Tania Bell is coming to terms with the loss of her dog which was put down by the council.
Tania Bell is coming to terms with the loss of her dog which was put down by the council. Robyne Cuerel

Beloved dog killed three days before letter from council

A HERVEY Bay mum whose beloved dog was mistakenly euthanised at a council pound has been told the dog was euthanised on December 13 - three days before the Fraser Coast council sent a letter outlining the requirements she would have to meet in order to bring the dog home.

Scarness woman Tania Bell was heartbroken when she found out the family's german shepherd, Tara, had been put down.

Tara had been picked up by the council after escaping the family's backyard and having an altercation with a neighbour's dog.

On December 16, Ms Bell received a letter from the council stating Tara had been classified as a menacing dog and that she would have to pay a $105 fine and build a 1.8m fence to bring the dog home. It also stated Ms Bell had 14 days to appeal Tara's classification as a menacing dog.

However a letter from the council dated January 7 informed Tania that Tara had been put down on December 13 - three days before the outcome of Tara's case was even mailed to Ms Bell.

"She was already dead when they signed the paperwork," Ms Bell said.

"It's just wrong."

Tania had assumed that Tara was mistakenly euthanised in the period between the letter being sent and her visit to the council on December 20 when a compliance officer told her the news.Just months before Tara was euthanised, Ms Bell lost her husband, Rob, to skin cancer.

Her husband's dog, Diesel, has also gone missing, compounding the family's heartbreak.

Acting Mayor George Seymour said the council had acknowledged that the dog was euthanised in error and had apologised.

Last week the council offered Ms Bell a free dog from the pound and said the 1.8m fence she built for Tara - costing $2500 - would be reimbursed.

"The council is conducting an internal investigation so that it can endeavour to ensure that such a tragedy does not happen again," Cr Seymour said.

The council impounded 2200 animals last year, averaging out to six animals each day

About 45% of those animals were reunited with their owners, 25% were rehomed through refuge groups and about 30% were euthanised after they were not claimed and could not be rehomed



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