Police officer right to shoot pet dog

A police bullet ended Budda’s agony.
A police bullet ended Budda’s agony. Contributed

AN independent autopsy has cleared a Rockhampton police officer of doing anything wrong when he shot dead a pet dog that had been hit by a car.

On Friday night a police car heading to an emergency hit a roaming Rottweiler, called Budda, on Glenmore Road about 10.30pm.

An officer made a decision on scene to shoot the dog.

Yesterday morning, the RSPCA, which conducted the autopsy on the animal, said the officer did the right thing.

“The animal suffered massive internal injuries and was dying a slow, agonising death,” RSPCA inspector Shayne Towers-Hammond said.

“Police did the right thing.”

He said the RSPCA and police were working together to improve future processes.

“I’m very pleased that the animal’s welfare was the first thing on the police officer’s mind,” Mr Towers-Hammond said.

He said one of the reasons the animal was hit was because it was straying.

“The animal has got out somehow,” he said.

“Straying animals are not only a danger to themselves but others as well.”

In yesterday’s Morning Bulletin, the animal’s owners, Amelia and Wayne Neale, said the officer should have consulted a vet before destroying Budda.

She said police had originally assured the family Budda had a broken back, which hadn’t been the case.

Amelia said the family was also disappointed their pet had been left on the street with a bullet to the head.

“What if a kid had walked past?” Amelia said.

“It should have been a priority to pick up the dog.

“It’s hard for other people to know how they would feel, until they find themselves in this sort of situation.

“Yes, we understand he should not have been out and he should have had his tags on, but it’s very upsetting.”

Meanwhile, Mr Towers-Hammond urged drivers who hit an animal to call a vet to see what should be done.

While he acknowledged the question of who would have to pay a vet’s bill was “up in the air”, he said a driver had “a moral responsibility” for the animal’s wellbeing.

“My advice is to contact a vet as quickly as practical,” Mr Towers-Hammond said.

“We have a number of 24-hour vets in our area.

“Or people can contact the RSPCA on 1300 852 188, where advice can be given on the spot.”

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