Gisborne District Council has launched an investigation into the tragic circumstances that led to a much-loved and microchipped local dog being euthanised in a tragic case of mistaken identity.
In a statement, the Council said it, “apologises unreservedly for a very unfortunate incident where a family’s dog was mistakenly put down while being held at the pound.”
The incident occurred on Friday and involved an Animal Control Officer, the Council said. The officer, who is now on leave while the investigation progresses, euthanised the animal using the captive bolt gun method.
The SPCA opposes the routine use of captive bolt guns for the euthanasia of dogs in pounds or shelters, and has this information clearly listed as policy on its website.
“Council has launched a comprehensive investigation to understand the circumstances that led to this grievous error,” the Council said.
“While not all the facts are known, it appears that this was a regrettable case of human error, where the dog was mistakenly identified for another dog that was scheduled to be put down on the same day.”
Council leadership have contacted the family and intend on meeting with them, when appropriate, to discuss the matter further, the Council stated.
“We understand that nothing can replace the deep bond and memories shared between a family and their pet, and we are deeply saddened by the unfortunate event.”
“At this time, we want to reassure the community that we’re taking this matter seriously, and we will take appropriate measures to ensure we learn from this and ensure it does not happen again.
“Gisborne District Council strives to provide an excellent standard of service to our community. In this case, it’s clear, we have failed. We sincerely apologise.”
The Council said it is also providing support to the Animal Control Officer involved, “who is deeply remorseful and shaken”.
“We kindly ask for understanding and patience as we work through the investigation.”
The dog, named Sarge, was both collared and microchipped and lived in a fenced rural property at the time of his untimely death at the hands of Council staff.