Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Boronia

Renbury Pound: A Negative Opinion?

27 posts in this topic

Boronia   

I received an email in my 'in box' (from a petition site) about Renbury Shelter.

In part is written: we demand an independent audit to review the following aspects of Renbury Farm Animal Shelter operations.

I can cut and paste the body of the email here leaving out the links to the petition site but I am unsure if it is allowed.

I do have a question though: is Renbury is doing the right thing or is it lacking in its treatment and care of its dogs and cats? I am careful signing petitions as occasionally there are hidden agendas so I'd like to know some more details.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there is a recent uproar about some cats PTS :( , which is probably what it's about. I don't know the story but pounds don't have unlimited room to keep cats. What are they supposed to do? Pile more and more in and have a disease outbreak from stressed cats? (then cop another petition)

It is very very sad to lose healthy lives but to single out one pound who is trying to give extra time, takes animals to the vet and medicates them if needed, uses avenues of social media, a great up-to-date website - and has volunteer photographers.... it is a loooong way ahead of some.

I know of one rescuer who takes Sydney cats but has always left her invisible regional pound cats to die quietly. No petition about that is there. Nor any about rescues who take the kittens only, I wonder how many of the cats were once mums whose kittens were taken.

IMHO, all pounds should be answerable and above board given that inmates still doing their time are technically not their property yet. They should also not be permitted to give sensitive information to rescuers regarding owners/former owners, or allow this info to be published for Duty Of Care pets.

But I see too many petitions made up or signed by people who have no info other than 'facts' they saw on FB. And no real knowledge of the crap staff have to take on an hourly basis.

Rant over. It's not all roses dealing with pounds but you have to give credit to the ones trying really hard with what they've got.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tdierikx   

The things being claimed in that petition aren't all true or factual... they may have had to euth a number of cats due to lack of space and amount of time they'd been in care, but what else are they supposed to do when space is limited and no-one wants to take said cats? Rescue also has limited space, and adult cats are not as highly sought for adoption as kittens... not to mention there is a constant influx of animals into a pound.

Renbury are one of the better pounds... they work closely with rescue, advertise the animals in their care effectively, the staff are amazing and provide a level of care much higher than many pounds I've personally visited. This petition is not warranted IMHO...

T.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Boronia   

Thanks both of you, yes it was about the cats, the first part said: On 25 February 2016 Renbury Farm Animal Shelter put to sleep over 20 healthy cats and kittens.

Well that is pretty bad but what else can they do if homes cannot be found.

If anyone wants to read the whole message I suggest they Google Fairfield City Council : Independent audit of internal practices at Renbury Animal Shelter

O Nooooo I just checked other headings in that Google search and PR facebook page is one of the petition sites...well that is a good reason not to sign :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pounds don't have unlimited room to keep cats. What are they supposed to do?

but what else are they supposed to do when space is limited and no-one wants to take said cats?

T.

what else can they do if homes cannot be found.

There's so much they can do, that other pounds and shelters are doing successfully.

-Run a 'clear the shelter' feb 29th adoption promo - all cats and kittens $29/some other clever clear the shelter adoption promo. Advertise accordingly.

-Partner with pet shops, book shops, cat cafes etc to regularly send them vetworked kittens to be adopted directly from those premises.

-Work on customer service training for staff. Some are amazing (and people I'd call friends). Some are unbelievably rude to owners, potential adopters and rescue/community groups. Not great for spreading the word that if you want a cat you should go to Renbury.

-Refuse to accept cats that have not been seized legally (i.e most cats). They were doing this once upon a time but not sure if it is still happening.

+ lots of other great and innovative things that other shelters all around the world are doing.

It's hard for me to say these sorts of things because there are staff at Renbury I would call good friends and I know they do the best they can under management that runs Renbury as a profit-making exercise and would rather see pets killed than do some great promotions that save lives.

Comments I make are not against them. But at the end of the day killing 20+ cats in one day in this day and age without trying the myriad of other options that would have seen them get out alive is unacceptable. If public scrutiny forces management to change their ways then it can only be a good thing for the animals. We've seen it proven time and time again that it is possible to stop the unnecessary killing but only when killing is taken off the table as a management option.

Edited by melzawelza

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tdierikx   

It would be interesting to know how many cats they rehomed or released to rescue that week... may put a bit more perspective on the numbers issue.

It's all well and good to pick at the euth stats - but it needs to be balanced with the rehoming/rescue release stats to give an overall picture of performance, yes?

T.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Boronia   

I got the email too but something about it just didn't feel balanced or legit so I didn't even click the link.

Yes! you are exactly right LG, that is why I asked the question her, it is just not quite right

Edited by Boronia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tdierikx   

I've dealt with Renbury a hell of a lot during my time in rescue... how come I never saw or experienced any of the things claimed in this petition (and the comments attached to it)?

Our rescue was contacted directly more than once to take on Duty of Care dogs also...

I could probaby name 5 pounds in Sydney alone that need an audit more than Renbury does... *sigh*

T.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be interesting to know how many cats they rehomed or released to rescue that week... may put a bit more perspective on the numbers issue.

It's all well and good to pick at the euth stats - but it needs to be balanced with the rehoming/rescue release stats to give an overall picture of performance, yes?

T.

Not really. Maybe if they were doing all the things listed in my post then it might be worth taking in to account, but if you're killing 25 cats for space but not even doing a 'clear the shelter' adoption promotion to try and get them out alive prior, then it's unacceptable.

Not saying I support everything in the petition at all, I actually haven't signed it because it's not really the way I'd word the issue and I have no idea about some of the stuff in there, but I disagree with the assertation that Renbury had no other option but to kill those cats, or that it's acceptable to use killing as a management tool when there's options to get them out alive.

I agree that Renbury are great to work with as far as rescue is concerned, and that they do do some really great stuff (the facebook page is excellent), but we need to get out of the outdated idea that to be great all a pound has to do is make the animals available to rescue and adoption, and kill anything that doesn't make it out in time. Pounds (and this is NOT exclusive to Renbury) need to start actively taking responsibility for the positive outcome of the animals in their care, and that includes embracing programs that get them out alive and taking killing off the table.

Once again, there's some amazing staff there and I don't direct my comments to them. They are doing their best in a broken system. The issue is management.

Edited by melzawelza

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've dealt with Renbury a hell of a lot during my time in rescue... how come I never saw or experienced any of the things claimed in this petition (and the comments attached to it)?

Our rescue was contacted directly more than once to take on Duty of Care dogs also...

I could probaby name 5 pounds in Sydney alone that need an audit more than Renbury does... *sigh*

T.

This.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree pounds should be doing everything possible to rehome animals, even if it means giving them away for free, although desexing, vaccs, microchipping etc needs to be paid for somehow so it's not all that easy, however I get sick of people saying the pound needs to take responsibility as if they caused the problem.

Yes they do need to take responsibility for the animals in their care BUT the general public needs to take responsibility for their pets. We shouldn't have this problem in the first place.

Melza what do you mean seized illegally?

Are you talking about cats trapped on other peoples property?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree pounds should be doing everything possible to rehome animals, even if it means giving them away for free, although desexing, vaccs, microchipping etc needs to be paid for somehow so it's not all that easy, however I get sick of people saying the pound needs to take responsibility as if they caused the problem.

Yes they do need to take responsibility for the animals in their care BUT the general public needs to take responsibility for their pets. We shouldn't have this problem in the first place.

Once the animals are in the care of the pound, their lives are the pound's responsibility. Blaming the public for killing is a deflection. The pounds are the ones who hold them down and overdose them on barbituate rather than implementing programs designed (and proven) to save their lives.

The really great pounds in the US also have pet retention programs - support for pet owners looking to surrender (up to 88% accept help to keep their pets when offered), as well as a big focus on getting pets back home rather than holding them ransom.

In NSW it can cost upwards of $300 to reclaim a pet on the same day it was impounded, with the price increasing by between $20 & $40 per day.

Melza what do you mean seized illegally?

Are you talking about cats trapped on other peoples property?

Cats are allowed to roam in NSW and there's very limited situations where you can seize them. They have to either be in a prohibited area (food prep and wildlife protection areas), or be attacking other animals/people at the time of seizure. Most cats in pounds are not seized legally.

Edited by melzawelza

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that pounds should be doing everything they can to save lives trust me, my point is that it seems we don't try and change the way people treat their animals as disposable. It's just accepted and then it's the pounds problem.

Frankly pounds and animal management in general need much more funding in order to operate the way we would like them to but they don't seem to rate very highly with the government.

Re cats being seized...this may be law but why should people have to put up with other people's pets crapping in their garden and stirring up or attacking their own animals? Again it comes back to irresponsible pet owners. Don't want your cat taken to the pound? Keep it on your property :shrug:

Edited by Dame Aussie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also find the insinuation that pounds are holding pets ransom a bit offensive. I remember calling and calling, sending letters, emails etc to no avail. Telling people their animals are there and them saying sure they'll come in (no fees by the way at one facility) and never hearing from them again. Despite what people seem to think most people at the pound want to get the animal home. I can't count the amount of times I've been told to "Keep the bloody thing, it keeps getting out, kill it I don't care".

I get that some pounds charge exorbitant fees and I agree this doesn't help. I also agree that helping people work around their problems so they can keep their pet is fantastic. I just know what I've seen working at a number of facilities and that is that there are a LOT of people who just don't give a shit, and whilst I want to see the best rehoming rates possible, I'm sick of pounds and their staff getting the blame whilst we pretend the rest of the population is just going through a hard time and that's why they didn't pick up their animal when they said they would, or ignored our calls or just dumped it at the gate overnight.

Sorry for the rant and I know no one here has blamed the staff, but working where I have has made me a total misanthrope and most of my colleagues also. I can't pretend everyone wants the best for their animals when I know it's not the case. We do our best for the animals and we get abused by the people who are meant to care about them and then slammed by all the other people who hate us for apparently not caring for those same animals. You can't win.

Edited by Dame Aussie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that pounds should be doing everything they can to save lives trust me, my point is that it seems we don't try and change the way people treat their animals as disposable. It's just accepted and then it's the pounds problem.

Frankly pounds and animal management in general need much more funding in order to operate the way we would like them to but they don't seem to rate very highly with the government.

Re cats being seized...this may be law but why should people have to put up with other people's pets crapping in their garden and stirring up or attacking their own animals? Again it comes back to irresponsible pet owners. Don't want your cat taken to the pound? Keep it on your property :shrug:

I also find the insinuation that pounds are holding pets ransom a bit offensive. I remember calling and calling, sending letters, emails etc to no avail. Telling people their animals are there and them saying sure they'll come in (no fees by the way at one facility) and never hearing from them again. Despite what people seem to think most people at the pound want to get the animal home. I can't count the amount of times I've been told to "Keep the bloody thing, it keeps getting out, kill it I don't care".

I get that some pounds charge exorbitant fees and I agree this doesn't help. I also agree that helping people work around their problems so they can keep their pet is fantastic. I just know what I've seen working at a number of facilities and that is that there are a LOT of people who just don't give a shit, and whilst I want to see the best rehoming rates possible, I'm sick of pounds and their staff getting the blame whilst we pretend the rest of the population is just going through a hard time and that's why they didn't pick up their animal when they said they would, or ignored our calls or just dumped it at the gate overnight.

Sorry for the rant and I know no one here has blamed the staff, but working where I have has made me a total misanthrope and most of my colleagues also. I can't pretend everyone wants the best for their animals when I know it's not the case. We do our best for the animals and we get abused by the people who are meant to care about them and then slammed by all the other people who hate us for apparently not caring for those same animals. You can't win.

There are of course bad eggs but most people do not treat their animals as disposable. In NSW only between 3-6% of the pets out in the community end up entering an impounding facility, and only 2-3ish percent stay there and need new homes. So, about 98% of pet owners are keeping them out of the pound every year.

Of those few that are left there, a good percentage would keep their pets if they thought that was an option and were provided with assistance to do so. Studies in the US have found that between 70 - 88% will accept help when offered (key: in a helpful and non judgmental way).

So yes, while there are people out there who are shitheads and shouldn't own pets, they're a tiny, tiny percentage of the general pet owning population. Blaming them for pounds killing pets is nothing but smoke and mirrors. Pounds will always need to be in existence, just like hospitals will always need to be in existence no matter how much you work on preventative medicine and teaching people how to maximise their health. Shit happens and some people do stupid things. Same situation in the pound - people's lives change and they can't keep their pets, and some people are shitheads. Pounds need to be there to help those pets in to a new home, not kill them.

I actually don't think that no one is working on keeping pets in their homes. My organisation, Team Dog, does just that, although we are in the minority. In the US, progressive pounds themselves have recognised that enabling reclaims and providing help to people thinking of surrendering is imperative to stop killing within their walls and have implemented those programs themselves. I've given three presentations in the last twelve months to pounds and shelters urging them to prioritise keeping pets at home, as this will hugely impact on their live release rate. You don't get that by telling people who are thinking of surrendering that they're shit, though. You get it by sitting down with them and figuring out what's going on, working through the blockades and emotional hardening that some people do when they get to the point of surrender, and seeing if you can figure out a solution.

If you work on reclaims and pet retention, you're only left with a much smaller amount of pets you need to find homes for. That equals more space and more resources that can go in to those pets to ensure they make it out alive.

Whether someone likes the term or not, refusing to send a pet home to the family that wants them back for a large fee while threatening to, or actually killing them when they can't pay is holding a pet to ransom. You described a pound that didn't charge a fee for reclaim and people still not reclaiming - no one would call that holding a pet to ransom. I'm talking about pounds who will not reduce or at least freeze fees for a period of time to give the owners a chance to raise them, or simply waive fees for the first offence if the person can't afford them.Talking about cost is silly - it's a two week minimum hold for a chipped pet here in NSW. It costs the pound money to hold the pet for two weeks and then either kill it or hold it for longer while you find it a home. Send it home on day one or two by waiving some fees and you're likely to come out on top, or at least break even.

Edited by melzawelza

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just get annoyed when people rave about what the pounds should be doing but just keep posting again and again that they aren't doing anything, why don't they get off their bums and ring these places and ask if they can help....never happens.

Pounds can only do what they have the funds and staff to do.

Edited by keetamouse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just get annoyed when people rave about what the pounds should be doing but just keep posting again and again that they aren't doing anything, why don't they get off their bums and ring these places and ask if they can help....never happens.

Pounds can only do what they have the funds and staff to do.

Spot on. Any criticism should really be directed at the councils they work for as usually they set release fees etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just get annoyed when people rave about what the pounds should be doing but just keep posting again and again that they aren't doing anything, why don't they get off their bums and ring these places and ask if they can help....never happens.

Pounds can only do what they have the funds and staff to do.

Heaps of people help, all the time. I run an animal welfare charity keeping pets out of the pound (often paying pound fees where pounds won't reduce) while also working full time, so I think I'm doing my bit.

It's not rescues or anyone else's job to do what should be a government funded service under threat of pets dying. Rescue is there as a supplementary support, not as a free service to do the pound's job for them.

If the pound needs some volunteer help for various adoption and foster programs they need to implement a volunteer program and recruit for it. People love pets and there's plenty of people in droves who will help out if given direction.

ETA I feel the need to again express that there are some brilliant staff members at Renbury who really go above and beyond in every way they can without being given the resources to do more. They are not the issue nor the problem, in fact they are also victims.

Edited by melzawelza

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just get annoyed when people rave about what the pounds should be doing but just keep posting again and again that they aren't doing anything, why don't they get off their bums and ring these places and ask if they can help....never happens.

Pounds can only do what they have the funds and staff to do.

Heaps of people help, all the time. I run an animal welfare charity keeping pets out of the pound (often paying pound fees where pounds won't reduce) while also working full time, so I think I'm doing my bit.

I am aware that there are heaps of people who do help I am talking about the people who don't help but whinge all the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×