Council in dog of an act as pets dumped at the tip

Lisa Mills with a photo and collar of her dog Roxy, knocked down and killed on Sugar Road, Maroochydore.
Lisa Mills with a photo and collar of her dog Roxy, knocked down and killed on Sugar Road, Maroochydore. Iain Curry

SUNSHINE Coast Council is continuing to dump the carcasses of pets at the rubbish tip without notifying their owners, two years after it blamed a similar incident on a "protocol breakdown".

Lisa Mills is the latest dog owner to discover the council dumped the body of her best friend without bothering to check microchip and registration details.

Roxy, a one-year-old maltese-shih tzu-schnauzer cross, dug her way out from under a fence and was hit by a ute on Sugar Rd, Maroochydore, on November 23 while Mrs Mills was at work.

A distraught Mrs Mills searched for her beloved pet and was reassured by the council that it had not collected her body.

But after a witness came forward with a description of a council worker following a story in the Sunshine Coast Daily on November 29, the council confirmed that Roxy's body had been collected and dumped in general waste.

Although Roxy was microchipped, the council did not contact Mrs Mills.

"Really, my intent was to find a kind citizen had buried my dog and to find out where she was buried so I could say farewell," she said

"I didn't expect to come across this, and when I found out this had happened more than once, I just kept thinking 'This can't happen again'."

In October 2010, the council apologised to Adam Beetham, whose labrador-staffy, despite being microchipped and registered, was dumped in landfill after being found dead on a roadside.

At the time, the council said a relief waste contractor had been unaware of the need to pass on registration details to pound staff so they could contact the owner.

The issue resurfaced in January this year when Sunny, a two-year-old labrador gifted by a dying man to his sons, was dumped at a council tip after he escaped from his Alexandra Headland yard and was hit by a car.

But last month, Jed, an 11-year-old staffy, who wandered away from his owner's workplace at Nambour, was dumped at landfill after his body was found floating in Petrie Creek at Nambour.

His owner Kerrie Jones was not contacted even though he was tagged as registered and microchipped.

She only learned of his fate when a council staff member responded to an advertisement in a newspaper.

Callee Morgan, whose sons owned Sunny, was angry to hear of more dogs dumped despite Cr Thompson's promises earlier this year.

"It has to stop," she said.

Mrs Mills, who was told that a council contractor had made a mistake in not checking Roxy's details, said the council's procedures appeared to be inconsistent.

"How many other dogs has this happened to?"

She urged anyone who found a lost pet, dead or alive, to try and track down the owner either themselves or through a vet before contacting the council.

"People need to know that. And the council needs to know that. The community shouldn't be worried about the way they deal with their pets," she said.

Cr Chris Thompson, now the Deputy Mayor, promised in January to ensure every effort was made to contact owners before the disposal of their pets. He was "surprised" yesterday to hear it was still happening.

"First let me say there has been a review. It is very distressing for our staff and the families of the pets as well."

Cr Thompson said attempts made by the council staff to contact owners of microchipped dogs were recorded and he would examine the logs today.

Topics:  council pets

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