Muswellbrook Shire Council unveils its Animal Care Facility masterplan

PLANNING FOR PUPS: Council staff Sharon Pope and Melanie Meadows look at the new Animal Care Facility plans with the help of Toby and Ivy.
PLANNING FOR PUPS: Council staff Sharon Pope and Melanie Meadows look at the new Animal Care Facility plans with the help of Toby and Ivy.

WE all want the best for our pets, and that's why after years of planning and public pressure, the Muswellbrook Shire Council (MSC) has unveiled its Animal Care Facility (ACF) masterplan.

Details about the project were recently released, and the final result outlines a multi-purpose facility, which will include a range of community venues.

It will comprise the ACF itself, deposit pens, adoption and private boarding kennels, seized and stray animal kennels, a dog park, stock pound, nursery, cafe and a new sustainability hub.

The location is set to be on Sydney Street, bordering the greyhound track, and will cost just less than $2 million according to council estimates.

Muswellbrook Shire mayor Martin Rush said the position was chosen to be more accessible and noticeable to the public.

"Having the animal shelter so visible, next to other allied service providers, will hopefully mean that people come in and consider adopting a pet before purchasing a new one," he explained.

"One of the key objectives for council is to increase re-homing rates and, particularly, increasing re-homing rates by local adoption.

"At the moment most of our re-homing goes outside the Upper Hunter."

This new, contemporary version of the ACF has been in the works for a number of years, and may yet become the centre point for animal care throughout the region with neither the Singleton nor Upper Hunter Shire councils refusing to rule out using the facility, too.

Council's assistant director of environment and community services Sharon Pope said the layout would be hugely beneficial for a multitude of reasons.

"The design allows us to bring together a range of services people want to access into one location, so we're hoping that makes it easier for people to get to this service," she said.

"We hope overall to improve the customer experience and knowledge of environmental sustainability and responsible pet ownership."

A public exhibition will be on display at the council administration building as well as Muswellbrook and Denman libraries until Thursday, June 6; and an information drop in session will occur at Campbell's Corner between 3pm and 6pm on Wednesday, May 29.

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