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Rspca Katoomba Shelter To Close

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Just read about this online. They will be leasing the Katoomba facility might be an opportunity for a rescue/boarding business similar to Londonderry.


Katoomba RSPCA to close

By Jennie Curtin

May 28, 2014, midnight

Katoomba’s animal shelter and pound will be closed.

The RSPCA told staff last week they had just six months of work before the doors were permanently shut.

Eight staff will be made redundant unless they can find positions within the organisation at other shelters.

Staff were shocked at the news, which came out of the blue.

The CEO of RSPCA NSW, Steve Coleman, said he had the “unfortunate job of advising the staff and volunteers last Wednesday that it was identified as one of our operations that is to be redundant”.

He said financial circumstances meant the RSPCA could not continue to sustain the Mort Street facility.

“Ordinarily charities have been relatively well supported by the community in tough times but it is now starting to impact on charities like the RSPCA,” he said. “We just had to make some really tough decisions now... or face a black hole in two years’ time.”

The shelter takes in surrendered, abandoned, injured, neglected and stray animals. It has

found new homes for more than 1300 animals over the years and its office wall is lined with photos and letters from people grateful for the happiness their new pets have brought to their lives.

Mr Coleman said the Blue Mountains branch would continue with an online presence and he hoped animals could be fostered or adopted that way.

He said Katoomba was to be axed because of its “proximity” to other shelters, notably Yagoona and Orange, and because of an increase in vehicles driving through the Mountains which would be available to transport animals to new homes or other facilities.

"It is also a very active branch and we are very confident we can still fly the flag,” Mr Coleman said.

He hoped the shelter’s volunteers would continue to work with the RSPCA.

Mr Coleman said the RSPCA owned the premises and would be interested in leasing it out for other ventures.

The RSPCA is also closing its Dubbo facility and the animal adoptions component at Tweed Heads

Edited by gillbear
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Yagoona and Orange are not all that close to Katoomba...

Maybe if the RSPCA decided to put 1/10th of their advertising budget towards the running of their various shelters, this sort of closure wouldn't be needed.


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Yes Katoomba is no where near Yagoona and even further from Orange :confused: We have three RSPCA facilities here, all within an hour of each other so it makes no sense to close Katoomba.

Oh well if they're leasing it I know of at least one rescue that would be rubbing their hands together at the prospect of being able to shove more greyhounds in kennels...for years :(

Edited by HazyWal
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So if the RSPCA at Katoomba - which is apparently also the pound - closes, which pound is then going to take the strays?

As for the 1.5hr drive down to Yagoona to surrender a dog or cat... don't see it happening myself... more likely to dump them out in the bush somewhere nowadays to avoid the hassle... *sigh*

Or the local rescues are going to be getting calls to come get surrenders...


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I was thinking the same myself T.

Not many people will drive the 1.5 hours to Yagoona let alone 2 hours to Orange to surrender, there's plenty of bush up there :(

Edited by HazyWal
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  • 1 month later...

Nothing on savetheshelter.com :shrug: last entry was yesterday.

Hmmm a friend told me she read it somewhere but couldn't remember.

No biggie I was just interested that's all.

Edited by HazyWal
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I heard on the grapeve this morning that a rescue has taken over the tender, anyone know who it is?

I was at the meeting in Katoomba to save the shelter last Wednesday night and Socares have put a proposal into the RSPCA.

The meeting was very heated and loaded with a lot of angry sad people there. Steve Coleman was there to answer questions but a lot of people just yelled abuse and others tried to ask questions over the screaming.

There were a lot of people in the meeting who want to help either with money or labour etc....

It's a very sad situation and I hope an agreement can be met. It seemed though that the decision was financial and it's final- no negotiations.

The council were there and spoke and they are also worried, as the RSPCA has been the animal holding facility and now they have to come up with other options probably a fair distance away.

The RSPCA said the solution to the shelter closing was to get animals foster carers in the community.

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There's a bit of info here in this link:


Wednesday 16 July 2014

Blue Mountains Gazette

Katoomba animal shelter thrown a lifeline

By Shane Desiatnik

July 16, 2014, midnight

An animal welfare group has offered to take over the Katoomba animal shelter while criticising the NSW RSPCA's decision to close the facility.

In a statement issued on July 9, SoCares (Society of Companion Animal Rescuers) expressed interest in operating the shelter and retaining its eight staff members, but only if the NSW RSPCA agreed to lease the site to Blue Mountains City Council "for a peppercorn rent" - a scenario the Gazette understands is unlikely to eventuate.

If such an arrangement did go ahead, "SoCares would then manage and operate the facility, under a long-term contract, to ensure that the people of the Blue Mountains - and above all the animals - are given the service and respect which they deserve," SoCares vice president David Atwell said.

"We operate across much of NSW with 30 rescue groups as members along with our Wyong animal care facility.

"The RSPCA is not the only animal welfare group capable of operating a successful shelter.

"This decision by the RSPCA [to close the Katoomba shelter] has left everyone stunned ... the people of the Blue Mountains have every right to be angered at this decision."

Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill confirmed council received a letter from SoCares on July 5 "offering their services to operate the shelter".

"The SoCares offer appears to be dependent on the RSPCA agreeing to sell or lease the facility to council for a nominal fee, with council assuming on-going responsibility for the property," Clr Greenhill said.

"Unfortunately, the RSPCA is not offering this."

The Gazette invited the NSW RSPCA to respond to the views expressed in SoCares' statement.

"We're always receptive to any reasonable offer or request," NSW RSPCA chief executive officer Steve Coleman said.

Source: http://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/story/2417936/katoomba-animal-shelter-thrown-a-lifeline/?cs=1810

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:cry: What on earth are all the local animals supposed to do? Melissa. Do you know..are they going to sell the site or let it rot so nobody else can use it?

The RSPCA said the solution to the shelter closing was to get animals foster carers in the community.

How do you magically get foster carers in the community...the pets first need a chance to be reclaimed by their owners.

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The land was left to the people of the blue Mountains by a lady who died but had to be registered with RSPCA Australia- not locally.

Apparently it was built from scratch solely by locals and all the locals put their heart and soul and money into it. They have also given money they thought was for the running of the local shelter and the RSPCA has taken it all and absorbed it into the national fund. Lost to The Blue Mountains.

The RSPCA made sure all assets and revenue from the Blue Mountains was registered with RSPCA Australia, no individual claim to funds or assets were allowed

RSPCA also sold off all the local RSPCA shops after refusing to restock and making it hard for volunteers and running them into the ground. The shops were bought originally with money raised in The Blue mountains but again, the RSPCA as a whole organisation has claimed the money and won't put the money back into the community up here. They sold then shops for 4 and 5 times the price they were bought for.

At the meeting it came to light the RSPCA has millions of dollars available to them. They have a business directive and have no interest in our community or keeping the shelter operating. That was obvious from what Steve Coleman did say and documentation. It's about money and selling the land. They said their business is changing direction and operating the shelters is not a priority.

The community is devastated here because the land was left to The Blue Mountains in the original documents from the person who died and donated. The RSPCA can take it on a legal loophole.

Ethically when you hear the whole case there is absolutely no doubt the shelter and all the money donated was MEANT for the Blue Mts shelter. It's all so sad and complicated and very political the RSPCA has not been providing info to people or sending newsletters and has been withholding information. Staff are not allowed to talk or were not allowed to attend the meeting.

The Council are also devastated and do not know what they are going to do- but explained they cannot stop it closing.

One of the members of the Council said they do not know what they are going to do and they have very little time.

The Blue mountains shelter also serves for wildlife and horses and larger animals. When asked what are we going to do about them the Council were currently speaking to Hawkesbury and other pounds. All hours away. There will be no help for large animals or natives. They are expecting the local vets to deal with it and foster carers. Most carers up here are very cash poor and already stretched.

We have literally gone back 30 years. The locals are so upset and a lot of people feel we have been forgotten in the system and taken advantage of. People who have donated feel deceived as the money is not being used here. There were over 100+ people in that meeting who vowed never to give a cent again to them if they shut this shelter. Also media there who will do stories. One elderly man was leaving them $40 000 in his will. Not now.

There are a lot of competent people desperately fighting this but the decision seems to be made. It's going to impact animals up here on so many levels and more animals may be dumped as there will be nowhere to surrender. I hope Socares can somehow strike an agreement.

To expect the public to foster care and vets to deal with it all or for people to drive more than 2 hours away when the facility is sitting there and been built by the locals is heartbreaking. Very sad and very unethical. :cry::cry:

Politics and money aside it is the animals who are going to suffer as a result of the shelter closing.

Edited by MelissaS
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I got two news alerts in my feeds this morning.

This one: http://www.southcoastregister.com.au/story/2450388/animal-helpers-cry-out-for-more-help/?cs=203

THE Nowra branch of the RSPCA is desperate for an injection of new helpers, having had its membership dwindle to a meagre five volunteers.

“It’s a pretty sad state of affairs,” volunteer Gale Bishop said.

The branch raises money for the West Nowra animal shelter, so the creatures in its care can be fed and looked after.

The money the branch raises goes to myriad obligations including fencing, pens and hutches, bedding, treats, desexing, microchipping and veterinary bills.

“Say a dog comes in and has medical problems, well we spend the money to have it fixed up,” Ms Bishop said.

Even something as basic as bedding can add up over time.

“We bought 34 cat beds last year,” she said.

And then this one: http://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/story/2448348/reprieve-for-rspca-but-still-bound-to-go-to-the-dogs/?cs=12

To cheers, Ms Ford said she had asked Mr Coleman to let the branch run the shelter again.

"I said we ran it successfully for 22 years. I asked if we could have it back if they couldn't manage it. He said no. I said why and he said because you wouldn't be able to."

Uh huh.

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