Family pets are a beloved and important part of our families, their lives matter. The wrongful euthanasia of beautiful Buddy in January by DAS http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-dog-put-down-amid-confusion-at-pound-20150113-12lckl.html
was one of the contributing factors to this petition. It is not the first dog DAS has wrongfully euthanised, the Canberra Times wrote about poor Dexter back in September 2013 http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/family-upset-after-shelter-puts-down-pet-20130901-2sz25.html
Through my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/JusticeForBuddyNeoMidge
I have heard numerous other awful stories about the gross mishandling of matters by DAS. In late November 2015 little Jiminy was killed by two dogs who broke through the screen door of his home in Dunlop. The dogs also attacked the daughter of Jiminy’s owner when she attempted to save him, surgery was required on her hand. These same dogs had killed another little dog named Saphie the day before. The owners of the attacking dogs handed them in after seeing photos of their dogs on social media.
Shockingly the two attacking dogs were released on dangerous dog licences before Christmas. Neither Jiminy’s or Saphie's owners were notified of this decision by DAS until yesterday, after the Canberra Times contacted them for comment on this article http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/calls-for-greater-transparency-from-das-after-victims-not-informed-of-animals-release-20160113-gm4tad.html
DAS Registrar Fleur Flanery had shown no interest in the cases since the dogs were handed in, she has since advised that DAS didn't investigate the attack in which Saphie was killed and it wasn't taken in to account during the investigation or decision about the dangerous dog licence on which the dogs that killed her were released.
Ms Flanery's claim in yesterday's article about not having the power to euthanise any dog appear to be incorrect according to the Domestic Animals Act 2000 (http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/a/2000-86/current/pdf/2000-86.pdf
Section 68(3) The registrar may sell or destroy a dog mentioned in subsection (2) (c) (i) if— (b) the registrar refuses to issue the licence.
These stories confirmed what I had come to believe about DAS through my own terrible experience in April 2014, their procedures are flawed and their accountability is zero.
We lost our very much loved little dogs Neo and Midgie in April 2014, they were attacked and killed by our neighbour's dogs in our own yard. They broke through the fence and killed Midgie and savagely mauled Neo, he died five days later as a result. Because the attack was not witnessed DAS refused to attend, even though one of the neighbour's dogs was found in our yard.
After a second call to DAS by my sister she argued well enough, for more than seven minutes, and convinced them to come. The ranger talked to both us and the neighbours (who acknowledged what their dogs had done), she took some photos and left, she did not seize the dogs responsible. Division 2.7 section 59 of the Domestic Animal Service Act states that “an authorised person may seize a dog if the authorised person suspects on reasonable grounds that the dog has attacked or harassed a person or an animal.”
In the days after the attack I followed up with DAS who advised there was nothing they could do. Despite the erroneous, irresponsible conduct of DAS staff I managed to have the case reviewed and get the neighbour's dogs declared dangerous, to be kept in an enclosure in their yard. It wasn't what I had hoped to achieve but it was better than nothing.
The neighbour's decided they were not happy about the dangerous dog licence and appealed to the ACT Civil & Administrative Tribunal (ACAT). When DAS were informed that the neighbour's had appealed to the ACAT they negotiated to removed the enclosure condition on the licence. The ACAT endorsed a consent order of the terms agreed between the parties. I was never informed about the ACAT matter as required by the ACAT Act as a person who's interests may be affected.
Because I was not given the opportunity to apply to be joined as a party to the matter, we were not able to appeal the removal of the enclosure condition. The ACAT informed me that there was nothing in the terms of the consent order that prevented or restricted DAS from exercising its usual powers under the Domestic Animals Act. It would be a matter for DAS to decide whether there were any grounds to make a further and new decision about the relevant animals under the Act.
I asked DAS to consider some new information and they refused to take any action. I complained to the Department of Territory & Municipal Services and received a single page response addressing only the matter of the ACAT decision. I complained to the Ombudsman who, after a second investigation conducted on appeal of their first decision determined that DAS had made multiple mistakes on handling my case.
DAS' recent handling of the attacks and subsequent deaths of Jiminy and Saphie prove that none of the promised improvements and changes to their policies and procedures has occurred as a result of my complaint and the Ombudsman's two reviews of it.
Please sign your support to help ensure that DAS is investigated, there is no room for incompetence when it comes to the lives of our precious family pets.