THE Sunshine Coast council stands accused of gross insensitivity after dumping the carcass of a Wurtulla man’s pet in a landfill without notifying him – despite its collar bearing a contact number.
University of the Sunshine Coast engineering student Adam Beetham was “disgusted” to learn on Saturday that the council had disposed of his beloved 18-month-old labrador-staffy cross Rocky at the Caloundra landfill after it was found dead beside a road on Birtinya Island.
The carcass of Rocky, which had been missing since last Wednesday after escaping from Mr Beetham’s back yard by digging a hole under the fence, was discovered last Thursday morning by a woman walking her dog – some 500 metres from Mr Beetham’s home.
The woman notified the council.
She contacted Mr Beetham, 22, on Saturday morning after seeing one of the many missing dog posters he had put up in the area.
The council blamed the incident on a “protocol breakdown” involving one of its contractors.
Mr Beetham, who had had Rocky since it was a pup, described the animal as “super loving with heaps of energy”.
He thinks Rocky may have been hit by a car or died from something “more malicious”.
“I would have loved to get a vet to examine him – even just being notified on the Thursday morning so I didn’t have to worry,” he said.
“I was just so surprised they would take a dog and just dump him, especially given he was wearing a collar and was registered … I guess they do just dump dead dogs.”
Mr Beetham said the council originally told him Rocky was disposed of because it was not aware the animal was registered.
“We rang up pounds and vets to see if anyone had seen anything. It just seems so wrong (what the council did),” he said.
Doug Barnes, the council’s collection services coordinator – waste and resources management branch, said Mr Beetham should have been notified.
“On this occasion a relief staff member for council’s contractor was replacing the waste contract manager, who was on annual leave,” he said.
“The relieving manager from another region was unaware of the need to promptly deliver the dog tag details to the council staff at Sippy Creek pound so that the owner could be notified of the death of the dog.”
After the Daily’s intervention, Mr Barnes contacted Mr Beetham yesterday to apologise.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.