Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pet dog's death at AVA centre raises worrying questions

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MY DOG escaped from our yard on Wednesday after he found a small hole in the fence of our new premises. Luckily (so I thought) he was found by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) on the same day, and the staff informed me the next morning.

When I visited AVA's Centre for Animal Welfare and Control immediately, I was advised to wait as my dog needed to be micro-chipped. I was also told that my dog would not allow anyone to touch him as he was very scared.

I offered to calm him down and hold him while they did the procedure, but the staff opted to do it themselves.

Five minutes later, I was escorted into a room where they told me that my dog had to be forcefully restrained by the neck and when they finished, he had collapsed and died.

I never got to see him, only his lifeless body. While my family is grief-stricken and my children inconsolable, the attitude of the AVA staff was business as usual.

Who polices the activities at the AVA centre? Is there care and compassion, and proper facilities, and are staff trained to handle terrified dogs?

Perhaps this is one reason for a public perception that calls for changes to conditions at puppy mills and for the humane treatment of strays have fallen on deaf ears.

The AVA offered to do a post-mortem on the dog and we are waiting to see what the results are.

Isabel Motyka (Mrs)