A police bullet killed this family pet.
A police bullet killed this family pet. Contributed

Police officer shoots injured dog

AN independent autopsy has cleared a Rockhampton police officer who shot dead a dog that had been hit by a car, of any wrong doing.

Today's Morning Bulletin reports that Rockhampton's Amelia Neale is in shock after the family’s pet Rottweiler, Budda, was shot by a police officer on Friday night and left on the side of the road.

This morning, the RSPCA, which conducted an autopsy on the animal, said the officer did the right thing.

“The animal suffered massive internal injuries and was dying a slow, agonizing death,” RSPCA inspector Shayne Towers-Hammond said.

“Police did the right thing.”

He said the RSPCA and police were working together to improve future processes.

A police spokesman yesterday explained the dog was destroyed because it was clearly in pain after it had been hit by a police car on Glenmore Road about 10.30pm.

The car was on its way to an emergency when it struck the animal.

The spokesman apologised to Amelia and her family for the distress caused by Budda’s death but backed the officer who shot the animal.

“The dog was obviously in great pain,” the spokesman said.

“The officer had to make a judgment decision.

“We have spoken to a number of witnesses who indicated everything police did was appropriate.”

The spokesman said police then left a number of messages with the Rockhampton Regional Council to remove the animal.

Amelia said her partner, Wayne, discovered Budda’s body the next morning on the road.

She said the RSPCA was doing an autopsy on Budda to see what the extent of his injuries was after being hit by the car.

The upset owner believes police should have sought the advice of a vet before making the decision to kill.

Budda was a much-loved family pet and Wayne’s daughter Taylee and the couple’s son Jayden were both said to be upset.

“He was registered but didn’t have his tag on him,” Amelia said.

“The officers are not vets, so how can they determine the level of pain an animal is in?

“Why didn’t they call another car to come and get the dog?”

She said a shocked neighbour had seen the incident unfold but hadn’t known where Budda lived.

Wayne was returning from an early work shift when he found Budda.

A family friend said to contact the RSCPA.

The RSCPA yesterday confirmed it was investigating the matter but was not in a position to provide further comment.

Council issued a statement saying it hadn’t breached its Dead Animal Collection Policy.

“Officers are to respond to requests to collect dead animals from public land in a timely manner endeavouring to respond within 24 hours of the request and within no more than 48 hours,” the statement said.

“There is a limited number of staff available after hours, including weekends, and in this instance the officer on duty at the time of the accident was dealing with another matter.

“This meant although they could not attend immediately, if the dog had not been collected by the owner, council was still within the parameters of the Dead Animal Collection Policy.”

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