In 2016, Wodonga Council awarded a tender to outsource the Wodonga pound services.
Wodonga still has a pound service, using the regional service offered by Albury City at the Albury Animal Care Centre, and Wodonga rangers still carry out animal management in the city including collecting and returning pets, dealing with dangerous and restricted dogs, investigating disputes and fulfilling the council’s legislative obligations. Registration fees will continue to cover this and the costs of a pound service.
On average each year, one in three dogs picked up by a ranger go straight back home and 77 per cent of dogs that go to the pound are collected by their owners and another 19 per cent are rehomed. Four per cent are deemed unsuitable for homing and are euthanised.
Wodonga Dog Rescue will have the same access to unclaimed animals at the Albury Animal Care Centre as they did at Wodonga Pound and have the opportunity to work alongside other rescue agencies.
The city has outgrown the pound building which is also not suited to the long stays or the Victorian code standard required of an animal shelter.
Its location, inside the Waste Transfer Station site, restricts its use as a community facility as public access is limited to after hours and some public holidays.
The council spent12 months undertaking an expressions of interest (EOI) process and then a formal tender process. This was widely publicised in the media and discussions were held throughout with Wodonga Dog Rescue.
Wodonga Dog Rescue was offered guidance on submitting an EOI. The group declined to do so and council respects their decision.
Does that mean Wodonga does not have a pound service?
The pound service has not ceased – the council is simply closing one door and opening another. The pound service now operates at the Albury Animal Care Centre on 695 Mudge St, Lavington (which also provides pound services for AlburyCity, Greater Hume, Indigo and Towong councils).
Why has the pound service changed?
Moving the pound services saves the council the thousands of dollars needed to maintain and upgrade a facility that was never designed to be a long-term animal shelter. The pound operated from within the Waste Transfer Station in Kane Rd, Wodonga and was only open five days a week for people to collect their pet, whereas the new pound at Albury Animal Care Centre is open seven days a week.
Will animals still have the chance to be rehomed?
The Albury Animal Care Centre has an equivalent rehoming rate to the present service and works with a variety of rescue organisations across the region to rehome pets.
What’s the difference between a pound and a shelter?
Pounds are not the same as animal shelters – a pound is a place where stray animals can be kept for eight days; an animal shelter is a place where animals are kept often for weeks at a time while a rescue organisation attempts to rehome them permanently. Neither Wodonga nor Albury has a formal animal shelter, although various animal rescue organisations may arrange for unclaimed pets to be fostered or rehomed. From January 2016, organisations and individuals who shelter animals are bound by controls listed in the Guide for Victorian dog and cat community foster care networks and rescue groups.