Animal rescue is in crisis as 36 pups face euthanasia

THE FATE of 36 Rockhampton pound pups remains unclear after many faced potential euthanisia yesterday morning.

The dogs, who couldn't be helped by Capricorn Animal Aid (CAA), may have been taken on by southern rescue organisations in Brisbane.

The incident is just the tip of an animal management iceberg that has left CAA frustrated with the Rockhampton council.

FED UP: Pound dogs that were desperately seeking foster carers yesterday morning. FR: CAA President Katina Kilpatrick with one of their Rockhampton rescues
FED UP: Pound dogs that were desperately seeking foster carers yesterday morning. FR: CAA President Katina Kilpatrick with one of their Rockhampton rescues Roktsog

Charity president Katina Kilpatrick this week said the organisation was struggling to function as services remained under funded and volunteers overworked.

In the annual report, costs for CAA had risen from around $142,000 in 2012/13 to more than $245,000 in 2014/15.

The amount of animals adopted had also risen from 273 to 475 in the same period.

But Ms Kilpatrick said while those numbers had risen, the number of volunteers had not.

"It has been happening for years; the cost just keeps climbing and the volunteers are getting worn out," she said.

"It is just an ongoing tsunami of animals...we are not going to be able to keep this up."

The organisation had already gone through two periods of financial difficulties in June and September which had caused them to cease the provision of adoption services.

Their inability to service the region highlighted the lack of in-house adoption services on offer in the council's pound, and prompted critisism of RRC's practices from the RSPCA Queensland CEO.

While CAA is currently back to running normally after a period of community fundraisers, Ms Kilpatrick said they needed a long term solution to continue operating.

"Obviously there is a need for a new pound facility...we can't afford to let it continue the way it is going," she said.

"For these animals that sit there, it is life or death."

Despite promises from the council to maintain correspondence with CAA after their struggles, Ms Kilpatrick said they hadn't been contacted.

Health and Compliance Committee chairman, Councillor Ellen Smith said she was disappointed the organisation hadn't been contacted, but said the council's practices weren't uncommon.

She said six out of nine "larger" councils in Queensland of a similar size to RRC used outside adoption agencies in place of an internal facility.

"I will be making sure we sit down and talk very soon...obviously we need to help Capricorn Animal Aid more," Cr Smith said.

"If every (animal owner) was responsible we wouldn't be having all these problems and the groups wouldn't be overloaded.

"We have asked for a report on options and we have considered the reuse of the Gracemere pound to meet our own immediate needs."

Mayor Margaret Strelow said a new pound is in the forward budget for 2019 and 2020.

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