New Featherston Dog Pound opened

It was a very happy day for South Wairarapa District Council’s bylaws team on Monday (29 May) as a new pound was opened just outside Featherston.

The new pound replaces a facility in Johnston St, Featherston, which has been in use for over 20 years, and more recently has not complied with the current animal welfare code.

It could also no longer stay at its location and there was no other pound within a reasonable driving distance. We needed a new pound.

Deputy Mayor Melissa Sadler-Futter opened the pound, noting that Council has a legal responsibility to run a proper facility to care for and exercise impounded dogs.

“The old pound had more than had its day and officers are to be congratulated for the innovative design they have come up with, which keeps animal welfare front and centre.”

The new pound:

  • Exceeds the Ministry of Primary Industries’ animal welfare standards
  • Is an innovative use of containers
  • Is off the grid – uses solar as the main power source, water storage tank and a septic system
  • Has the highest health standards with temperature control, easy to wash materials and good disease management
  • Is a moveable structure, if the pound needs to be relocated
  • Has individual external exercise runs and two large exercise yards
  • Is fully fenced with high security features.

Based on Soldiers Settlement Road North, the new pound will hold up to four dogs and will be environmentally friendly, with the lowest level of carbon footprint possible.

Environmental Services Manager Rick Mead says the containerised design was built within a tight budget and achieved a standard that others might well follow.

“We do what we can to get a dog back to their owner, but if we pick up a dog after hours, the Council must provide a reasonable standard of care for the animal.”

Discussions about taking dogs to other districts such as Masterton were explored but ruled out because of the distance for officers and the need for 24/7 access.

A site in Carterton was also explored but came with a high price tag. The current facility has come in at about $450,000.

Mr Mead said he was able to find suppliers who were also interested in finding a financially realistic and innovative solution to the dog pound problem. He is delighted with the result.

“We know most people are responsible and care greatly for their animals and this facility means that we can fulfil our responsibility to meet and exceed the standards for animal welfare.”

The new Featherston Dog Pound at Soldiers Settlement Road North
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