Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

FUR FLIES OVER RSPCA SHELTER Fur Flies over Delay in Building New $300,000 Animal Shelter

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

FUR FLIES OVER RSPCA SHELTER Fur Flies over Delay in Building New $300,000 Animal Shelter

Article excerpt

Byline: Cait Bester cait.bester@dailymercury.com.au

MACKAY Regional Council pound has euthanized 342 dogs so far this year Co that's one dog a day, a statistic that highlights the desperate need for an animal shelter.

The shocking statistic does not take into consideration the many other stray or unwanted animals in need of a home.

The burden has fallen on Friends of Group RSPCA (FOG), who work tirelessly around the clock collecting homeless dogs and cats in a bid to save them.

FOG has plans to spend the $300,000 it has raised in Mackay on a new animal shelter, which will include the city's first off-leash park, a cat refuge and re-homing facility, along with a seven-day-a-week adoption and fostering program for animals.

The shelter would drastically reduce the number of animals euthanized in Mackay.

But the plans are being bogged down due to a conflict with RSPCA Queensland.

A spokesman for FOG said the biggest problem the group faced was getting RSPCA Queensland to support their proposal.

"We've got the money to commence a refuge and we are more than happy to run it at no extra cost to RSPCA Queensland and follow the RSPCA guidelines," the spokesman said.

"We have done everything that the Mackay Regional Council has asked us to do from concept plans to shed drawings and kennel drawings.

"All RSPCA Queensland wants to do is take our money to build a refuge for the same price, which will not include an off-leash park; it won't include a cat refuge or boarding kennels. Their refuge will only house 20 dogs maximum, whereas our proposed shelter will house up to 40 dogs and, on top of that, cats.

"We also have had many community members willing to support us and fund us with building supplies and materials."

"RSPCA Queensland met with the Mackay Regional Council officers earlier in the year to explore a joint approach to building a new facility," Mr Townend said. …

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