Family's pet shot at tip by council ranger

A COLLARENEBRI family is devastated after discovering their much-loved dog, Ninja, was shot dead the day he was removed from their backyard by a council ranger.

The woman, *Kate, said she did not know how to tell her children their much-loved pet was dead.

"They'll be so upset, they really loved that dog," she said.

The mother was alerted to the ranger's early-morning visit when she heard him banging on the side of her house.

She went outside to see what was causing the noise and found him in her yard.

"The dog catcher came out with a rope in his hand and took Ninja out to the tip and shot him in the head," she said, still upset at the memory.

The woman said she was initially confused by the situation and didn't know if he was allowed to take their dog or not.

She said the ranger told her to sign something which she later discovered was a form saying she had surrendered the dog.

"I said where are you taking him and he said they would probably take him to Dubbo and he'd end up in a good home with an enclosed yard," she said

"I was believing what he said, but I still didn't know if he should be doing that."

Kate said she had heard Ninja had escaped from their yard and knocked over a couple of bins in the street.

She said it had been seen and noted by the garbage truck driver the day before Ninja was taken away.

A couple of hours after the dog was removed Kate said she felt the situation was not right.

"I rang and said I wanted to know where my dog was because I didn't think he could do that, and I was told he'd been taken to Sydney."

She said when she got home she vowed to find her dog and called as many pounds in the Sydney area as she could.

None had been sent a dog from Collarenebri.

After a series of calls she spoke to a woman from Sydney Pet Rescue and Adoption who pursued the matter on her behalf.

Kate had been told the dog had been shot the same day he was taken.

"We wanted the dog, I don't understand why he didn't just give me a warning and leave him with me,"?Kate said.

Walgett Shire Council's director of planning and regulatory services Matthew Goodwin said the incident had been handled correctly as far as procedure went.

He said the dog had been surrendered and therefore did not need to be impounded for the usual seven to 14 days.

"The dog was considered a nuisance dog and was repeatedly found out on the street," he said.

"She voluntarily surrendered the dog and then changed her mind about it later.''

Mr Goodwin said it was not unusual to destroy animals on the same day as they were collected.

"We have to consider the health and condition of the animal and western areas tend to have more dogs than people," he said.

When the Daily Liberal asked if Ninja had been shot at the local tip Mr Goodwin said he had.

He added it was not unusual to destroy animals by shooting them, nor was it illegal.

"It is a near instantaneous death from a single bullet," he explained.

"Every council has their own way of treating a situation but inland the animals tend to be shot rather than given an injection."

Mr Goodwin said the council ranger did tell Kate her dog had been rehomed but he said the ranger did it to protect her feelings.

"It was not the correct way to handle the situation and that won't happen again."

*not her real name

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