Team Dog is all about promoting sensible, science-driven animal welfare and management practices, as well as helping to support people, pets, and communities as a whole.
Started 3 petitions
Create a procedure for the handling of suspected restricted dogs in your facility.
On the 13th June 2014, a loved family dog named 'Ruby' (pictured) was surrendered to the Wollondilly Animal Shelter, just south of Sydney. 24 hours later, she was dead. Despite the offer of assistance from welfare and advocacy organisation Team Dog, to allow her every opportunity for rehoming - the council killed Ruby after arbitrarily deciding that she was a 'pit bull cross'. Ruby was rehomed from Renbury Farm Animal Shelter only 12 months prior, was microchipped as an American Staffy X, and the surrender form completed by her owner described a friendly, outgoing dog that socialised happily with adults, children, other dogs and even cats and livestock - a dog that had never shown any aggression and that loved to play games. The Manager of Compliance, Robyn Cooper, has ignored emails from Team Dog asking for further information as to the council's handling of such dogs - prompting a GIPA application, and has also ignored recent emails attempting to assist the council in improving their procedures for impounded dogs like Ruby. We can only assume that such blatant refusal to engage indicates that they will continue to kill dogs without exhausting all avenues for rehoming. (Read the full story as to Ruby and this council's conduct here ) Council had a legal alternative in the form of seeking a Breed Assessment of Ruby (and Temperament Assessment if needed), and even the offer of payment of these assessments by Team Dog, but chose to kill Ruby anyway. These assessments are carried out on an as-needs basis by major Sydney impounding facilities such as Renbury Farm Animal Shelter, Sutherland Shire Animal Shelter, Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter and Blacktown Animal Holding Facility. Why won't Wollondilly do the same? Due to the council's refusal to even discuss any improvement on this matter, our only option has been to create a public campaign to show that the council's actions are severely out of sync with the expectations of the community. We, the public, insist the following be carried out by Wollondilly Council as a matter of priority, so that no more dogs meet the inhumane and callous fate that Ruby did: 1. The council MUST implement a formal procedure outlining how dogs that are suspected of being 'restricted' must be handled when entering the facility as strays or surrenders.2. This procedure MUST NOT allow automatic euthanasia of the dog. 3. Instead, if an authorised officer suspects a dog to be a 'restricted dog', they must issue a Notice of Intention to declare the dog to be restricted once the dog is owned by council, and organise for the dog to be breed assessed (and temperament assessed if needed) while impounded.4. If the dog passes a breed assessment, or is assessed as a 'Pit Bull X' and subsequently passes a temperament test, the dog must be placed for adoption and treated as per any other dog listed for adoption in the shelter.5. The dog must ONLY be euthanised without being placed for adoption if it is assessed as a pure bred American Pit Bull Terrier or it fails both a breed AND temperament assessment, and is legally declared a restricted dog (and therefore under current legislation cannot be rehomed).6. Conduct of council employees, in particular the Manager of Compliance Robyn Cooper, must be investigated to ensure that legitimate community concerns regarding the animal shelter are responded to in the future, not ignored. Our campaign isn't a witch hunt to have one person sacked - what is needed is for formal procedures to be put in place at a higher level to ensure that no matter who is working in what role at the council, now or many years in the future, dogs like Ruby are given a chance. The petition will be closed once Council has created and made public the procedure as described above, bringing them in line with all major Sydney impounding facilities.We strongly encourage you to also contact the General Manager, Luke Johnson and Councillors directly via email to express your dissatisfaction and request the above 6 points be implemented. This is especially important if you are a resident in the Wollondilly Shire Council - ensure your voice is heard directly via phone or email! Like and follow our facebook page for updates.Check out our website for more information on who we are and what we do.
Release to rescue the five victims of cruelty currently in your care
Update from CEO Paul Anderson on 17/11/14 Hi everyone, I wanted to provide you all with another update on the five dogs who are currently being held at our pound facility. We are currently working through the correct processes, including assessments and vet checks, to ensure the continued health and wellbeing of these animals. Please bear in mind that the dogs were seized not as part of a mistreatment case, but as an indirect result of a police operation. Negative comments towards the owner will not assist in ensuring positive outcomes for these animals. Over the coming weeks, will be continuing discussions with the dogs’ owners to bring about a resolution. Update 3pm 12/11/14 Please be aware guys that at this point we still do not have confirmation of the dogs safety - only that Paul, the CEO, has committed to looking in to the matter further with this aim in mind. We of course appreciate this commitment from Paul but until we have received confirmation that the dogs will not be destroyed and will be released to rescue instead, their safety is still up in the air. We have yet to receive further communication or an update since last night. We've requested one from Paul on his last post about the dogs (linked below), and we suggest that you do as well. 6.30pm 11/11/14 Update:A very promising post from the CEO of Gosford City Council Paul Anderson regarding the dogs - including pictures of them from today looking wonderful condition-wise. We wish to congratulate Paul for shelving Council's initial line that was repeated many times today on social media - 'council has explored all avenues and as per our earlier post, there are legalities and other factors that preclude council from changing the outcome of this situation'.We knew this wasn't the case and we are very pleased that Paul now agrees. Head on over and thank him for his attention to this issue and the action he has taken so far. We aren't in the clear just yet, but we look forward to hearing further updates.https://www.facebook.com/CEOPaulAnderson/posts/792251260815938Original posting: We need help from you, this wonderful and caring community, to secure a future for five dogs set to lose their lives under Gosford Council. They came into the care of Gosford Dog Paws, the contracted Council pound for Gosford, some time ago in October, following an unpleasant situation in their home.As you can see from the photographs, they were in extremely poor and unacceptable condition. Their owner later surrendered them. (Update: Council has maintained that the owner has not surendered the dogs. If this is the case, it does not change our position - there are avenues to take to allow ownership to be transferred to the Pound, especially given the dogs have been at the shelter for at least a month. Council simply needs to take the time to seek them). Rescue was sought and secured for all dogs shortly after their arrival, and they were to go to these rescues following breed assessments (and temperament assessments if needed).The owner then informed the Council that he does not want the dogs rehomed, and that he wishes for them to be killed instead.Rather than refusing this request, and giving these dogs a chance at life, the dogs have now been scheduled to be killed. Not only does this person not own the dogs any longer – relinquishing his right to dictate their futures – the condition he kept these dogs in shows very clearly that he does not have the best interests of the dogs at heart. Team Dog strongly believes that pounds and shelters should be a place of safety and refuge for victims of cruelty. To kill these dogs on request of their abuser is completely abhorrent and unacceptable, and we don't believe the Australian public will accept the decision by Gosford Council to do so. We urge each and every one of you to please express your objection to their decision by signing our petition (which will email the Council on your behalf), and comment on their facebook page here: We cannot stress enough that your petition signatures and comments must not be abusive or threatening – they will only be discarded and will not help these dogs in any way. If you are a Gosford resident we strongly urge you to personally email firstname.lastname@example.org and state that you are extremely unhappy that your local Council is behaving in this way. At this point, the only way we can see these dogs leaving the pound alive is through significant public outcry at the inhumane and abhorrent decision by the Council to end these dogs lives. Please get involved and share this post to spread the word. For further information about Team Dog or to contact us please visit our website www.teamdog.com.au Or visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/theteamdog
Revoke the "Restricted Dog" declaration on Ruby, a much loved family pet
On the 4th of February 2014, a much loved family dog named Ruby was impounded by Ku-Ring-Gai Council in Sydney, Australia, after escaping her property. She was found playing with the children at the local primary school. Upon impounding it was found that Ruby had been declared a Restricted Dog (a 'Pit Bull Terrier' cross) by the Hills Shire Council in Sydney in 2011, when she was owned by someone else. New South Wales legislation allows an owner to contest this declaration through a breed and/or temperament assessment however her previous owner had not carried this out when the Council notified him of their intention to declare her restricted, which meant that Ruby was automatically declared a 'Restricted Dog' without further assessment or any appeal. Under this same legislation, a Restricted Dog cannot be rehomed. When Ruby's owners took her on they had no idea of this declaration and are now devastated as she is not legally allowed to be released to them. She has currently been impounded for over two weeks. The Hills Shire Council can rectify this and give Ruby a second chance. Under the New South Wales Guidelines, the declaring Council can revoke the Restricted Dog declaration on Ruby, to allow the process to be started again so she can be breed and temperament assessed, as she should have been back in 2011. Ruby's temperament is impeccable and both Ku-Ring-Gai Council and Ruby's owners are confident she will pass any temperament test administered. When requested to do this by both Ruby's owners and Ku-Ring-Gai Council, the Hills Shire Council took two weeks to respond and then informed the owners that the answer was no - essentially signing Ruby's death warrant, as her previous owner is unable to reclaim her. There is no reason for the Hills Shire Council to deny this request. Ruby has never been involved in any aggressive incidents, and she was never afforded a breed or temperament test as she deserved when they first declared her Restricted. She has a loving and responsible family willing to do anything they need to to bring her home, and Ku-Ring-gai Council are more than happy to have her residing within their council area after she has been breed and temperament tested as per the legislation. Only two months ago, Blacktown Council in Sydney revoked a declaration on another dog in very similar circumstances - why won't the Hills Shire do the same? We as a community expect better from our Councils. We expect them to do everything possible to keep dogs that have caused no harm with their loving families. We understand that they are working within faulty legislation that includes breed-specific restrictions, and that sometimes they have absolutely no choice or wiggle room when it comes to the outcomes of individual dogs and families. This is NOT the case with Ruby - the Hills Shire Council can afford her a chance while working within all provisions of the NSW Companion Animals Act - and yet they have refused to do so. Signing this petition will enable us to send an email to the Hills Shire Council Mayor and Councillors on your behalf, requesting that they do the right thing for Ruby and her loving family, and revoke the declaration. She, and they, should not be punished for her previous owner's inaction, and she deserves her right of appeal. For those who live within Hills Shire Council, or if you know somebody who does, please email your local Councillor separately and let them know as a voter in the area you expect for them to revoke Ruby's declaration. The contact info for Councillors is here: http://www.thehills.nsw.gov.au/Councillors.html#.Uwm26vSSydP While we are fighting for Ruby to be given a chance at life, the impounding costs to her family are rising. Please consider contributing towards the cause. The community's support in cases like this ensure that we can provide families with the best resources and work towards a positive outcome for them and the community as a whole. Account Name: Team DogAccount Number: 10219543BSB: 062654 Together, we can see Ruby home with her loving family. Keep updated on Ruby's progress: www.facebook.com/theteamdog