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Australian Local Council Investigated For Shooting Rescue Dogs To Prevent Visitors From Spreading COVID-19

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Rescue Dogs

Horrific news from down under is sending shockwaves across the internet as people are finding out about Australian rescue dogs who were reportedly shot by a local council.

Under their interpretation of COVID-19 guidelines, the council shot dog who were due to be rescued by a shelter. 

The upsetting incident is now posing a serious question in the face of ever-changing regulations: When are actions in the name of public safety taken too far?

Why were rescue dogs shot by an Australian council?

Officials from the Bourke Shire Council in New South Wales reportedly killed the dogs due to concerns over COVID-19 guidelines.

They cited their reasoning as an attempt to prevent volunteers from traveling to collect the dogs. They feared volunteers would transmit COVID-19 after travelling from different locations.

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The Council also listed additional reasons for the decision such as full pens, aggressive behavior displayed by two of the dogs, and claimed the regular rehomer had failed to collect the dogs on two occasions. 

Puppies were among the dogs killed. 

Among the 5 impounded dogs who were shot, was a mother who'd just given birth to a litter of puppies. 

The council has yet to explain why it chose to shoot the dogs in the first place as opposed to euthanizing them. 

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The deaths of the dogs have upset many. 

Shelter volunteers are devastated by the news. Staff members at the pound remain shocked by the decision after they already implemented COVID-19 safety protocols to prevent virus transmission. 

It comes as no surprise that many people across social media are livid over the inhumane act, unable to comprehend how such a deed could be committed in lieu of other options. 

"Disgusting treatment of these poor dogs," wrote one user. "Get them prosecuted up to the hilt." 

The shooting of the dogs is being investigated. 

The RSPCA, an animal welfare charity is investigating the incident as well as the Office of Local Government. Prior to the incident, the Office encouraged councils to continue rehoming attempts for animals while upholding Covid health precautions. 

In a statement, the OGL stated the council informed them of this decision under the basis of protecting "its employees and community, including vulnerable Aboriginal populations, from the risk of COVID-19 transmission.” 

There were no recent Covid-19 cases in the town. 

While New South Wales has seen an increase in cases, reports show there are no recent COVID-19 cases in the town of Cobar, where the shelter the dogs were due to be taken to is located. 

Though, traces of the virus were found in the town's sewage system. 

The OLG is currently investigating whether or not the council violated Australia's animal cruelty prevention laws as animal activists and outraged civillians call for justice. 

As we wait for updates, we can only hope that nothing like this will ever happen again. 

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Yona Dervishi is a writer who is currently working at YourTango as an editorial intern. She covers topics pertaining to self-care, radical acceptance, news, and entertainment.