Puppies among 15 dogs shot by Bourke Shire Council over virus rules

“This is being investigated for possible violations under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979. Because this is an active investigation, privacy and legal considerations do not allow us to provide further information.”


The Office of Local Government, which has encouraged councils to continue to house animals for which health advice can be followed, is also investigating the incident to see if animal cruelty laws have been violated.

Emma Hurst, a member of the House of Lords for the Animal Justice Party in NSW, said she was contacted last week by a desperate member of the community about the dogs and tried to relocate them before learning they had been killed.

“This is absolutely heartbreaking – to think that these lost or abandoned animals don’t even have a chance to find loving homes forever,” said Ms. Hurst.

“To be clear, there is no health ordinance that obliges a council to kill the homeless or lost animals in their care.”

The council said it only had five holding bays and had five dogs at the shelter in early August, one of which had a litter of 14, four of which died. Two dogs handed over to the council had shown aggression towards the staff and three dogs were caught roaming the streets. No one was registered or chipped.

The council’s statement said Bourke has supported animal housing in the past and will continue to do so, and said the euthanization rate had dropped from 95 percent to almost zero in recent years, “so it is now almost 100 percent of the dogs approaching “. until this necessary measure is relocated ”.

The statement said it will review its rehoming practices and reach out to organizations that may be able to help.

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