Auckland Council apologises for dog euthanasia

Last Updated : 21 Oct 2015

Auckland Council has apologised for a truly unfortunate situation where a member of the public’s dog was unnecessarily euthanised because of a breakdown in communication.

The dog, named Patu, was euthanised after being held at the council’s Henderson Animal Shelter for nine days after no one came forward to claim him.

The council’s animal management staff tried to reach Patu’s owner using the contact details recorded on the dog’s microchip. However, the owner had recently moved house and his details were out of date.

The team at the Henderson Animal Shelter were devastated to learn that the owner had been searching for his beloved pet. He had reported Patu missing to council’s call centre, and left his contact details.

Unfortunately, the details on the lost report sent through to the Henderson Animal Shelter were not cross-referenced with the details staff had and the two were not connected.

Tracey Moore, Manager Animal Management, has personally spoken to the dog’s owner and apologised on behalf of the council.

“This is a huge eye opener for the department as to what can go wrong when communication breaks down. We are looking at our processes and will be making improvements to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” says Ms Moore.

Microchips provide the name, address and contact phone number a dog’s owner. As they are on a national database, Auckland Council strongly recommends all dog owners use the system and keep their contact details up to date.

Anyone who has lost a dog should contact Auckland Council on 09 301 0101, which is a 24-hour service. Providing a photo and visiting our shelters is also advisable.

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