MidCoast Council will appoint a companion animals officer, a position which will include running council pounds, providing community education and liaising with community groups.
"Once we have this position filled it will allow us to initiate a volunteer program and this is something the community has made it clear, is important," MidCoast Council, development assessment manager, Bruce Moore said.
According to a recent assessment, council pounds are meeting expectation.
Mr Moore said pounds were regularly assessed by independent organisations to ensure standards were being met and the animals were cared for appropriately.
The most recent RSPCA assessment took place in July and the report of council's facilities was positive and encouraging, Mr Moore said.
While our pounds will always be a contentious place within our community, they are there for an important reason and by all reports we are doing our job, meeting expectations and all animals in our care are looked after to standardBruce Moore
"While our pounds will always be a contentious place within our community, they are there for an important reason and by all reports we are doing our job, meeting expectations and all animals in our care are looked after to standard."
The RSPCA assessment looks at everything from the state of the facilities to feeding practices, the condition of the animals and more with the independent assessor finding that council ticked all the boxes.
Council has taken steps to improve communications with the community when it comes to animals in the pound, with the establishment of an online register, greatly assisting in the rehoming of animals.
"Since we introduced the register we have seen a major increase in animals being reunited with their owners or being rehomed and we have not put down any animal that is suitable for rehoming," Mr Moore said.
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"We are committed to continuing to work with our animal shelter partners to rehome all suitable animals, but we also have confidence in our part in keeping our community safe by monitoring dangerous dogs in our region and taking action when it is necessary."
The forward plan will see big changes to council pounds, starting with an update of the Code of Practice and recruitment of a new team member, the companion animals officer, Mr Moore said.
Councillors have also requested a report on the potential upgrade of the Taree and Tuncurry pounds as well as the construction of a new facility.
Other future additions the team is planning to implement include community 'lost pet' enclosures for the more isolated communities in the region.
"Since the closure of the Gloucester Pound, we have been using a lost pet enclosure at Gloucester Police Station and this is working really well, so we're planning on pushing this out to other communities.
"Ultimately everyone is really positive about the direction and progress being made in animal management across the Mid Coast and it's only going to keep changing and improving."
It is anticipated these future initiatives will begin to roll out in council pounds over the next 18 months.
To view council's online register head to the MidCoast Council lost your pet page HERE.
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