the centre of the pound

The new pound includes exercise yards, insulated kennels, a vet room, a hydro-bath and dedicated cages for both dogs and cats. There are 32 dog cages and 18 cages for cats, as well as four under-cover kennels where the community can drop off stray dogs after-hours.

Orange Mayor Cr Reg Kidd said the pound would be a local boost for the care of stray animals.

“The new pound has been handling stray dogs and cats for a number of months now while the final touches were added to the project,” Cr Reg Kidd said. “The outdoor drop-off cages have now been installed and landscaping has been completed.”

“This soft-opening period has been a good opportunity to fine-tune some of the systems with operating a brand new facility.”

“It’s been a number of years, since the Council’s previous arrangement with the RSPCA to deal with stray animals came to an end. Since then the Canobolas Family Pet Hospital has made a huge contribution to dealing with strays and we thank them for their efforts. In future, we want people who find a stray to take to the pound, and not the vet hospital.

“We’re now looking forward to a new approach which delivers a streamlined service for the community of Orange.

“The new drop-off kennels are secure. If someone leaves a dog at the pound, they’re asked to call the pound number to let staff know. That way we’ll have some information about where the animal was found that could help us to find its owner.”

Orange City Council Companion Animal community committee, Cr Stephen Nugent said the new pound aims to will offer improved services to the community.

The after-hours drop-off kennels

The after-hours drop-off kennels

“When one of our rangers picks up a stray dog or cat, they scan the animal’s micro-chip and try to contact the owner. If it can’t be returned straightaway, because its owner details aren’t up to date, or it’s not micro-chipped it will be taken to the pound,” Cr Stephen Nugent said. “The new pound will offer a high level of care while staff try to find its owners.”

“As well as our rangers, the creation of the new pound has brought about the appointment of a qualified vet nurse as well as a number of casual staff. Together with brand new facilities, we’re aiming to offer a high standard of care and to re-connect animals with their owners as soon as we can.

“Council staff will continue to use the ‘Reuniting Orange’s Pets’ Facebook page to put the word out about an animal that’s been found.

“Like any pound, when it comes to keeping the community safe, our staff have to make some tough decisions about stray cats and dogs. We can’t release animals back out into the community that are judged to be behaviourally unsuitable.

“Dogs and cats which aren’t claimed by their owners will be assessed and then passed on to re-homing agency. At this stage, the pound isn’t set up to deal face-to-face with people who are looking to buy a cat or a dog. But we do want to move to re-homing directly from the pound in the near future.

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