Change purrfect for city pets
A CHORUS of barks and meows met guests at the official opening of the new Animal Welfare League (AWL) re-homing centre on Saturday.
Ipswich City Council has handed over the pound in West Ipswich to the AWL in what has been hailed as a momentous step in the right direction for the future of the city's animals.
The handover means no healthy or re-homeable dog or cat will be put to sleep in Ipswich again.
Council statistics revealed 720 dogs and 888 cats were put down in the last financial year, but this will all come to an end with the AWL on board.
AWLQ CEO Denise Bradley was at the centre for a free community fun day and was thrilled with the turnout.
"We have taken over the older area of the pound and a new area has been built to take the incoming dogs and cats," Ms Bradley said.
"It is better for the new arrivals - they get the newer facilities so they can get the best chance at getting better."
Ms Bradley said there had been a few adoptions on the day, and hoped the trend would continue.
Health and Regulation Committee chairman Andrew Antoniolli said the partnership was formed following a tender process in February.
"The AWL will run the day to day operations of the animal management centre, freeing council staff up to focus on other animal management duties," Cr Antoniolli said.
"I am really excited about this wonderful partnership with the AWL, as we can start to focus on owning the problem of abandoned and unclaimed companion cats and dogs, and give them a second chance.
"This is probably the best result we could have achieved to attract the expertise of the AWL, with whom we have worked very closely for several years.
"I believe this will result in far fewer unclaimed animals being euthanised here as well."
Cr Antoniolli said council's animal management budget of $1.8 million would ensure there were more animal related patrols, inspections and investigations by council officers.