By Karla Akuhata, Waikato Times
A man who adopted a dog from the Te Awamutu SPCA is upset the dog was surrendered to the council and destroyed before he could pick it up.
The dog – a red-nosed pit bull called Red – was among 37 dogs found at the Te Awamutu SPCA when the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RNZSPCA) stepped in to take control of the branch after volunteer Dianne Gray was stood down from her duties last month pending an investigation.
Peter Stet, whose partner is Mrs Gray's sister, said he decided to adopt a dog after his cat died.
He had known Red's brother, Henry, and believed the dog would make a good pet.
"I really liked Henry and Red was the quieter version of him and he would have been really good to have as a bit of a companion."
Mr Stet said he did not take the dog when he first signed the adoption papers, but believed that the dog still belonged to him even after it had been surrendered to the council.
"I have several weeks to register the dog and I was still well within that," he said.
When Mr Stet went back to the Te Awamutu SPCA on June 26, three days after the RNZSPCA had taken control of the branch, Red was nowhere to be found.
Mr Stet later found out Red was among 10 dogs surrendered to the council in a bid to get the number of dogs down to the permitted 20.
RNZSPCA chief inspector Charles Cadwallader said they were not aware that Red had been adopted because there were very few records at the Te Awamutu SPCA.
"Also not only were we not aware that this dog had been adopted by someone, we had actually received assurances from Dianne Gray that none of the dogs left at the centre ... had an owner."
Eight, including Red, were euthanised because of their breed, condition and aggressive behaviour.
Waipa District Council chief executive Garry Dyet said euthanasia was the last resort but the dogs had aggressive tendencies made worse because they had been caged for long periods with little exercise. "I'm not prepared to knowingly let aggressive dogs go back into our community and take a punt on public safety. Nor am I prepared to have animals suffer unnecessarily. It was difficult, but the decision we made was the right one."
* It was a difficult decision (not really), but I've decided that Garry Dyet should be euthanized.