RSPCA Victoria will keep operating the Ballarat pound for the immediate future.
The RSPCA was meant to vacate the Gillies Street South premises by Sunday after the Ballarat City Council awarded a three-year animal shelter and pound services tender to Victorian Animal Aid Trust in July.
However, Animal Aid backed out of the deal a week ago due to occupational health and safety issues at the site, including no emergency fire exit and inadequate large animal accommodation.
Animal Aid was not allowed to access the building before the tender process.
RSPCA, which has been running the facility for 45 years, will now continue as the pound’s operator for the next few months following a council request.
RSPCA Victoria animal services executive manager Helen Cocks said they were working through temporary arrangements with the council and hoped to have a clearer picture soon.
“Our staff will maintain the current hours of operation to the public and it will be very much a case of business as usual for the moment,” Ms Cocks said.
“The RSPCA project team responsible for our departure from Ballarat are working hard to reverse much of the work already done.
“The animals in our care remain our priority, as do our staff and volunteers.
“We are delighted to be able to continue to provide pound services to the residents of Ballarat as we have done for the past 45 years.”
The RSPCA’s initial tender was considered “non-compliant” because it refused to upgrade the council-owned facility at its own cost.