How were the budget implications for each model calculated?

It has been challenging to outline budget implications for all models due to the lack of historical financial data (for example, Council has not yet operated the Animal Shelter for a full financial year since November 2013). This is particularly relevant for Model 2, where an annual operating budget has never been reviewed by Council, as well as Model 3 which is almost completely subject to tender quotations.

However, the costing provided in briefing sessions to Councillors and in the business paper report provided by Council staff are based on a number of factors:

·  Historical financial data

·  Quotes and cost estimates

·  Indicative costings

·  Current figures charged internally (ie Fleet Operational Rates)

·  Current staffing costs

How many animals are impounded each year at the Shelter?

During the first 12 months following the departure of the Lost Dogs' Home, 238 cats and 439 dogs were impounded at the Wingecarribee Animal Shelter.

How many animals are adopted from the shelter each year?

In 2014, 100 cats and 113 dogs were adopted from the Wingecarribee Animal Shelter.

What is the distribution of adoptions? How many animals (of the 114 dogs and 100 cats) are rehomed within 2 weeks of their arrival, how many in 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 weeks and 10 weeks?

Animals rehomed in 2014

114 dogs

Average days in shelter: 35 days

Median days in shelter: 24 days

Rehomed within 2 weeks: 24

Rehomed within 4 weeks: 69

Rehomed within 6 weeks: 91

Rehomed within 8 weeks: 99

Rehomed within 10 weeks: 102

Rehomed within 12 weeks: 105

100 cats

Average days in shelter: 42 days

Median days in shelter: 31 days

Rehomed within 2 weeks: 15

Rehomed within 4 weeks: 46

Rehomed within 6 weeks: 69

Rehomed within 8 weeks: 78

Rehomed within 10 weeks: 85

Rehomed within 12 weeks: 89

What are the options for the ongoing management of the Shelter?

There are 3 options under consideration for the ongoing management of the Wingecarribee Animal Shelter.

Model 1 where Council would retain full responsibility for the operation and management of the shelter.

Model 2 where Council would operate the shelter as an animal holding facility with animals transferred (at Council’s discretion) to Sydney Dogs and Cats Home at the end of their mandatory holding period.

Model 3 where Council would go through a tender process and appointment an external provider to run the shelter.

Why can’t Council just keep on running the Shelter?

Council can continue to run the shelter and that is one of the models under consideration (Option 1).

Under Option 2, animals would be transferred to Sydney Dogs and Cats Home after their minimum holding period. Do any other Councils manage stray and unwanted companion animals in their LGA in this way?

Yes. Sydney Dogs and Cats Home currently services 10 Council areas across Sydney.

What is a ‘minimum holding period’?

Under NSW law, stray/seized dogs and cats must be held for a minimum of 7 days if they are not identified (microchipped) or 14 days if they are identified (microchipped). This gives owners an opportunity to reclaim their lost pets. There is no minimum holding period for surrendered animals.

Will all animals be transferred to Sydney Dogs and Cats Home (SDCH) after the minimal holding periods?

No animals are transferred to a rescue organisation, SDCH or otherwise, until at least the minimum holding period has expired. Once the minimum holding period has expired, Animal Shelter staff will consider a range of factors before making a decision on whether an animal is transferred or not. Detailed standard operating procedures will be developed if Council selects Model 2, however the overarching factors that Animal Shelter staff will need to consider will include:

·  Has the owner contacted the Shelter requesting an extension to the minimum holding period?

·  Is the animal receiving any veterinary treatment and if so, has the animal been cleared by the vet for transfer?

·  Has the animal benefited from elective surgery sponsored by Friends of the Wingecarribee Animal Shelter (FOWAS)?

·  Has anyone in the local community expressed a desire to adopt the animal at the expiry of the minimum holding period?

·  Is the animal a working type dog and perhaps have a better chance of rehoming in the Southern Highlands?

·  How many animals are there currently to be transferred to SDCH?

How many animals are going to be transferred each year under Option 2?

Of the 238 cats that were impounded at the shelter in the period 30/11/13 – 29/11/14, 9 were reclaimed and 31 were feral leaving an estimated maximum of 198 cats that would have potentially been transferred to SDCH under option 2.

Of the 439 dogs that were impounded at the shelter in the period 30/11/13 – 29/11/14, 270 were reclaimed, 5 were dangerous/menacing and 2 were restricted breed leaving an estimated maximum of 162 dogs that would have potentially been transferred to SDCH under option 2.

What will happen to the current Shelter staff employed by Council if Option 3 is selected?

The successful contractor would be responsible for ensuring that the Shelter is run effectively in accordance with contract conditions, industry standards, Council policies and key performance indicators. Any successful tenderer would be responsible for the human resourcing of the shelter in order to perform the contract obligations.

How many staff are currently employed at the Wingecarribee Animal Shelter?

Council current has 8 casual employees working at the shelter.

If Council uses an external contractor to run the Shelter, how can it guarantee the welfare of the animals at the Shelter?

Any external service provider appointed to run the shelter would be required to operate the shelter according to NSW Department of Primary Industries Animal Welfare Guidelines, Council policy and contract provisions.

What was the Council resolution made at the Council meeting 10 September 2014 regarding the ongoing management of the Wingecarribee Animal Shelter?

The Committee on an AMENDMENT moved by Clr L A C Whipper and seconded by Clr H R 

1. THAT in principle support be provided to Option 2 to the report where Council 
operates the facility with a ‘Mixture of in house and External’ operations 
whereby Council would partner with an external provider, the Sydney Dogs and 
Cats Home (SDCH) in order to provide companion animal management services 
and the Council’s shelter operation would continue to be run by Council as a 
‘holding facility’ and animals transferred for appropriate care and rehoming. 

2. THAT all options be exhibited for a period of thirty (30) days AND THAT the 
results of the community engagement period be reported back to Council. 

3. THAT previous members of the Companion Animals Working Group including 
the representative of Friends of the Wingecarribee Animal Shelter be provided 
with a copy of the exhibited options AND THAT a meeting be convened during 
the exhibition period to seek comment from those representative groups. 

4. THAT during the exhibition period a public meeting be convened with a 
presentation from the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home in conjunction with Council 
staff AND THAT interested members of the public be invited to attend. 

How do I contact the Wingecarribee Animal Shelter?

There are a number of ways to find out what animals are available for adoption or to check if your lost pet has be found. 

We are open Monday to Friday 10am to 3.30pm | Saturday, Sunday 10am to 12 noon | Closed Public Holidays

Telephone: (02) 4868 1520 or after hours call (02) 4868 0888 and leave a message with the call centre.

Visit: We are located inside the Resource Recovery Centre complex on the corner of Bowman Road & Berrima Road, Moss Vale.