Kimberly and Maia (5) Allan hold a picture of their dead dog, Obi. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
A Dunedin family wants an apology from the Dunedin City
Council for euthanising its beloved dog, Obi.
But the council says the dog was an aggressive wanderer and
Obi's death was the result of legislative requirement.
Kimberly Allan, of Andersons Bay, said her family was
devastated and the council needed to clearly warn owners of
plans to euthanise their pets.
''If we knew, Obi would be alive,'' Ms Allan said. Obi, the
family's registered and microchipped 2-year-old
Labrador-cross, went missing on May 28.
The next day, a card in the letterbox from the council's
animal control told the family Obi was in the pound.
The family called the council and made a verbal agreement for
a partial payment of the $215 council fine for Obi's release.
But when wages failed to clear before the negotiated date, Ms
Allan decided to wait until the seventh day to pay and
collect the dog, she said.
On June 4, her daughter, Maia Allan, and partner, Jonathan
Williamson, went to pay the council and collect Obi at noon.
But Obi had been euthanised only hours earlier.
Ms Allan said her daughter cried uncontrollably.
''She was bawling her eyes out and still can't understand why
Obi was a friendly dog and although he was an ''escape
artist'' and was known by animal control staff, it had been
his first stay at the pound, she said.
''I would have rung up my Mum for some money.
''I just didn't think that was going to happen because we had
The family could not comprehend a pet being killed when they
had made contact with a willingness to pay the fine, she
The council had not tried hard enough to contact her about
Obi's impending death.
Council staff had told her they had tried to contact her on
her landline but the phone was damaged.
Her cellphone number was working but was never called, she
She was told the council had followed protocol after picking
up Obi near his Andersons Bay home.
''He shouldn't have been put down.''
Senior animal control officer Peter Hanlin said Obi was
impounded for wandering.
He and Ms Allan discussed a payment arrangement for Obi's
release on May 30 and Ms Allan agreed to come to the pound
that day, pay $70 and collect Obi, he said.
The remaining $145 was to be paid on June 5.
But Ms Allan did not make the first payment and further
attempts to contact her were unsuccessful.
Because Ms Allan had not contacted the council, Obi was
euthanised on June 4.
Mr Hanlin said the council had followed legislative
requirements of owners having seven days to claim their dog
from the pound.
The countdown began on the day the dog was taken to the
''Obi had a history of wandering, and had been the subject of
eight complaints to the DCC for wandering and aggressive
behaviour, so it was not appropriate to put him up for
Mr Hanlin said he had tried to contact Ms Allan on her
Last month, three impounded dogs, including Obi, were
May 28: Obi strays and is impounded.
May 29: Family told Obi is in the pound.
May 30: Family agrees to part-pay fine and pick up
May 31-June 3: Payment is not made. Council tries to
June 4: Family arrives to collect Obi and pay - hours
after the dog has been euthanised.