BATHURST'S Animal Re-homing Shelter is a step closer to being built, thanks to a $925,000 grant from the Australian Government's Building Better Regions Fund.
The purpose built shelter will hold up to 48 dogs and 20 cats and will incorporate an adoption pavilion and space to facilitate a companion animal education program and volunteer opportunities.
Federal member for Calare, Andrew Gee was in Bathurst on Tuesday to announce the funding and said the new purpose-built centre "will bring Bathurst Council's animal welfare facilities into the modern era."
"It will make it easier for the dogs and cats to be cared for but also much easier for members of the public to get to know and hopefully adopt new pets and companions.
"I'm really impressed by the emphasis the Centre will place on education. There would be few councils with a facility like this."
Mayor of Bathurst, Bobby Bourke welcomed the funding saying the new facility will cater for the city's needs for decades to come.
"Unfortunately, there's always a lot of disowned pets and council needs something in place to deal with this issue in a proper manner."
Cr Bourke said council hopes to get a development application for the facility in as soon as possible.
He said he expects the approval process to take between eight and 10 weeks. Once approved, tenders for the project will be put out.
It is expected the project will take about 40 weeks to build.
Cr Bourke said it was great to have the Federal Government come on board.
"We have a great relationship with Andrew Gee and with the Federal government.
"It's great to have Andrew, a local bloke, getting involved and helping us get things done."
Cr Bourke said a big part of the new facility will involve education and training.
"Work experience students studying animal well being at TAFE will be able to undertake work experience, something not available to them at the current council facility."
He said council will also look to develop a pets as therapy program, where people can come and spend a day with the animals.
"We are also looking to involve the disability sector; there will be opportunity for training for young people in basic administration and animal handling."
Andrew Gee said previously, council animal shelters have basically been a row of cages or a small stockyard, but said this program takes animal shelters into a new era.
"There will be better outcomes for animals who can be re-homed, it's an example of council leading the way."