Council caught disposing dead dogs at tip

Nine MSN, Emily Crane, Fri 13 July 2012
A NSW council is being investigated by the RSPCA after staff were caught shooting unwanted dogs in the head before disposing of their bodies at the local tip.

The euthanasia practices of Gloucester Shire Council were revealed by a witness to the shootings, Keith Whittall, reports.

“I was up at the tip and the ranger came in with these dogs on board,” he said.

“I watched this bloke drive down the back, I heard the ‘pop, pop, pop, pop’ of him shooting the dogs, then he drove over to the general waste and just threw them straight off the back of his ute on to the household rubbish.”

Have you witnessed your local council doing something strange? Let us know by sending an email to

RSPCA chief inspector David O’Shannessy said the matter was under investigation to determine if the killings were humane.

“The fact it doesn’t sit well with public perception or the community’s attitude doesn’t mean they’ve committed an offence,” he said.

The council’s planning and environment director, Graham Gardner, said euthanasia by lethal injection had been considered, but there were too many problems with training, obtaining the drugs and maintaining a site.

“So the process was abandoned and shooting was accepted as the process that would occur,” Mr Gardner said.

“It’s not something we do regularly.”

Original here

Response by Council to a letter sent:


Filed under Abandoned animals, Animal cruelty, NSW

18 responses to “Council caught disposing dead dogs at tip

  1. companionanimalnews

    The real issue here is why does Gloucester Council feel the need to kill animals rather than work to rehome them?? Ans is “because that is the way we have always done it”. This Council needs educating. Write to them this week. Sadly, shooting animals is an accepted way of destrying dogs in rural areas. Not may people know that, so hopefully this will get the message out to the public. The real issue needs to be fixed – abyssmal rehoming attitudes and practices at Council Pounds, the shooting issue is just a sad consequence. let’s not waste this opportunity.

    And what a pathetic comment by the RSPCA NSW…

  2. This is standard practice with regional pounds in Western Australia. Euthanisia by firearm when done correctly and to RSPCA guidelines is a quick and effective way. Although it may appear barbaric in todays society, it is commonplace.

    Euthanisia by injection is not practicable in rural settings due to availibilty of quailified persons, if the animal is injured on the side of the road or the size of the animal, ie kanagaroo, equine or stock.

    The RSPCA is correct in thier comment. Inspectors carry firearms for this purpose as regional rangers do.

    Most regional pounds have a seperate pit for “medical and animal waste” in accordance with health department guildlines. This pit is normally positioned out of public view and is covered over daily to prevent any cross infection. The informant in this article in my opinion has exagurated his comment.

    As a regional ranger I had to destroy hundreds of animals in my career. A task which is stressful to perform. When it had to be done the tipstaff saw my warning lights on my ute on, they knew to keep clear.

    The comment made by the blog author in relation to rehoming regional dogs is ill informed. Not all dogs can be rehomed. I suggest that a tour through an aborginal community would be beneficial to see the poor creatures first hand. The dogs are boarderline feral with pack mentality, underfed and not trained. Unless the dogs are removed as puppies, rehabilitation and rehoming is not achievable. Also in mining towns the CUB element who leave thepoor dogs out in over 40 deg C tempretures in the back yard all day, that causes the dogs brains to literily fry and go insane. The dog escapes and causes damage to other animals or persons can not be rehomed. Organisations like WSPA are not interested in dog health programs and Indigious organisations try and impliement programs of desexing and parasite control, but funding is few and far between. Children suffer in these communities without assistance, so help for dogs is a low priority. Some of these communities have no assess to medical aid or an ambulance at the least.

    Euthansia by firearm and landfil disposal is a wide spread practice in the rural and regional communties. It is a practice not restricted to councils. However, its a quick and safe method in comparrision to lethal injection that i have observed fail and C02 gassing, which was the standard practice until up to the 1990s.

    The real issue here is acccruate reporting of these matters without bias.

    • Geoff Birkbeck your comments are ignorant and ill informed.
      You obviously have zero compassion for animals.
      Yes I bet you also enjoy hunting.I know your type!!You are not an animal advocate.Shame on you.What are you doing Geoff on an animal welfare blog.You don’t belong here!
      The year is 2012 and shooting and killing of animals is not an acceptable practice.This Council as with many others should be focusing on rehoming these poor abandoned animals and not trying to KILL,KILL and KILL.Shame on them.
      I most certainly have sent Glouster Council an email expressing my disgust re these uneducated uncompassionate morons

  3. councils need to get in touch will what the public want and start working with rescues & rehoming groups and also allowing volunteers to come help clean and walk the dogs etc. Some council pounds are starting to do this which is great. We pay enough for our pets to be registered I don’t see what they are using that money for

  4. companionanimalnews

    Our letter to Council:
    Good afternoon Councillors,
    We are an information and lobby group concerned with stopping un-necessary killing of animals in Australian pounds.

    You may know that around 250,000 healthy cats and dogs are killed each year in Australian pounds and shelters. This is an atrocious number for a civilised society. In fact Councils here in NSW kill 16 times per head of population compared to the UK, who have similar numbers of pets per head of population.

    The incident in your Council reported in the press recently highlights the problem – the majority of Councils take the easy road by assuming that animals that come to them are to be disposed of, rather than efforts put in place to assume responsibility for their well being and return to a safe home. I suspect that you as Councillors would probably, like the vast majority of the community, have little idea of what goes on in the pound or at the dump. It’s away from prying eyes – what is out of sight is out of mind – it’s what we have always done – who cares anyway??

    Thankfully there are a growing number of people who do care, and incidents like this are coming to light by the day. The way a society deals with its animals, who cannot speak for themselves, is a mark of its intellect, culture, ethics and civilisation.

    To hear of dogs being shot is distressing, but to me, no more distressing than being killed by other means ( they try to call it “euthenasing” as a way of sugar coating it, but killing is killing is it not?).

    I am not going to go into an attack on your council – what’s done is done. It’s a terrible incident, and you don’t me to throw that at you.

    What I would like you to know is that there are a growing number of Councils here and in other countries that are taking a different approach. An approach that says :

    • How we treat our animals is a reflection of us
    • We take responsibility for our animals
    • Killing them is the absolute very last thing we ever do, and actually, we just don’t do it
    • We do everything in our power to find them a home ( except of course those that are irredeemably ill or injured, and those who are a menace to society)
    • We educate our community about responsible pet ownership
    • We are slowing down un-necessary breeding in our community by backyard breeders and puppy farmers
    • The way we have done things in the past is not the way we will do things in future

    I can network you with senior managers of shelters and councils who are taking a different approach and who I am sure would be pleased to assist you and provide support.

    I will point you to some excellent resources available in the US who are leading the way with their No Kill Equation ( NB please don’t jump to the wrong conclusion – “No Kill” means No Kill of healthy and rehomable animals).

    I attach one summary document for your information – the “101 primer” for how you can change things. This document is written specifically for public officials. Please find some time to review this is my request.

    I also provide a link to other resources that you will find of great value :

    In Australia we have the “gettingToZero” campaign designed and implemented with great success by the Animal Welfare League of Queensland – you can download the model at

    What you must understand is that nothing will change unless the senior leadership of the Council make the decision to implement these life saving models.

    The bottom line is that it’s down to you.

    I hope you take this opportunity as a “wake up call” and reflect on and take a path more aligned with our times, rather than sticking with the old model. You have chance to join the leaders in NSW and Australia.

    Please can you let me know what you can do and will do.

    As I said above, I can introduce you and network you with people who have been down this path and are generous in sharing their experiences.

    Thank you for your time.

    Council emails: ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’

  5. Jan Baker

    will send off emails this weekend….disgusting…what an easy way out…yes what do councils do with tax payers money…..very weak RSPCA where does your authority start…..”For all creatures great & small”… we don’t worry about the ones in between or really any of them……Shame!!!!

    • selwyn marock

      Generally politicos STEAL TAXPAYERS Money

      • cathy castleton

        selwyn, i have ceased all financial support for the rspca, there are far better orgs out there doing it for abused animals, eg seniors and silkie rescues, pound rounds etc, check these on fb. the minimizing of this offensive dog killing by the rspca is the last straw for me.
        no excuse for a council ranger to be jury, judge and executioner today, like you say its not the 1800″s.
        as you say, death by bullet to the head is no guaruntee of a so called euthenasia ie peaceful death. for these dogs, seeing their companions shot, then dumped in the dump dead and lifeless or screaming from a brian injury, is not on. the ranger doesnt sound like he has any ethical standards, or even skills, typical of a gun crazy killer he degrades the victims so that they deserved to be shot, sounds like a psychopath.good choice for a council ranger, speaks volumes ….
        the dogs only offenses were to be in terrible situations, no mention of any redress by prosecuting the slack owners, no, the rspca says “we” dont know because we dont live in the bush.. tings get done different here….
        well gloucester is a short drive to newcastle. wonder if they would get away with that crap at the rutherford pound??

  6. companionanimalnews

    I hope we don;t have big arguments brewing here. Geoff has written to me on many occasions and I do know that he has a genuine level of compassion for animals. Whilst I don;t agree with everything Geoff says, he has a particular view formed by many years of experience as a sole Ranger in remote conditions and rural regions – something that the majority of us will never face. I personally value Geoff’s comments, even though not always agreeing. He is not frightened to express his views, which is not a bad thing. And it opens up debate, which is a good thing. His experience is, in my view, worthy of listening to. By the way Geoff, go to UK and visit the Dogs Trust: “we never destroy a healthy animal”. I have. Every rehoming centre has a difficult dog section – they will work with and not give up on even the most difficult cases, and get them rehabilitated, usually of course only to people capable of dealing with “difficult” dogs. Their view is that the vast majority of difficult dogs can be rehabilitated, and they prove it time and time again. Of course they have the facilities and resources to do it. The problem here is that most councils are ignorant of what is possible and they won’t put the dollars into it. If they are not going to do it, then stop all the breeding that goes on.

  7. The point is being missed here.Glouster is a rural community but it is not a remote rual community.Killing a poor animal by a firearm IS NOT a quick safe method.I am disgusted that this uncivilised barbaric practice is occuring in my locality.This is dreadful.The council should try to find homes for these poor animals instead of just using them as target practice.The year is 2012.If euthanazia is required it should be done by lethal injection by a local vet and not death by bullets or gas chamber.Compassion for animals is sadly lacking.
    My recent encounters with the RSPCA over the last 3 years have been dreadful.I once thought of them as a wonderful compassionate animal organisation but no longer.My family and I have now cancelled our arranged bequeaths that we had in place. Paul Archer from “Death Row Dogs” knows all about this and published an article 2 years ago re them frequently murdering dogs at Port Macquarie RSPCA shelter due to its proximity next door to a local brothel.If a distressed dog barks ever so slightly a few barks even if they don’t usually bark they are killed without delay.This is still happening on a regular basis.Port M, RSPCA shelter killed a beautiful ex Australian customs beagle dog 2 years ago the day his profile advertisement was published in the local newspaper all because he barked in a storm.Duke was not a dog that barked.
    Desexing of dogs and cats indeed needs to be promoted by Councils Australia wide

  8. cathy castleton

    how can it be acceptible to kill an animal in front of another?
    I have cancelled all contact with the rspca, i used to be a member and give a monthly donation but have stopped recently, have been let down when i tried to seek help for 2 abused dogs, and items like this one reinforce that belief.The rspca are becoming irrelevant, there are far better organisations actually caring for animals out there, rehoming/fostering etc.
    gloucester councuil you are wrong, gloucester is not in some remote area ,it is near newcastle and many other regional centres.for the council to imply that is bullshit.a wrong is a wrong wherever it occurs.
    killing dogs like this is not on.the rspca will never get a cent off me again ever.

  9. Jo

    These dogs were starving, lying in their excretement, eating their puppies as they were being whelped. They were never going to be ‘rehomed’ or ‘fostered’. they had been terribly neglected, some had swallowed baits laid by neighbours because they had been killing cattle (they were starving, and untended – there were bits of dogs lying around). A relative of the owner called the police to deal with the problem. They called the ranger. A single clean bullet is a lot quicker than the stress animals will now have to endure to die from death in a syringe for $100 a pop. I feel sorry for a) the ranger for having to do the dirty work and for having to cope with all the death threats for doing his job; and b) for the animals who were left to starve. Someone posted about the horror of an animal being shot in the head. Where it you want it to be shot? In the spine, or the back legs?

    • Jo, You are obvoulsy friends with someone on the scum Glouster Council.
      They didn’t even approach any animal welfare organisations about the prospects of rehoming these dogs and their puppies.They couldn’t be bothered.They didn’t even try!Glouster Council has a reputation for shoot and kill.They are too lazy and too uncompassionate to care.All they care about is saving money by murdering these poor animals rather than pay vet a fee to humanely euthanase Glouster council, very rarely attempt to rehome animals in their area.They kill quite a lot of dogs and cats with this shoot and kill disgusting policy at the tip site.This is not just a one off incident.It has been happening for a long time.These scumbags have been caught out bigtime.
      As for the wide spread negative publicity and death threats well they deserve them.It is called karma!
      Jo, do you realise that many bullets in the head miss the target..This creats a slow, cruel, stressful and agonizing death for these poor animals.We are in the year 2012 and not 1888.Time to be civilised and treat all animals large and small humanely and with compassion.

    • cathy castleton

      jo are you an associate of the killer employed by the gloucester council?
      blind freddy can see that.
      so how then is it acceptible to end it all by shooting the offending dogs(their “offense” was to be allegedly very mistreated…where is the rspca??)
      and to get some hick to shoot them at the dump, in front of each potential victim?
      this is australia you redneck, it is actually illegal to torture animals here.
      no attempt to right any wrongs for these victim dogs, unlike the attempts made by rescue orgs, just have a quick look at facebook sites for dog rescue, lots of previously abused dogs and cats get rehomed.yes in australia, and even nearer, even in newcastle…australia..if they get a chance i own a dog and a cat from the pound there…
      so your friend the dump killer gets to play judge jury and executioner?
      he must be paid a lot, big job for a man with a gun, no brain needed obviusly balls needed either, defenseless dogs against a gun.
      once again, i have ceased any financial support for the rspca, never again, another bunch of redneck killers if they are truthfully endorsing your mates slaughter tactcs at the dump.

  10. Jo

    Sue Lesmond you can’t distort the facts to hit the emotion button. It is simply false to sayGloucester council ‘kill quite a lot of dogs and cats with this shot and kill disgusting policy..” The facts are that 4 dogs were shot by Gloucester Council in the last 12 months. A regional council. These dogs were never going to be re-homed Sue they had eaten baits, they were dying, starved, and vicious. Re-homing is a pipedream when a poisoned dog is too vicious to be taken out of its cage. There is no suggestion that the ranger didn’t kill with one clean bullet. There’s always a 2nd bullet. And that’s a lot kinder than capturing, restraining, driving to the vet, caging, strapping down and being injected. Don’t tell me that an animal taken to the vet to be euthanised doesn’t know its fate.250,000 animals a year are put down in Australia. That surely is the horror. Where is your criticism of why the dogs were left to get iinto the state they were in? 30 dogs, starving, neglected and poisoned. The solution is not in condemning the councils but but must be in enforcing breeding restrictions because all animal owners do not act responsibly.

    • cathy castleton

      so you are saying any dog picked up by your council goes straight to euthenasia, no second chance for adoption or rescue? or even to find original owners?
      let me remind you, there are laws against animal cruelty. you are showing your psychopathic side.forget the rspca, the police need to be involved,and any witness needs to contact them first. the rspca are as culpable as the dump killer, turning a blind eye. why is it ok to do this in gloucester yet not legal further up the road in newcastle??
      somehow this killer at the council gets to indulge himself in shooting without being challenged, and the slack council turns a blind eye. very poor and you ever make an effort to rehome, or does your council kill every single dog the killer ranger finds?
      and jo you defend this jerk? you have terrible taste in men.

  11. Jo,
    I note that you have failed to list your surname.Concerned people will know who you are, who you know and where you work??
    Jo, You didn’t read the contents of my comment did you?
    I live within this region and I am well aware of what Glouster Council has been up to.I have been aware of the fact that they have been transporting animals to the tip and shooting them ie murdering them for quite some time.Jo this is a well known fact.There have been a hell of a lot more than 4 dogs shot and killed by this Council in the last 12 months.Glouster Council don’t try to rehome any animals via animal welfare.Shame on them.They most certainly have been caught out BIGTIME with all this publicity and most certainly all scumbags involved with this animal massacre on this Council need to have their employment immediately terminated
    Jo, I am also in the Medical profession and I am well aware that a bullet thru the head is not a humane death.Many bullets do not hit the target and require multile shots.SHOOTING DEAD AN ANIMAL IS NOT A HUMANE DEATH.These poor dogs weren’t even given a chance.We are in the year 2012 and not 1888.Yes the owner of these dogs needs the book thrown at them and yes breeding restrictions are essential ie spay and neuter but this is about these dogs horrific muder by bullet by an incompetent Council. It’s time to be civilised and treat all animals large and small humanely and with compassion.Shame on Glouster Council!

  12. This is absolutely disgusting. And to think that the Council would dump the dead dogs is even more horrifying. The Council is supposed to set a good example for everyone else in society. If behaviour like this continues then people will also dump things and even animals illegally. How horrible. For more information on illegal dumping of rubbish please check out:

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