Public outcry ends Gloucester council dog shooting policy

SHOOTING of unwanted and uncontrolled dogs and dumping their carcasses is likely to end after today’s meeting Gloucester Shire Council.

The council’s change of its ‘‘risky’’ policy is a result of national coverage of the practice after recent incidents were reported to the RSPCA, which launched an investigation.

Council’s involvement in the shooting deaths of about 17 dogs was reported to the RSPCA after the animals’ bodies were found at the Gloucester tip.

A report tabled at today’s council meeting shows the dogs were shot, at the request of their owner in late June.

Police were notified after neighbours complained about the conditions in which the animals were living and officers informed the council.

The report said the dogs were shot individually, ‘‘out of sight of the other dogs’’ and the bodies were covered.

The tip was closed to the public while the dogs were killed.

Another four dogs were disposed of by shooting in the year to June 2012, for what are believed to be unrelated reasons.

The RSPCA says it is waiting on a witness statement before it releases any findings.

‘‘In light of the expressions of community concern, a decision was made to abandon euthanizing by shooting,’’ the report said.

Euthanizing animals by shooting was a more risky procedure than putting them down by lethal injection, the council report said.

The council wants to develop a better policy to manage uncontrolled dogs.

The Newcastle Herald has sought comment from mayor Geoff Slack.

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