SECOND CHANCE: Hendrix, the three-year-old bull arab-cross bull mastif, was supposed to be destroyed by Ipswich City Council.
SECOND CHANCE: Hendrix, the three-year-old bull arab-cross bull mastif, was supposed to be destroyed by Ipswich City Council. Contributed

Dangerous dog 'returned' despite council destruction order

A DANGEROUS dog put on death row by Ipswich City Council was released back into the community after the vet tasked with destroying the aggressive animal handed it back to the owner.

Hendrix, the bull-arab-cross bull mastiff, was seized after he escaped from shackles and did brutal damage to a dachshund in November.

Ipswich City Council animal management officers allowed the owner of the dangerous dog to select a vet to destroy it.

In custody, the dog was taken from the council's pound to an Ipswich vet, where it was supposed to be euthanised.

Instead, the dog was taken home after the vet handed it back to the owner when council officers left.

The dog lived quietly as a fugitive until January when council officers were called to help paramedics restrain an aggressive dog at a home.

Officers discovered the dog was the one recorded on the council's systems as already being destroyed months earlier.

"A recent incident occurred where a dangerous dog was discovered at the home of a local resident, that dog was subject to a destruction order, which council understood had been complied with," a spokesman for the council said.

"The relevant circumstances are complex and unique to this particular case and it would be inappropriate to comment further."

The council is understood to again have possession of the dog and is seeking its destruction.

A council employee familiar with the matter says the policy, which allows vets to destroy dogs, would "put the community's safety at risk".

The employee, who is not authorised to speak publicly, said the situation proved the dangers of giving a third party control of euthanising dangerous dogs.

The council's spokesman said the process of issuing a destruction order "can vary significantly and are dependent on a wide range of circumstances".

"While community risk is the primary consideration, council does consider individual circumstances particularly where compassionate grounds may apply," he said.

"Where submissions or representations are made to council each case is assessed on its merit, in a small number of cases council may agree to assist the owner with euthanasia through a private veterinarian, at the expense of the owner.

"In such circumstances council would not hand the dog over to the owner direct."

The council's spokesman said it was a one-off incident.

"Council is confident that this has not occurred on any other occasion," he said.

"As a result of this incident, council has reviewed the small number of cases where a surrendered dog has been euthanised externally and can confirm the destruction of those animals."