Family 'distraught' after pet thrown in dump by council
A MACKAY family has been left heartbroken after their beloved dog was "thrown away like rubbish" by the Mackay council.
On Monday morning, Johno Howat's pet dog was hit and killed on the Bruce Highway after escaping from its yard.
The dog was then collected by council road crews who disposed of the animal as per council policy.
Mr Howat said he was distraught to find out his dog was taken to the dump.
"I just want to be able to bury my dog, to know she was thrown away like rubbish really upsets me," he said.
"I've got three young children at home who didn't get to say goodbye to their pet."
Mr Howat said his dog was microchipped and registered with the council.
"I don't understand why council didn't scan for a microchip," he said.
"My dog had a collar on so it was obvious she was a family pet. I just think it's disgusting that we pay for our pets to have a microchip and then council doesn't even bother to scan for one. Our dogs are part of our family. They shouldn't be treated like pieces of rubbish.
"We had no idea our dog was taken to the dump and now we have no way of getting her back so we can bury her."
Engineering and Commercial Infrastructure director Jason Devitt said it was vital pets wore registration tags at all times.
"As part of our policy, if a dog is found deceased without a council tag, it is believed to be unregistered," he said.
"The council officers who collected Mr Howat's dog confirmed there was no other readily identifiable information on the dog to allow for its owner to be identified."
Mr Devitt said council road crews did not carry scanners to look for microchips on deceased animals.
"Council policy in regards to unidentified deceased animals is for the animals to go to the Hogan's Pocket Landfill Site," Mr Devitt said.
Following complaints made by Mr Howat, the council has agreed to investigate the issue.
"We understand that losing a pet is traumatic," Mr Devitt said.
"Council will be investigating any feasible options that would allow for a greater success rate in returning deceased animals to their owners."
Following the traumatic experience, Mr Howat would like to see changes implemented to council policy.
"It should be a requirement for microchip scans to take place when deceased animals are found. Families like ours shouldn't have to go through losing a pet like this," he said.