Pet deaths handled differently here
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.