Antrim and Newtownabbey Council has apologised after mistakenly telling a woman that a sick dog she rescued had been put down.
Catherine Ward was devastated to hear the lurcher she found at Valley Park in a very sorry state had been put to sleep, despite her request that it should be sent to the Dogs Trust, which has a 'no kill' policy.
The 22-year-old, who volunteers with the Dogs Trust herself, took the dog to her vet, from where it was collected by a dog warden.
When Catherine called the council, offering to pay the cost of treating the dog and offering to take him, she was told the dog had been put to sleep.
However, when contacted yesterday, a spokeswoman for the council said that the dog has not been put to sleep and was undergoing further assessment and treatment.
She added: "The error in an earlier statement was due to a miscommunication with the veterinary practice and the council apologises for any upset caused."
Catherine said she didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the news.
She said: "I am upset too that no-one from the council bothered to tell me this - I have been under the impression the dog was dead since last Thursday, but the council knew I wanted to take the dog because my friend's mum is willing to give him a forever home.
"I felt such a pity on this dog from the minute I saw it because I knew he was in bad condition.
"I didn't want to take him to my own house because I have a dog and I was worried the stray might have had something that could be passed on."
When she learned that the dog had been collected by the council, Catherine made contact to offer to pay for his treatment, but was stunned to be told the animal had been put down.
She said: "I couldn't understand how they would have gone ahead and put him down even though I claimed him and because I have seen dogs in worse condition. He was such a sweet wee dog, he was so well behaved when he was in my car."