MARYBOROUGH and District Animal Refuge has raised concerns about a new council policy which will take away their exclusive access to Maryborough dogs.

Under the new policy, dogs surrendered or picked up in Maryborough will be sent to refuges all over the state.

President Maureen England told the Chronicle after the animals spent 28 days in the Fraser Coast Regional Council's Fraser Coast Adoption Centre based in Hervey Bay, unadopted dogs would be divided up to rescues without favouritism.

The MDAR would take the Maryborough animals up to five months ago when the Maryborough Pound, which occupies the same location as the refuge, housed animals overnight.

"We don't get any special access to the Maryborough animals," Ms England said.

"We divide up the animals with other rescues, I believe it is not just other rescues from Maryborough and Hervey Bay, there is no favouritism given to anyone.

"So even though we are a long-established refuge which has been saving animals in Maryborough for 45 years and worked very closely in conjunction with the council and helped them with their pound facilities for many years, we get no favours."

FCRC's executive manager regulatory services Megan Savill said it was not always in the best interests of the animals or past and present owners for the animals to be re-homed in close vicinity to their previous address.

"It's about finding the best home possible for the animals to ensure they receive the love and care they deserve," she said.

Council is developing a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure there are clear expectations, greater equity among the groups and improved transparency.

"This will provide organisations like the Maryborough Animal Refuge with access to animals from right throughout the region whereas previously they were limited to Maryborough only," Ms Savill said.

"The upcoming 2019/20 Budget is set to provide more resourcing for animal management, including in relation to the work Council does with refuges, with details being finalised in coming weeks."



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