Pet dog killed by mistake during attack investigation

Molly and Winston were seized by a City of Ballarat ranger.

Molly and Winston were seized by a City of Ballarat ranger.

A BALLARAT family has been left distraught after the RSPCA mistakenly euthanised  its pet dog. 

Janelle Cassar said her family was devastated when its beloved American bulldog Molly was wrongly euthanised after it had been captured by a City of Ballarat ranger following an alleged attack on a Maltese shitzu cross in July.

As if one mistake wasn’t enough for the family, a second pet dog, Winston, a boxer, was mistakenly desexed in the same week.

“I’m devastated. I know they did the wrong thing and attacked another dog, which is sad for everyone, but this isn’t right,” Ms Cassar said.

Ms Cassar said she rang the RSPCA the day after the attack and was told to call the City of Ballarat.

“I called the ranger. He then informed me of what had happened and there would be an investigation pending and, until such time, the dogs would be kept at the Ballarat RSPCA,” she said.

“I let it go until Tuesday when I called the ranger again. He then called me back and said I have two options ... to surrender the dogs and then they would be put down, or once the investigation was finished it may go to court and they would request the destruction of the dogs.

"I asked why they would desex my dog if they were putting him down, but he couldn’t give me an answer and said it was another mistake.” - Janelle Cassar

“He told me to think about it.”

Emotional and missing her beloved dogs, Janelle went to see Molly and Winston on Wednesday and was told there had been a mistake and Molly had been euthanised.

“I was only told because of the fact that I kept pushing to see my dogs,” she said. “Once I finally got to see Winston, the RSPCA had desexed him. I asked why they would desex my dog if they were putting him down, but he couldn’t give me an answer and said it was another mistake.”

City of Ballarat city infrastructure general manager Eric Braslis said the council had been advised by the RSPCA that one of the animals was mistakenly euthanised and the other was de-sexed.

“Council yesterday (Wednesday) informed the owner of the error, and the owner proceeded with surrendering the remaining animal to be euthanised,” he said. “Council is undertaking its own inquiries to establish the facts around this event.”

A spokesperson for RSPCA Victoria told The Courier that the admitted dogs were not identified by the council as seized dogs involved in an attack, and because of this, following the mandatory eight-day quarantine period, the dogs were assessed in the same way as a normal shelter animal to determine suitability for rehoming.

“The assessment resulted in the decision for euthanasia of one of the dogs for medical reasons,” a spokesperson said.

alicia.thomas@fairfaxmedia.com.au

david.jeans@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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