Tania Bell with her grandchildren Adam, 7, and Ammy, 8, are struggling to come to terms with the council putting down their dog, Tara. Pictured in the background is the fence the council asked Tania to build to keep Tara in.
Tania Bell with her grandchildren Adam, 7, and Ammy, 8, are struggling to come to terms with the council putting down their dog, Tara. Pictured in the background is the fence the council asked Tania to build to keep Tara in. Robyne Cuerel

Hervey Bay pound put down family dog by mistake

THREE months ago, Tania Bell lost her husband, Rob, to skin cancer.

She and her family could never have imagined that their grief could be made any worse - until their german shepherd, Tara, was mistakenly euthanised when she escaped from the backyard and was taken to the Hervey Bay pound, operated by the Fraser Coast Regional Council.

The five-year-old dog escaped from the backyard of Tania's Scarness home, along with the family's other dog, Diesel, and was involved in an altercation with a neighbour's dog.

Tara (right) was mistakenly euthanised after she was taken to the Hervey Bay pound.
Tara (right) was mistakenly euthanised after she was taken to the Hervey Bay pound. Contributed

The council rang Tania and told her to collect Tara, who was registered.

However a person from the council then rang her back and said the incident Tara had been involved in was under investigation and the council would let Tania know what the outcome was.

Tania received a letter from the council letting her know that Tara would be classified as a menacing dog and that she would need to increase the height of her backyard fence to 1.8m to bring Tara home.

She spent $2500 on timber and other items to build the fence.

But when she went in to see a council compliance officer to double check what she needed to do before they could bring Tara home, she was informed the dog had been euthanised.

The news left Tania and her family heartbroken, especially since Diesel, her husband's dog who had also escaped, had never returned home.

Tania says there is no more the family can do to help Tara, but they are hoping wolfhound-mastiff cross Diesel, who is brindle with wiry hair, might still be found.

"Tara was part of the family," Tania said.

"She was just a good dog. We'd already lost enough this year."

Tania said legal action had been all but ruled out as she had been informed that the cost of hiring a solicitor to take on the council would be more than she could afford.

Fraser Coast Deputy Mayor George Seymour said the council was talking with Tania and her family to resolve the issue.

Phone journalist Carlie Walker on 4120 0423 if you have any information on Diesel's whereabouts.

Tania Bell's dog Diesel, a brindle wolfhound-mastiff cross, is still missing.
Tania Bell's dog Diesel, a brindle wolfhound-mastiff cross, is still missing. Contributed


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