City of Canning takes lead on dog adoption proposal

A PRO-LIFE animal policy would be groundbreaking in local government, according to City of Canning councillor Patrick Hall who introduced a motion to promote life at the August council meeting.

Cr Hall, who was previously chief executive at the Shenton Park Dogs Refuge Home, said animal welfare was an issue that resonated with people and any effort to improve the treatment of animals would be seen as positive by ratepayers.

Cr Hall said a focus around life would include re-homing or adoption through a partnership with ethical organisations such as the Animal Protection Society .

“We are preserving life and protecting the interest of animals and the personal benefit would be that you’re saving a life,” he said.

“These are unwanted dogs, they’re dumped and you are saving them from death row (and) euthanasia should be a last resort.”

The re-homing arrangement has already commenced with the Dogs Refuge home.

Cr Hall said thousands of dogs were euthanised annually by WA councils, and more than 150,000 were killed nationally.

“The City of Canning is a low kill council, but any figure is too high,” he said.

Cr Hall said the motion, which passed unanimously, could place the City in a leadership role to discuss council involvement in re-homing companion animals.

He hoped the pro-life policy would be the beginning of a raft of measures put in place at a local government level that would protect animals.

“The (pro-life) policy gives me great confidence the fight can be taken up in local government, there is less bureaucracy at that level, it is one of several reforms I have in the animal welfare sector,” he said.

Farmed puppies out of shop windows and a grassroots crack down on backyard breeders within the City catchment were among issues Cr Hall said he wanted to scrutinise.

“One hundred per cent reforms of that nature need to start at local government,” he said

“Every time you buy a puppy from a shop window you are buying into this insidious industry, so look past the shop window.”

He urged people looking for a new companion pet to think seriously about adopting a dog.

“Buying an older dog has enormous benefits…older dogs are usually toilet trained and they know some commands,” he said.