Where is Nambucca Shire's out-of-hours animal care

On Sunday morning (May 5) I went to the Macksville Railway Station to drop off a passenger for the train. Whilst there along came two pups, perhaps about 4-5 months old, in an emaciated condition. They did not have collars on so whether they belonged to someone, were strays or had been dumped I have no idea but they obviously were in need of care.

I rang the local vets after hours number to enquire what was the best thing to do for these pups and was told it was a council matter.

I rang the Nambucca Shire Council number and was given an after hours number for animal related matters and other issues.

I rang that number, spoke to a woman and was told that because it was Sunday the Ranger wasn't able to pick them up. I explained that it was an animal welfare issue and the pups needed immediate care.

I was told to ring the RSPCA at Coffs Harbour. I rang them, informed them of the situation and was told it was out of their jurisdiction and I needed to contact the Council.

After ringing the Council a second time and relaying the information I was given I was told again that because it was out of hours there was nothing could be done.

I was upset at seeing the condition these animals were in but was even more upset and disgusted at being given the royal runaround by organisations who 'care' about the welfare of animals. It seems that because it was 'out of business hours' nothing could be done to assist these neglected animals.

We as ratepayers of this Shire pay the salary of a Ranger to deal with animal related issues. And I understood that the RSPCA was an organisation that looked after the welfare of animals.

I believe the system has let these pups down because they were found out of hours. Unfortunately they did not know it was Sunday.

Had I not jumped up and down hard enough and long enough these pups would possibly have been run over by a train or a car, or slowly starved to death.

Fortunately the outcome has been favourable - I understand they were picked up by some residents, housed, wormed, fed and watered and have been since taken to the pound.

Hopefully some changes can be made to improve the out-of-hours care of animals.


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