RSPCA campaign all ready to roar

A grass roots public meeting has been arranged for July 23 at the Carrington Hotel to put pressure on the NSW RSPCA to reverse its decision to close its animal shelter. (File photo).

A grass roots public meeting has been arranged for July 23 at the Carrington Hotel to put pressure on the NSW RSPCA to reverse its decision to close its animal shelter. (File photo).

Protestors against a recent decision by the NSW RSPCA to close its community-built animal shelter in Katoomba in November have decided to stage a public meeting later this month.

Silvia Ford, a Blue Mountains RSPCA branch member since 1979 who set up a campaign page on Facebook, said the meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 23 from 7pm at the Carrington Hotel's library room "because people keep asking for it and they want to let the RSPCA's CEO Steve Coleman know how angry they are.

"I think the only thing we've got left is people power," Ms Ford said.

"We've got heaps of public support - quite a few thousand signatures on paper (petitions) and about 6,000 on the change.org website. My daughter went around with a petition in Katoomba last week and told me she didn't have to ask anybody to sign - they just did it."

Ms Ford said she invited Mr Coleman to attend.

"I think he needs to see in person the level of community concern and anger about this.

"We've also asked the local (state) MP (Roza Sage) and the opposition's representative (Trish Doyle), the mayor (Mark Greenhill) and council representatives to attend."

An RSPCA NSW spokeswoman told the Gazette Mr Coleman is yet to confirm if he will attend the meeting and was seeking details about its format, purpose and who will be speaking.

"Mr Coleman has already gone to meetings in the Blue Mountains including a Katoomba Chamber of Commerce meeting, a Biznet meeting and he has spoken to council and to local vets," she said.

"He is unsure whether going to another public forum is really going to be beneficial."

In early June Mr Coleman said the Katoomba shelter costs $800,000 to run and financial circumstances meant the RSPCA could not continue to keep it open beyond six months.

Ms Ford said she understands Blue Mountains City Council is in the process of negotiating a contract for using pound services based in the Hawkesbury. "I hope they (council) do not rush into that," she said. "The Hawkesbury pound has a very high euthanasia rate and it is located an awfully long way from places in the Upper Mountains like Katoomba and Blackheath."

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