Councils battle rising cost of stray animals

Warrnambool wants Moyne shire to pay more to use the Warrnmabool anaimal shelter.
Warrnambool wants Moyne shire to pay more to use the Warrnmabool anaimal shelter.

Moyne Shire Council has rejected a request from Warrnambool City Council to contribute $160,000 this year towards the cost of the Warrnambool animal shelter.

Warrnambool asked Moyne for the money after the cost of its contract with RSPCA (Victoria) for the shelter’s Braithwaite Street operation over the next three years increased significantly. 

Cr Tony Herbert said he understood the RSPCA’s contract price had gone up significantly because the RSPCA was no longer subsidising the service.

Moyne told Warrnambool its budget for 2017-2018 had already been set but it would consider the request to contribute more in its preparations for its 2018-2019 budget.

Warrnambool and Moyne previously had separate contracts with the RSPCA to use the Warrnambool pound but as part of Warrnmabool’s new contract, Moyne will have to negotiate with Warrnambool to use the pound.

Moyne Shire has used the Warrnambool pound for more than 17 years and most likely as far back as the council merger that formed Moyne council.

Since 2014, Moyne has been paying the RSPCA a fixed annual fee for service rather than a ‘per animal’ fee.

Warrnambool has said about one-third of all animals taken to the Warrnambool pound came from the Moyne municipality.

Local small animal veterinarian Sam O’Keefe has cautioned Moyne against using animal shelters in Portland or Hamilton if it was seeking a cheaper alternative than Warrnambool’s shelter.

Ms O’Keefe said people who lost their pets in Moyne had traditionally gone to the Warrnambool pound and having to drive to Portland or Hamilton would be an impost on them.