Funds blowout for Palmerston North canine pound

Some dogs passed the Covid-19 lockdown at Waipa Pound.

Christel Yardley / Stuff

Some dogs passed the Covid-19 lockdown at Waipa Pound.

It will cost $ 1.4 million more than expected to build a new shelter for the confiscated Palmerston North pooches.

The city council needs to replace its dog pound on Totara Road as it does not comply with the welfare code for temporary pet accommodation.

A year ago the council ruled out the possibility of renovating the current pound as it would cost almost as much as a new building and still not quite up to standards.

By the time council property manager Bryce Hosking reported to the Finance and Audit Committee meeting Wednesday, the estimated cost had increased from $ 2.75 million to $ 4.17 million.

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Councilor Lorna Johnson, who is also a veterinarian, said the city council had no choice but to find the extra money.

It had to deal with the compliance issues and was required by law to provide the animal control service.

Kerry-Lee Probert, director of the environmental protection service, said space restrictions in the pound meant animal control officials weren’t confiscating as many dogs as they could.

The priority was to include aggressive dogs or dogs suspected of being involved in an attack.

But dogs that were in search of or were picked up by members of the public were brought back home quite often rather than being kept in pounds.

Palmerston North needs a new facility to replace the dog pound Totara Rd, which does not meet animal welfare standards.

Warwick Smith / Stuff

Palmerston North needs a new facility to replace the dog pound Totara Rd, which does not meet animal welfare standards.

The new pound would have 39 individual kennels that were the right size from the current 29.

Johnson said public attitudes towards animal welfare had changed along with improvements to the code, and people would not accept that the council only does what is necessary for dogs it looks after.

The other issue that the new design would improve was the safety of the staff.

“It’s a difficult environment to work with dangerous dogs and sometimes dangerous owners,” said Johnson.

The council must proceed with construction as soon as possible in order to achieve completion earlier than the planned 2022/23 fiscal year if possible, she said.

The new pound would have better separation from dogs that would need to be kept in isolation, a room for health checks, space for animals with microchips, and space for people to meet dogs they were considering for adoption.

Due to the increased cost, the committee decided not to add any additional space for educational activities, which would have resulted in an additional $ 300,000.

Palmerston North's dog pound on Totara Road does not meet animal welfare standards.

Warwick Smith / Stuff

Palmerston North’s dog pound on Totara Road does not meet animal welfare standards.

However, it would be future proof, e.g. B. the provision of enough desks for a possible increase in staff and the possibility of adding extensions.

It would be built next to the current pound that would continue to be used during construction.

Deputy Mayor Aleisha Rutherford said the revised price tag was “hard to take” but it was important that the council’s facilities were compliant, that staff were safe and that people knew the animals in the council’s care are safe .

The only councilor who disagreed was Karen Naylor.

Given the rising costs, the council should reject the options it had previously rejected to work with other councils, find another service provider, or renovate the existing pound.

However, committee chair Susan Baty said the current facilities were disgusting, the cost of renovation had likely increased in line with the cost of new construction, and any further delay would keep prices rising.

The proposal was sent to the Long Term Review Review for consideration.