The Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, which had to leave its long-term location in Carlton this year to make way for a development, is in limbo after the state government refused to help fund a new facility at Kurnell.
The organisation, which was established 76 years ago to house lost, abandoned and neglected pets, had asked the government to contribute $9 million towards the $15 million cost of building on the Crown land next to the desalination plant.
The government maintains it has done enough by providing a 50-year lease with peppercorn rent for the site, along with a $500,000 for short term operational expenses.
Sydney Dogs and Cats Home general manager Melissa Penn said the $500,000 was "a band aid over a gaping wound, and doesn't resolve the animal crisis we are seeing".
Ms Penn said the shelter, which was divided between two temporary locations, had already cut back services to the eight councils it services and the wider community.
"We are grateful for the short term funding and lease of the land, but it is an unused site which is bringing in no income to the government. It is not costing them anything to provide a lease," she said.
"We are paying more than $8000 each year in council rates on an empty site we can't yet use.
"Half of the land is unusable due to environmental conservation, while the half we can use has involved us providing extensive environmental land contamination testing and various surveys and reports, including vegetation management, conservation and Aboriginal heritage.
"This has used up significant resources, both in time and large costs.
"The site has no power, water, storm water or sewerage and will cost us several millions of dollars bringing in services before we can even start building."
A spokesman for the Local Government Minister Wendy Tuckerman said the government had provided "significant support". He said the lease at peppercorn rent equated to "a commitment of about $8 million".
"The Office of Local Government has had discussion with the eight impacted councils, and will continue to engage with these councils into the future," he said.
State MPs Mark Speakman (Cronulla) and Mark Coure (Oatley) are strongly supporting the funding request.
Mr Speakman said, "As 'dad' for Lucy (a Golden Retriever adopted from the shelter at Carlton in 2018) and having met staff on a number of occasions, I know what a critical animal welfare service the Home provides".
"I have and continue to strongly support the organisation's request for funding to build a new facility at Kurnell and have advocated on its behalf to the Premier, the Treasurer and the Minister," he said.
"In the meantime I successfully advocated for the emergency funding of $500,000 the Home received recently.
"The new facility at Kurnell would be a great asset for the Shire but more importantly a lifeline for more than 3400 animals every year."
Mr Coure said, "Sydney Dogs and Cats Home has a special place in the heart of many people in our local community".
"I know of countless families that have adopted from the shelter and welcomed a furry friend into their family," he said.
"I have seen firsthand the vital work the Home does, they have a pro animal welfare, no-kill policy, which is incredibly important. So many unwanted dogs and cats are given a second chance at life through the dedication and perseverance of the team at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home.
"While I recognise the important financial assistance the NSW Government has already given the Home, I think there is a strong case and need for them to be further assisted in building their new shelter at Kurnell.
"I have written to the Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Local Government asking them to reassess the Home's request for financial assistance.
"I am also looking forward to meeting with the President and General Manager of the Home next week to see what more I can do to support them."
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