Charity hits out after three dogs were put down 'unnecessarily'
A dog rescue charity based on the north coast has slammed the area's local council after three Japanese Akita's handed over to them were put down.
A Facebook post placed on the page of Causeway Coast Dog Rescue (CCDR) on Thursday stated that: "It is with great sadness the CCDR reports - what we believe to be the unnecessary euthenisation of three dogs from Portrush by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council."
CCDR has claimed that the owner contacted the council to take the dogs as he had become unable to keep them, as he couldn't pay the £210 bill the local authority required to take charge of the animals. At this point the dog owner contacted the charity and asked them to intervene. And, the CCDR also claimed that unknown to them, the dogs were taken straight to the vet and euthanised without an official assessment to confirm if they could be re-homed.
A spokesperson for the CCDR told the Belfast Telegraph that neighbours of the dog owner had become concerned that the animals were being kept in sub-standard conditions and had contacted the relevant council authorities.
A statement from Causeway Coast and Glens Council, however, said that the dogs had been destroyed with the consent of the owner.
"A request was received by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council from the owner of three Akita dogs on Friday, May 26 to collect them as they were unwanted," the council said.
"However when the council officer arrived, the owner advised that they would not be able to pay the fees for the collection of the dogs (£70 per dog as per council policy). Advice was given to rehome the dogs themselves or to seek the help of a charity. On Tuesday evening, May 30, council received a call from Causeway Coast Dog Rescue (CCDR) advising that they visited the dogs at their home. A further call was received on Wednesday, May 31, from CCDR advising that they considered that the dogs' behaviour would make re-homing difficult, and requesting that council waive the fee for the collection of the dogs, which was agreed. The owner had offered the dogs to the charity but this offer was not taken up. Arrangements were made with the owner of the dogs to meet council officers to surrender the dogs. A signed consent form was received from the owner and the enforcement officer has confirmed that it was drawn to the attention of the owner that the dogs may be humanely destroyed. On the basis of information available a decision was reluctantly taken to have the dogs humanely destroyed."
Meanwhile, the CCDR representative insisted: "We believe that every dog deserves a second chance. We would pay for a dog trainer or assessor to come in and examine dogs in this situation and we always look at every option.
"Council should at least let the public know what their policy towards dogs is and if people are not happy with it then we can help provide alternatives to putting dogs down."