Pet deaths han­dled dif­fer­ently here

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

The case of a missing dog near Tau­ranga has caused a Cam­borne res­i­dent to un­earth some un­set­tling facts about an­i­mal dis­posal at some city coun­cils, but she can rest easy here in Porirua.

Lara Rad­ford was vis­it­ing her sis­ter in Pa­pamoa re­cently, when the much-loved fam­ily pooch dis­ap­peared. Ex­haus­tive searches, post­ing flyers and con­tact­ing vets and the SPCA turned up noth­ing and the fear was that the dog may have been hit by a car.

When ring­ing nearby coun­cils, Ms Rad­ford learned it was ‘‘pro­to­col’’ for dead an­i­mals col­lected by coun­cil em­ploy­ees, or by coun­cil contractors, to be dis­posed of in the near­est land­fill, with no ef­fort taken to scan for mi­crochips or check for tags.

‘‘I rang three coun­cils up there and couldn’t be­lieve what I was hear­ing,’’ she said.

‘‘Re­spon­si­ble pet own­ers, who pay their reg­is­tra­tion fees and have them mi­crochipped, could have their an­i­mals heart­lessly tossed in the dump with­out try­ing to con­tact the owner.

‘‘Peo­ple should at least have the choice over whether to col­lect their pets or not, oth­er­wise we’ll never know what hap­pened. What do I pay my reg­is­tra­tion for?’’

Ms Rad­ford said any such poli­cies need to be ‘‘ dras­ti­cally changed’’ and is con­sid­er­ing con- tact­ing her lo­cal MP about steps she can take to im­ple­ment a rule.

Head of Porirua City Coun­cil’s an­i­mal con­trol, Mur­ray Chilcott, said while they do not have a ‘‘hard and fast’’ rule, if any coun­cil em­ploy­ees find dead cats or dogs, they will do what they can to con­tact the owner.

There are very few roam­ing dogs in Porirua, with dead cats or dogs found ‘‘once or twice a year’’.

In some in­stances, it may be ‘‘too messy’’ to at­tempt iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, how­ever.

‘‘A lot of the time it de­pends on the con­di­tion we find them in, with small dogs hit by big trucks or an­i­mals that may have been ly­ing some­where [off the road] mak­ing your job harder.

‘‘If there is col­lar or tag vis­i­ble, we’ll cer­tainly call the own­ers, and in many sit­u­a­tions we’ll at­tempt to scan for a mi­crochip.

‘‘We make ev­ery ef­fort to let peo­ple know.’’

Contractors are re­spon­si­ble for state high­ways and this may see times where dead an­i­mals are dis­posed of ‘‘in more haste’’, he said.

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