Fifteen dogs set to be rescued by an Australian shelter were instead fatally shot by a rural council, which interpreted the government’s COVID-19 restrictions as requiring it to kill the animals.
As COVID-19 becomes less of a pandemic, and more like the flu, overzealous authorities risk making the cure worse than the disease.
The dogs, including 10 puppies, were scheduled to be picked up by a shelter in New South Wales, but a rural council killed the canines last week to prevent workers from traveling to get them, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
- A source familiar with the incident told the Herald that the shelter, based in the town of Cobar, had COVID-safe measures in place to handle the pickup of the dogs.
- Cobar has seen zero locally acquired COVID-19 cases in recent days, according to the New South Wales Ministry of Health.
What they said: “Coupled with council seeking to stop people from other communities entering Bourke, given the level of vulnerability of people in the community and that all regional New South Wales was under stay-at-home orders, the decision was made to euthanise the dogs,” the Bourke Shire Council said in a statement.
Animal rights groups and members of the public have responded with outrage to the council’s actions.
- Comedian Ricky Gervais tweeted: “Stupid C*nts.”
- “Covid is very real, and can be dangerous, but it’s also true it’s turning people into illogical morons that do more harm than good,” one Twitter user added.
New South Wales’ Office of Local Government is investigating the incident, according to the Herald.