New approach improves outlook for stray dogs and cats

10 months ago
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2 March 2018

Orange City Council’s new system for dealing with stray dogs and cats is aimed at re-uniting lost dogs with their owners sooner.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the council has developed a new approach in response to the decision by the RSPCA not to deal with strays in future.

“As part of a broader policy change, the RSPCA told Orange City Council some time ago it wouldn’t be accepting stray dogs and cats from council rangers or the community,” Cr Reg Kidd said. “That’s a matter for them, but they’ve kept us in touch and given us time to develop a new approach which will meet the needs of the community.”

“I believe the new regime which comes into effect from Monday will deliver a good service. By involving local vets in a new way and making use of social media, we’ll be aiming to deal with this difficult problem as best we can”

READY : Staff members from the Canobolas Famly Pet Hospital (l. to r.) Perri Hawke, Lisa Brisbane and Cass Scurrah are ready to receive stray cats and dogs from Monday 5 March.

Orange City Council has made arrangements with one local vet practice, Canobolas Family Pet Hospital , to be the place during business hours where someone can take a stray dog or cat.

“It’s important for people to understand that if they find a stray cat or dog they should contact the participating vets and make arrangements to take it to their office during hours when the clinic is open,” Cr Reg Kidd said. “If they’re able to keep the stray dog safely until then, that would be best way forward. If they can’t take it to the vet clinic, they should ring council during business hours and a ranger will collect it.”

“This service will be available during business hours through the week, and with limited daytime hours on weekends. While council rangers will respond at any time if there’s been a dog attack, there simply isn’t the same level of risk to community safety if a stray has been found and rangers won’t be responding to complaints about strays after hours and at night.

“If the owner can’t be found via the microchip, the plan is to post a photo of the animal or a new Facebook page. That way someone who’s lost their pet can have a place to go to see if it’s been found.

“This will be a much better way of re-uniting pets with owners, but it also points to why it’s so important for owners to make sure their pet is micro-chipped and that the online details are up to date.

“Why not make sure your dog’s collar has an ID tag with the pet’s name and your mobile number? That would let someone who found your dog make contact directly and avoid a lot of potential family heartache and delay. “

Orange City Council’s Companion Animals Committee chair Cr Stephen Nugent is pleased local vets are directly involved in the new approach.

“These vets have a professional shop-front clinic which is well-suited to dealing with the public,” Cr Stephen Nugent said. “Staff have the expertise to be able to quickly check an animal’s micro-chip and get in touch with the owner as soon as possible. Anything that starts the process of re-uniting a pet with its owner quicker is good news.”

The RSPCA will continue to have a role with dealing with reports of animal cruelty problems and welfare issues but will not receive stray animals.

** This story has been edited. Refereences to a secondary vet practice have been removed.