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EXCLUSIVE by Justin Vallejo|
January 14, 2009 12:00am
TANGO was too aggressive, Alice too old, Coco too sick and Bosco too psycho. All - and hundreds more - are now dead.
Mysterious deaths at one of the city's biggest pounds have sparked a major campaign by animal welfare and rescue groups to end the bloodletting at The Sydney Dogs and Cats Home.
The action came as it was revealed more than 90 dogs and cats were sentenced to death every day at council pounds across NSW, with 33,000 killed in the past year.
Figures obtained by The Daily Telegraph revealed the number of unloved, unwanted or unclaimed pets given lethal injections grew by 40 per cent in just one year.
The Sydney Dogs and Cats Home recently lost its impound contract with the City of Sydney Council amid concerns the registered charity was destroying too many animals.
Overall, Blacktown City Council recorded the highest number of cat and dog deaths in 2007-08, with 3411 animals from all over Sydney killed, putting it well ahead of the rest of the state's councils.
The 33,116 animals died after owners refused to collect them or animal rescue and welfare workers were unable to re-house them.
The number grew by 9113 in a year, with 24,003 killed in 2006-07. While Blacktown Animal Holding Facility had the most kills, it took in animals from Auburn, Lane Cove, Canada Bay, Holroyd, Ryde, Parramatta and Hunters Hill.
The city's other major pound, The Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, killed 964 cats and dogs taken from Botany Bay, Hurstville, Kogarah, Marrickville, Randwick, Rockdale, Waverley, Woollahra and City of Sydney council areas.
The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing conducted two separate investigations into the organisation's activities but, as the majority of complaints related to commercial and civil matters outside its jurisdiction, it found no breaches of the Charitable Fundraising Act.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said a pound's "culture and mission" were key factors that influenced the number of animals put down. The decision to withdraw the impound contract from The Sydney Dogs and Cats Home was not taken lightly, she said.
"It's about finding a home or getting a pet back to its home and that (once) seemed to be a very strong policy of The Sydney Dogs and Cats Home," she said.
"It's my understanding that the regime changed and they no longer met our expectations.
"Also a lot of those pets were kept in single cages. Dogs need to socialise with other dogs and other people otherwise they develop behavioural problems and it's even more difficult to rehouse them."
The Sydney Dogs and Cats Home did not return The Daily Telegraph's calls yesterday.
According to official figures, the councils that put down the greatest number of animals last year were Bathurst (1002), Tamworth (869), Coffs Harbour (849), Liverpool (936), Wagga Wagga (799), Broken Hill (720) Wyong (639) and Hawkesbury (658).