Animal welfare organisation Dogs’ Homes of Tasmania will continue dog pound and shelter services for the City of Launceston.
It comes after months of uncertainty surrounding the Launceston RSPCA Animal Care Centre, which is consolidating its model of care, including an increased focus on inspectorate services.
Dogs’ Homes of Tasmania chief executive Mike Sertori said the organisation was negotiating a time line with the council, to ensure a seamless transition of services.
“With this announcement, we aim to lead the drive for responsible dog ownership with the community and school-based education as well as further contribute to a safe and healthy community in the Launceston region,” he said.
“The Dogs’ Homes of Tasmania is the largest dog welfare organisation in the state and every year our homes in Hobart, Devonport and Burnie, reunite up to 2000 dogs with their owners as well as find caring homes for over 1500 unwanted and unclaimed dogs.
“We will work closely with the RSPCA to discuss staffing options and effectively manage the welfare of the dogs.”
RSPCA Tasmania chief executive Andrew Byrne said the decision would allow the RSPCA to focus on its future, including securing a sustainable and financially responsible centralised model of care.
“Our core focus is the welfare of animals and we believe Dogs’ Homes of Tasmania’s long-standing reputation as the state’s largest dog-welfare organisation will ensure the best outcome for the dogs who find themselves at the council’s Mowbray facility,” he said.
“We want to reassure Tasmanians that the RSPCA is not reducing its services in the state, but rather, ensuring the RSPCA continues to play the leading role when it comes to the protection of Tasmanian animals in need.
“We are working to identify a conveniently located central care facility where we will be able to consolidate our services, including our shelter, veterinary and animal welfare services, to provide optimal attention and focus for the animals in our care.”
The council called for tenders for the provision of dog pound and shelter services at the Mowbray facility in August, with the state government providing a $100,000 lifeline to help facilitate the transition of services by the end of the year.
Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the council remained committed to the provision of the care of dogs in the municipality.
“Dogs' Homes of Tasmania has been providing care for homeless and unwanted dogs for almost 70 years and their promotion of responsible dog ownership and successful business model fits perfectly with the City of Launceston's desire for a sustainable business model going forward,” he said.
“We are delighted to have them on board and look forward to working collaboratively and proactively with their board and staff going forward.”
The current funding deal between the City of Launceston and the RSPCA will finish on December 31.
The council has also sought expressions-of-interest from organisations to provide a regional cat shelter in the north, with an announcement expected later this month.
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