Animal Management Centre upgrade: where a focus on the future and streamlined services lead the way
Over the next 12 months, all those at Council’s Animal Management Centre (AMC) will reap the benefits of an $18 million upgrade to the space.
State of the art administration and customer service areas, office spaces, outdoor play areas for dogs and cats, an amazing cattery designed to better address disease management, a new on site vet clinic, more room to accommodate animals and even a research laboratory for mosquito identification are all part of the upgrade. And it’s all designed to make for happier people and animals, and smoother processes.
First to change will be the administration centre, with upgrades including a new facade, interview rooms for customers, and new office space for staff members – who currently work in demountable buildings linked by pathways.
Donna Lange, Triage and Collections Supervisor at the centre, has worked at the AMC for 18 years and says she – along with her team – is looking forward to the upgrade.
‘When I first started here, we had one tiny demountable, and since then we’ve added on demountable after demountable,’ Donna says.
‘So, getting these permanent purpose-built spaces will make things work really smoothly. They will allow the 80 or so staff members here to work more effectively, have better engagement with customers and enable more enhanced animal management solutions.
‘We’re also really excited about the VECTOR research laboratory, which will enable an expansion of our research program into mosquito behaviour: how they breed and spread diseases. We will be identifying mosquitos from different waterways, across the city, looking at breeding conditions, and we will have improved technology for the identification of mosquitos. This space allows the team to more effectively manage mosquitos across the city.’
The new upgrades are also environmentally sustainable, with water harvesting and solar power panels included.
Later, pet accommodation will improve in style and increase in size.
‘A lot of planning has gone into how our facility will continue to service our community into the future. This includes the construction of long-term kennels for dogs who are required to remain impounded while under lengthy investigations. These kennels will also support dogs who need to stay a little longer for socialisation or health benefits before finding their forever home through our adoption program. We’ll also have more grassy areas for exercise and enrichment,’ Donna says.
‘Our new catteries will also be amazing, with spaces for our customers to interact with our adoption cats, and each impounded cat having a state of the art “cat condo” of its own. These spaces are designed to be more comfortable, to reduce stress and most importantly, limit the spread of infectious illnesses.’
Donna, who triages all animal-related customer requests which include wandering animals, animals causing nuisance and dog attacks, will also benefit from a triaging and operations hub to allocate the most appropriate resources to priority animal matters across the city.
‘I love having the opportunity to look at what can be done more efficiently,’ she says.
‘I want our team to be safe, our community to get the best service possible, and to quickly respond to public safety risks caused by animals – that’s what my job is about.’
Donna says among the biggest positive changes she’s seen during her time in the Animal Management program is the introduction of mandatory cat and dog microchipping, mandatory cat desexing and improved disease management protocols at the AMC such as vaccinating dogs at the time of impounding to protect them and others from transmissible diseases.
The very biggest shift, though, has been the way people keep pets.
‘Many pets are no longer seen as animals who are kept in the backyard, or who wander for days before returning home. Pet ownership has really shifted, pets are now commonly referred to as ‘fur babies’ and are truly a part of the family,’ she says.
‘But even fur babies need to be kept responsibly. We want to make sure pets are kept in a way that ensures our community are not at risk of harm or nuisance caused by the keeping of animals. The Animal Management Centre upgrade allows my colleagues and I better resources to help us achieve this goal.’
Visitors to the AMC over the next couple of months are advised that as work continues, there is limited access to main administration and parking. The onsite vet clinic will continue to work with no interruptions to services.