PETITION TARGET: The Minister for Local Government for New South Wales, Australia, Shelley Hancock
The council claims the senseless and brutal deaths were necessary to protect its employees and community, which includes vulnerable Aboriginal populations, according to a spokesperson from the Office of Local Government (OLG), which oversees the council.
While Australia has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases, Bourke, where the dogs were shot to death, has had a total of 33 coronavirus cases and Cobar, where the shelter is located, has had one, according to government health data at the time of this story’s publication.
The OLG is “examining the circumstances surrounding the incident,” to determine whether the killings violated animal and prevention of cruelty laws, the office said in a statement.
The state government recently issued guidance to all councils regarding how impounded animals should be treated during the COVID-19 lockdown. In it, councils are encouraged to consider alternatives “before destroying a seized or surrendered animal.”
Rescue volunteers also already had COVID safety protocols in place to handle the dogs — making the killings completely unnecessary, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Sign this petition urging the Minister for Local Government for New South Wales Shelley Hancock to fully investigate the horrifying decision to kill 15 dogs, 10 of which were still babies.