The operation of the Wingecarribee Animal Shelter will remain in the hands of Wingecarribee Shire Council after councillors unanimously voted to endorse an internal management model at last night’s Council meeting.
The operational model will see Council retain full responsibility for the operation and management of the shelter, which will continue to accept and rehome stray, seized and surrendered animals as per the Alternatives to Euthanasia Policy which was formally adopted in June 2015.
Council has been running the Wingecarribee Animal Shelter since the departure of the previous external provider in November 2013, and undertook extensive consultation from 23 January to 23 March 2015 to gauge community perception and obtain feedback on three proposed management models.
The three different models considered included an internal management model, a mixture of internal management and external operations through a partnership, and external management.
More than 1900 people responded to the survey during this consultation period, with 96 per cent of respondents showing support for the internal management model. Animal welfare and rehoming opportunities were identified as the most important factors, with cost not considered to be a significant factor.
The internal management option will be run at a cost of $487,995 for the first year, representing an increase of $100,375 on Council’s 2015/16 Operating Budget. This deficit will be considered at the September quarter budget review.
Future options include a possible trial partnership in the second year of Council’s internal operation of the shelter, which could see animals that remain in the shelter after a lengthy period of time transferred to an external provider to increase their chances of being rehomed.
Council’s Deputy General Manager Corporate Strategy and Regulatory Services confirmed that any future transfer arrangement would be subject to a further Council report which would require a review of options, needs and financial implications.