Killing of dogs
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From: Madeline Smith
Wellington City Council,
I write with regard to the killing of Sarge by Gisborne District Council.
Please confirm that there are checks and balances in place to prevent a similar incident of gross negligence by Wellington Animal Control?
What are the checks?
Please advise whether healthy dogs with no apparent behaviour issues are killed by Wellington Animal Control?
What is the method of killing dogs used by Wellington Animal Control?
Are your policies for animal management approved by the SPCA?
From: BUS: Assurance
Wellington City Council
Kia ora Madeline
Thank you for your email dated 26 September requesting information.
Our team will manage your request under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 which requires us to provide a decision as soon as possible, but no later than 25 October, being 20 working days of receipt.
The reference number for your request is IRC-5495.
Please contact us if you have any further questions.
The Assurance Team
Email: [email address]
Wellington City Council | W Wellington.govt.nz | |
The information contained in this email is privileged and confidential and intended for the addressee only.
If you are not the intended recipient, you are asked to respect that confidentiality and not disclose, copy or make use of its contents.
If received in error you are asked to destroy this email and contact the sender immediately. Your assistance is appreciated.
From: Ian Hunter
Wellington City Council
Thank you for your email the Council received on 26 September 2023 in
which you asked a number of questions in respect to dogs in the care of
our Animal Control Team.
I will address your questions in the order of your email.
1) Please confirm that there are checks and balances in place to prevent a
similar incident of gross negligence by Wellington Animal Control?
I can advise that wellington City Council’s animal control activities are
provided by Hutt City Council’s Animal Control Team who adhere to the
highest standards of humane and respectful treatment of the animals in
their care, with practices having been developed via the sharing of
information and best practices of other Council’s across New Zealand.
2) What are the checks?
When a dog is impounded, the team makes every effort to contact the
registered owner, particularly where dogs are wearing a current
registration label or disc, or the dog is microchipped.
Where owner information is held, notices are given, and owners are
notified through various channels including telephone calls, emails, and
In situations where a dog remains unclaimed, the Adoption Team will assess
a dog’s temperament and behaviour towards people, other dogs, and other
Where a dog is successful in these tests and is deemed suitable for
re-homing, the dog is socialised and prepared for adoption.
Further information on this process can be accessed on the Hutt City
Council website via the following link: Adopt a dog | Hutt City Council
3) Please advise whether healthy dogs with no apparent behaviour issues
are killed by Wellington Animal Control?
As outlined in the answer to question two above, the team make every
effort to ensure healthy dogs are returned to their owners or are adopted.
However, whilst a dog may be ‘healthy’, if they display behavioural issues
which prevent their being re-homed, then they will be euthanised.
4) What is the method of killing dogs used by Wellington Animal Control?
I can advise that animals are euthanised only in the following
o Where impounded dogs (dogs found roaming) are not claimed within seven
days and are assessed as being unsuitable for re-homing.
o Where dogs are surrendered by their owners due to behavioural
(attacking people or other animals), or health issues.
In the unfortunate event that euthanasia is necessary, the process is
performed by registered Veterinarians with the utmost care and compassion.
Before administering the euthanasia drugs, the dog is sedated to ensure it
is calm and pain-free. This process is always carried out with two Animal
Control Officers present to provide comfort to the dog.
5) Are your policies for animal management approved by the SPCA?
I can advise that the SPCA does not set animal welfare standards such as
codes of welfare.
Codes of welfare are issued by the Minister responsible for animal welfare
under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 which sets detailed minimum standards
for specific species and activities.
The Council's Animal Services policies and procedures are guided by
various legislation such as the Animal Welfare Act 1999, administered by
the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Dog Control Act 1996,
administered by Department of Internal Affairs.
Please contact me if you have any further questions.
Senior Advisor | Official Information Team | Wellington City Council
E [email address] | W Wellington.govt.nz
The information contained in this email is privileged and confidential
and intended for the addressee only.
If you are not the intended recipient, you are asked to respect that
confidentiality and not disclose, copy or make use of its contents.
If received in error you are asked to destroy this email and contact the
sender immediately. Your assistance is appreciated.
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