SOURCE: The Irrigator
A MOTHER-OF-THREE has been forced to tell her children their beloved pet dogs are dead after another pet-killing incident involving a Leeton ranger.
On April 17, Suzie Ingram arrived home to find her two Staffordshire terriers, Narla and Bruce, missing with a card from a ranger on the front door informing her the dogs were picked up.
Mrs Ingram called the pound and spoke with the ranger, who told her she would have to pay $270 to get the dogs released, which was organised for the following Wednesday.
That day, Mrs Ingram went to the pound to pick up the dogs but when the ranger pointed to her "dogs" she was distressed to find they were, in fact, not hers.
"He said to me 'I must've taken them out with yesterday's lot'," Mrs Ingram said, adding at this point she was becoming increasingly distressed.
"He then said 'I must have accidentally put them down, oops sorry'".
Now, a devastated Mrs Ingram is asking questions how such a blunder can occur with Narla, a micro-chipped and registered dog. Narla's pup, Bruce, was not micro-chipped or registered.
"I'm the one who has to tell my six-year-old daughter that her pet dogs aren't coming back," Mrs Ingram said, adding she had Narla for the past five years. "The kids adore the dogs, we all did."
The incident comes only three months after a ranger used a firearm to put down a micro-chipped dog. This sparked the commissioning of a report by council into animal control measures, which it has refused to make public.
"Two separate incidents in under six months, the public deserves to know what is in the report," Mrs Ingram said, adding she thinks a "no-kill pound" should be adopted by council.
"Either that or make it easier for people to get their dogs back.
"On the day I tried to pick up the dogs I was told six other pets were being held while the owners got the money together for them to be released."
Leeton Shire Council general manager John Batchelor admitted through a statement the two dogs had been "incorrectly euthanased" with Mrs Ingram being offered compensation.
"Council deeply regrets the incident and has been in discussions with the owner of the dogs and has provided a formal apology and offered compensation," the statement read.
The statement said council has commenced a review of all impounding procedures to ensure the "highest standard of care is afforded to all animals in the facility."
Sadly, Mrs Ingram said council has refused to give the dogs' bodies back so the family can have a proper burial.
"They said it couldn't happen because of health risks, which I don't understand because the dog is micro-chipped," Mrs Ingram said.
"We just want to say goodbye."
THE Leeton woman at the centre of the town's second pet-killing incident has called for the ranger involved to be sacked.
Suzie Ingram pulled no punches when discussing her thoughts on the incident and the actions of the ranger.
"He needs to lose his job," Mrs Ingram said.
"You can't have rangers like that working in the town."
Leeton Shire Council general manager John Batchelor did not confirm the future of the ranger involved. But, he has in the past refused to discuss council personnel.
Council has labelled the incident a mistake.
"An initial review indicates that two dogs that had been set aside for collection by the owner, were inadvertently euthanased," the statement read.
It is yet to be established if the ranger is in breach of legislation governing animal control such as the NSW Companion Animals Act, which outlines seven and 14-day no-kill rules.
Needy Paws dog rescue public officer Ken Rebetzke said it was clear there were problems with the ability of the public to work with the rangers.
"(Having rangers) the public can work with is crucial," Mr Rebetzke said.
ANIMAL rescue group Needy Paws has confirmed it is in talks with Leeton Shire Council to set up an operation in the town.
Following two pet-killing incidents by Leeton rangers, Needy Paws public officer Ken Rebetzke said he has been talking with council general manager John Batchelor about working with the pound to ensure captured dogs can be rescued and rehomed.
"I told him we need an absolute commitment from compliance staff to make it work," Mr Rebetzke said, adding the group utilised dogzonline.com.au to gain a statewide re-homing network.
"We'd need the dogs assessed, photographed and have descriptions written for them, which requires work."
Established in Griffith, Needy Paws dog rescue currently has 12 carers involved with its operations but Mr Rebetzke said he would be canvassing for more animal lovers in the Leeton area.
"Carers are difficult to find, but they are necessary," Mr Rebetzke said. "Animal rescue involves the community."
Mr Rebetzke said Mr Bachelor was receptive to his ideas, but added it was important the pound was only euthanising animals as a last resort.
"We want to get pets out of the pound and back into the yards of their owners as soon as possible," he said. "The process can't be geared towards killing animals."