Dog owner's devastation after Down District Council dumps dead pet in landfill site
A dog owner has spoken of his great sadness after the body of his pet was dumped on a council landfill site after it was knocked down and killed.
Carl Hill told the Belfast Telegraph of his distress after he discovered his six-year-old dog Quondo – who was fully licensed and microchipped – had been "thrown out with the rubbish" at Drumnakelly Landfill Site in Seaforde, less than 24 hours after he went missing.
The dog had wandered away from his home in Maghera, Co Down on Sunday January 25. Mr Hill (29) contacted his local dog pounds, veterinary surgeries, and also posted Quondo's photographs on lost and found sites. He later heard a German Shepherd had been knocked down on the Newcastle Road around two miles from his home.
When Mr Hill went to a property close to where the accident had taken place, a homeowner told him he had lifted a dog matching Quondo's description off the road and called a dog warden from Down District Council.
The man told Mr Hill the dog warden had attempted to scan Quondo for a microchip but when he failed to find one, advised him to contact the council.
Mr Hill said this was odd as Quondo's microchip had been scanned by a dog warden the previous week.
"They wouldn't lift the dog off private property so the man had to set him back on the road and the council lifted him on Monday evening," Mr Hill said.
"He had been missing less than 24 hours. He was one of the most beautiful dogs you have ever seen.
"He was in good condition, with a collar on and was chipped. It was clear he was someone's pet and not a stray. But they just dumped him."
Mr Hill said he would have liked the opportunity to bury his beloved pet.
"I wanted to bury him and put up a wee tree at home, but I didn't get that choice. They couldn't provide his collar or chain so while in my heart I sort of know it was him, there will always be a bit of doubt in my mind," he added.
A statement from Down District Council said should its wardens be in the vicinity when it receives a report of a dead domestic pet on a road, the roadside or a public footpath, one will attend the scene to establish if the dead domestic pet is micro-chipped.
"If the examination identifies that the domestic pet is micro-chipped the owner will then be contacted.
"If no micro-chip is found upon examination, the body will be removed to council's landfill site at Drumnakelly, Demesne Road, Seaforde."
A Department of Environment spokeswoman said: "It would not be a breach of a landfill waste permit if the body of a domestic pet is placed in a refuse container or picked up with other waste and this is disposed of at a landfill as general municipal waste or road sweepings."