A pet dog has been strangled on a defective catchpole while rangers tried to move the animal to a council facility in Perth.
The incident unfolded when staff were transferring the staffordshire bull terrier cross, reportedly named Snowflake, from a vehicle to a dog pen at the City of South Perth’s Animal Care Facility in Como on September 19.
“When rangers attempted to release the dog from the pole, the mechanism on the device failed,” city chief executive Mike Bradford said.
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“Despite multiple attempts the cord around the animal could not be released.”
Bradford said even bolt cutters were not enough to free the animal and, “despite the best efforts” of rangers, Snowflake died while they were working to release the mechanism.
The dog was taken to The Animal Hospital at Murdoch University where it was confirmed Snowflake’s cause of death was asphyxiation.
The RSPCA said a cruelty complaint had been received and is under investigation.
A catchpole device features a pole with a cabled loop or noose fixed to one end. The loop goes around the animal’s neck and is then tightened. The pole is used to keep the animal at a safe distance.
‘Unregistered and unpredictable’
South Perth officials said Snowflake had come to their attention because of several reports about an “unregistered and unpredictable” dog wandering alone without its owner in Kensington, with concerns raised for local children.
Bradford said the city’s rangers were confronted by a defensive and aggressive animal when they tracked it down, and that is when it was decided to restrain it using a catchpole.
“The city’s rangers are trained in animal management techniques including deciding when the use of a pole is necessary,” Bradford said.
“The pole used in the incident has been removed from service and relevant city staff have completed an incident report.”
The council says it has reviewed procedures to ensure all equipment in operation works as it should.
Bradford said the city was “deeply saddened” by the incident and had paid for Snowflake’s cremation.
The news comes just months after the city upgraded its Animal Care Facility specifically for dogs, adding self-filling water bowls and safe non-slip flooring.