A CABOOLTURE police constable who put down an injured dog and left it at the front gate of a pound that had been closed for almost two years has sparked criticism from community members.
Barbara Saunders and a friend were driving home on the D'Aguilar Hwy near Wamuran in the early hours of July 8 when they passed a large black dog on the side of the road.
"We turned back to see if it was alive," Ms Saunders said. "It was wearing a thick cloth collar and looked like a tradie's dog, possibly a kelpie labrador cross.
"It made no noise, it just lifted its head and looked at us. There were no visible skid marks on the road, I thought that the dog may have fallen off the back of a ute."
When two constables arrived to assist, Ms Saunders said they told her to leave and that they would take care of the dog. Thinking they would take the dog to a vet or the pound, she obliged.
Later that day Ms Saunders called police communications to find out what had happened. "I was advised that the dog had been delivered to the council at Machinery Pde," she said.
The pound at Machinery Pde has been closed since 2010. The nearest pound is run by the RSPCA at Dakabin.
Ms Saunders called the Moreton Bay Regional Council, which attempted to trace the dog but without success.
Ms Saunders then called Caboolture police and after a few attempts she was told the dog had been shot at the scene and the constables had delivered it to the front gates of Machinery Pde.
"I suggested he consider sending out a crew to see if the dog was still there as it would not be good for a member of the public to find a dog that had been lying there for two days with a bullet in its head," she said.
The following day she called the council again as well as Woodford and Wamuran vets and Dakabin RSPCA. There were still no records of the black dog.
"Why wasn't a vet called and given the decision as to the fate of the dog?" she asked.
"I'm kicking myself because I didn't stay. If the dog was in pain I could understand but this wasn't one of those situations."
Caboolture Superintendent Mick Brady said the incident was a sad one but he believed the officer made the decision based on the pain the dog was in.
"Police are called upon to euthanise animals when no other options are available. The dog was obviously in pain from its injuries, which were significant, and the officer made the sad decision to humanely euthanise the dog using a firearm," he said.
Supt Brady said the constables did attempt to locate a vet but there was no 24-hour vet service in Caboolture and no identification tags to contact the owner. He said police had previously taken deceased animals to the council pound at Machinery Pde and were of the belief that the site was still functioning.
"Rather than leave the dog on the road, the officer took the dog's body to that address believing that relevant authorities would attend to it the next working day," he said.
Supt Brady said council animal control later collected the dog from Machinery Pde. No microchip was located and the dog's body was disposed of.
He said police records had been updated to reflect the change in address of the pound.
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