Geelong Advertiser
Shane Fowles

January 24th, 2012

PROTESTERS are furiously lobbying government leaders to halt The Lost Dogs’ Home from setting up in Geelong.

Councillors and local MPs are being inundated with letters of opposition, claiming the long-running organisation wanted to take over the Geelong Animal Welfare Society shelter.

Activists have spread speculation the City of Greater Geelong was to consider a proposal by The Lost Dogs’ Home to build a new facility on the current Geelong Animal Welfare Society site at Moolap.

However The Lost Dogs’ Home has rubbished the claims.

“There is absolutely no truth to that rumour,” managing director Graeme Smith said yesterday.

“It is absolute codswallop. We have no intentions of taking over the contract or establishing a centre in Geelong.”

Buoyed by their success in delivering improvements at Geelong Animal Welfare Society after a public campaign last year, local animal rights activists now have The Lost Dogs’ Home firmly in their sights.

More than 1250 people had joined a Facebook page yesterday that opposed The Lost Dogs’ Home setting up in Geelong.

The society’s general manager Belinda Russo said she was keen to hold talks with the council to learn the truth.

“If it’s true it would be very disappointing given we are changing the shelter … and going in a direction that’s more advanced,” she said

“It would be a real shame for us to go down we have put so much work into this place to turn it around.”

City Hall has a four-year lease with the Geelong Animal Welfare Society, which is rebuilding its reputation after allegations of animal cruelty last year.

Health and local laws manager Steve Sodomaco said the council was happy with the changes being introduced by the shelter, and the increasing number of homeless animals that were being re-housed.

Ms Russo said the lease didn’t ensure exclusive rights and wouldn’t stop the council or another provider building a shelter.

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