A family dog who was put down after becoming separated from its owners was in poor health and was “suffering” before it died, Wakefield Council has said.
The local authority has defended the actions of its dog wardens, who were passed 18 year-old pet Scampi by a couple who found him, when he wandered away from his South Elmsall family on a walk.
The case was brought up at a council meeting last week by ward member Michelle Collins, who claimed that the dog was put down in an act of “unauthorised euthanasia” and that its finders had been told it would be taken to kennels to be rehomed.
But the council says that Scampi was put down on professional advice because of its condition and that the decision was made in the dog’s best interests. It has also expressed its sympathy to the family, who could not be traced before Scampi died.
Glynn Humphries, service director for the environment and Streetscene, said: “A lost dog was found on Sunday October 7 by a couple who kept it overnight. Unfortunately the microchip was not up to date, there was no collar and tag and the owner could not be traced.
“Sadly the animal was in such a poor state of health, and after being assessed by two independent vets the very difficult decision was made to put the dog to sleep to end its suffering.
“These decisions are only made if deemed absolutely necessary and recommended by veterinary professionals.
“The owner has since been in contact with the council and we have discussed the situation with them and offered them our sincere condolences. We understand that the loss of any animal is incredibly upsetting, particularly for the owner. We always act in the best interest of the animal.”
Last week’s council meeting was told an investigation into the incident was taking place.