A NEW HOME
The committee of the Homeless Animal Society and Boarding Kennels has once again put its future in the hands of the Douglas Shire Council and its local residents. A Development Application currently being assessed by council staff has been lodged which will allow them to convert the previously occupied LOTSA Printing factory Teamsters Drive into a modern indoor animal facility.
The association after 10 years of searching has come to the conclusion that an indoor soundproof building is the only option after numerous failed attempts of constructing an outdoor facility. With the assistance of a planning consultant and a recognised Acoustic Engineer firm they are confident that the facility will not impact any of the nearby industrial businesses.
We appreciate that some may have concerns from the history of the previous refuge, which was literally an old house and some cyclone fencing. This is the extreme opposite, on completion the property will have cost well over the million-dollar mark and will consist of a soundproof housing facility and monitored run areas acoustically designed where limited dogs will be rotated and able to leisure outside during day light hours.
The association entered into a contract of sale for the premises with the condition of a Council Change of Material Use. The new planning scheme allows for public comment on the assessment and they are looking forward to being given the opportunity to answer any concerns locals may have. We are expecting to receive the same types of comments as we have in the past Noise and Smell. We have searched examples of the many indoor facilities that there are now in Australia and have taken the best practices to ensure we can successfully cater for both these issues. Any animal lover knows that dogs bark when they are stimulated, a person walking in or past, or another dog interacting for example. These modern facilities are built to ensure the minimum opportunity for that occurs whilst using the most modern technology to entrap any noise that may be made.
After the failed attempt at Killaloe, Miallo and Yule Point and the inability of council and State Government staff to locate land that would be suitable, the association is hoping that this premise within an industrial estate will be the change in the tide they have been waiting for. We realise its not the perfect answer, the ideal situation would be for dogs to be able to run around and enjoy the sunshine in an open facility, unfortunately that has not happened and does not look like it’s going to happen. So, we as an animal welfare organisation have to do the next best thing, other than that it’s just keep having them euthanised. Every animal facility in the region is full. The longer we do nothing the worst the situation will become. That is for the animals and the environment.
If the Change of Material Use is accepted by Council, the association will be buying the freehold of the premises and will then work with the acoustic engineers and council to renovate the main building to a state of the art facility. Once we have a premise, a design and costings, we can then get further funding to complete construction. At the moment grant funding is limited as we don’t know where we are going, what we are doing or when we are going to do it. With the purchase of the property and building we are confident we can gain the funding required to renovate the facility and be ready for operation within 18 months.
The association is extremely grateful for the support it continues to receive and it is clear that the love for the association and the animals that it has cared for is abundant. The association believes that it is imperative that the supporters of Paws and Claws also put pen to paper during this public comment period and notify your local councillors of the importance, need and want for this facility in Douglas.
- The previous Paws and Claws site in Craiglie was an old house with cyclone fencing, not a designed animal facility and had no noise restraints or acoustic designs.
- The facility we are creating will be a state of the art acoustically designed soundproof facility within the building that already exists. Total cost of over $1million.
- Facility’s such as this are becoming more common in built up areas as populations increase in CBD areas and the demand for boarding rises.
- The property will have a 24hr caretaker living on site.
- There will be four individual runs divided by solid 2meter fences that will have a maximum of two dogs in each at any time.
- The runs will only be used between 9am and 5pm
- Bark deterrents such as static collars will be used on persistent noise makers as per the facilities Noise Policy
- The facility will offer boarding as well as rescue
- The facility will hold a maximum of 18 Boarding dogs and 20 refuge dogs at full capacity.
- The facility will operate with paid staff and volunteers
- The inside will also be acoustically sound designed
- Previously all rescue animals were walked twice daily off site by locals and back packers, we anticipate that this will occur again alleviating the need for excessive use of the runs.
- The facility will have 24hr video and audio surveillance
- The property will not open half finished. The building must be completed before opening.
- Noise reduction methods are non-negotiables and will be conditioned as part of the continuing trade of the facility regardless which committee members are overseeing the facility.
- Sound engineers have measured the current noise levels of the area to set as a bench mark
- Once open and with occupancy of at least 80% sound testing will be carried out by the acoustical engineers again to ensure the facility is in no way impacting the area. These will be compared to tests completed prior to opening.
- Paw and Claws is paying cash for the premises at 6-8 Teamsters, has not accrued debt in the purchase and does still have funds required to commence renovations. Further funding will be needed to complete the build but we anticipate that this will occur within 18months
- Many policies and procedures are already being created to ensure that the locals will not be impacted. These include a complaint policy, acceptable Noise Policy, Dog Walking Policy, Animal arrival and departure Policy, it is also in our best interest being a business to also have the best reputation possible
A copy of the application will be found here once it has been processed by council