By Hayley Gastmeier
A South Wairarapa councillor has “grave concerns” for the current condition of the Featherston dog pound.
The unroofed concrete compound is surrounded by barbed wire and has dog kennels inside.
Situated on Johnston St at the recycling transfer station, it holds dogs that are found either to be roaming or injured, or are waiting to be re-homed.
Councillor Colin Olds told the South Wairarapa District Council at its meeting last week that the compound was not up to scratch.
“The building itself is highly inadequate in today’s environment.
“I really feel the council should be seriously considering upgrading or rebuilding it.”
Mr Olds said it was unfair that dogs should be resigned to such stark conditions.
It was “not the dog’s fault” it was being held in a pound – “it’s the owners”.
He said the possibility of the Wairarapa councils amalgamating should not stop any “traction” in making improvements.
SWDC planning and environment group manager Murray Buchanan said there had been some work done recently at the pound, following a “minor” health and safety issue regarding barbed wire.
A section of barbed wire had been removed, and the barbed wire circling the top of the compound had been re-tensioned.
Mayor Viv Napier said the state of all three of the region’s dog pounds was brought up at the recent Wairarapa Councils Shared Services Working Party meeting.
SWDC chief executive Paul Crimp told the Times-Age dog pounds were expensive facilities, but “potential solutions” were being discussed by the working party.
He said one option would be having “one central pound” for the region, which would accommodate for “longer stays”, and then a further two smaller pound facilities, designed for holding dogs short term.
Councillor Lee Carter asked for clarification around dog control issues which occurred outside of business hours following some community confusion with afterhours protocol.
Mr Buchanan said during council staff operating hours the ranger would deal with any dog control issues.
Any matters arising afterhours would be dealt with by SWDC contractor City Care, which would coordinate with the ranger.