Thursday, 28 September 2017 17:20

Plans for world-class animal re-homing centre in Blacktown

Animal holding facility interior concept Animal holding facility interior concept Photo: Blacktown City Council

Blacktown City Council has launched a far-sighted plan to build a state-of-the-art Animal Re-homing Centre (ARC); planned to be the most advanced in Australia. 

When complete it could accept lost, stray and abandoned animals from up to 15 neighbouring council areas, representing about 1.5 million Sydney residents.

Mayor Stephen Bali said the ARC was also a great opportunity to provide pet accommodation support for victims of domestic violence and for greyhound rehoming.

“We know there is evidence that many women feel unable to leave their abusive situations because they are unable to find accommodation which will also take their pets”.

The project has won support from Australia’s best known vet, Dr Katrina Warren, who helped launch the ARC plan.

“This is an extraordinary step forward in the way local governments manage abandoned animals and find new homes for as many as possible,” Dr Warren said.

“What Blacktown is doing is visionary. The new Centre will be the model the rest of Australia looks up to. ”

To realise the full potential of the project, Blacktown City Council is seeking to partner with the NSW Government, which would involve the largest possible facility and a range of innovative community benefits. The expanded facility would include:

  • up to 200 dog kennels and 180 ‘cat condos’ for animals waiting to be re-homed;
  • a cafe and other attractions to draw families and potential pet adopters to the site;
  • a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, in partnership with University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science, with three operating theatres, lecture hall, and student accommodation on site - ensuring 24 hour expert vet help when needed;
  • a dedicated greyhound re-homing facility in partnership with Greyhounds As Pets (GAP), the program set up to ensure non-racing greyhounds can find good homes;
  • a pet boarding facility with space dedicated to caring for the pets of victims of domestic and family violence who are prevented from fleeing violence by the presence of family pets.

Mayor Stephen Bali said the project put Blacktown at the vanguard, both in animal care and municipal leadership.

“All councils are facing the dilemma of ageing animal holding facilities and new stricter State Government animal welfare regulations that very few council facilities could comply with,” Cr Bali said.

“Many will have to rebuild their existing ‘pound’ facilities. Blacktown is offering to take the problem off their hands. With our new Centre we could accept the dogs and cats from around a quarter of metropolitan Sydney.

“The ARC will be world’s best practice in re-homing. It will be a model for state and local government all over Australia,” Cr Bali said.

The ARC will be built on a 10.5 hectare site Blacktown Council owns at Glendenning, adjoining Western Sydney Parklands and linked to it by walking and cycling paths.

When complete it will attract hundreds of visitors a week and re-home many thousands of animals every year.

“Council has provided land worth $15 million and will spend another $15 million building the ARC. To gain the full benefits of the project for Greater Western Sydney, we need the State Government to stand with us,” Cr Bali said.

Last modified on Tuesday, 03 October 2017 10:16