The price of dog registration could go up in the wake of the RSPCA’s move to no longer house dogs at its Happy Valley Road facility.
In a letter to council, the new RSPCA South Australian chief executive officer Paul Stevenson said the property was now for sale.
“This reflects the financial reality that we can no longer support a full shelter operation that would cost in excess of $330,000pa,” Mr Stevenson said in the letter.
The move also follows ongoing noise complaints from residents neighbouring the facility.
Mayor Bruce Green said the council was happy to see the RSPCA winding down operations and the facility for sale.
Unclaimed dogs released by council to the RSPCA for re-homing, are now being transported from the local pound to Whyalla and sometimes on to Adelaide.
Under a new arrangement with the council, the RSPCA will introduce a transport service fee for unclaimed dogs suitable for re-homing.
The fees will cost the council up to $7000 a year.
“What this memorandum of understanding with the RSPCA says is that instead of having those dogs euthanised when an owner can't be found, we can hand them onto the RSCPA and that comes at a cost to council and eventually to the community,” Mr Green said.
“In this coming year we'll just have to handle that within our budget but next time we look at dog registration costs, we might seek to recover some of those extra costs in dealing humanely with the unwanted animals.”
Mr Stevenson said he understood the impost of the fees on the council budget but they would only cover a small fraction of the RSPCA’s cost of retaining a presence in Port Lincoln.
In the future, the RSPCA hopes to lease a small industrial property in Port Lincoln to operate a short term “feeder/satellite” animal accommodation facility.
“We are looking to finalise arrangements for our continued presence in Port Lincoln before the end of this financial year,” Mr Stevenson said in his letter.
This will likely see a new centre perform animal surrenders, dog and cat adoptions, provision of pet care information and the potential for a small thrift shop.
Mr Green said the latest move by the RSPCA was about re-establishing its brand and presence in Port Lincoln.
“Council looks forward to assisting the RSPCA in re-establishing a valuable service to the community.”