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Sick puppy facing euthanasia

Newshub logoNewshub 18/06/2017 Ella Prendergast

© Provided by MediaWorks NZ Limited

Crowds have gathered outside an Auckland animal shelter to try and save a sick puppy from being put down.

The four-week-old dog, dubbed Hope, has been held at the shelter since last week. She has a worm infestation and is suffering from malnourishment, but Auckland Council rules mean she cannot be adopted out.

Jil Ob entered the Silverdale shelter last week to adopt another dog when she saw Hope, who she describes as a "beautiful, tiny pup".

Despite asking to adopt the puppy and offering full medical care, Ms Ob was told she couldn't. She got in touch with an animal rescue group, who were also turned down.

She says a vet tried to enter on Sunday morning but was not allowed in. The centre has now closed for the day.

Hope is suspected to be part-pit bull. Auckland Council says it has "a long-standing policy, as did all of the legacy councils before it, not to adopt out dogs that are of this type".

"The Dog Control Act allows councils throughout New Zealand to adopt this policy and many of them do. We strongly believe that this policy is in the best interests of the community as a whole."

It leaves euthanasia perhaps the shelter's only option.

Ms Ob says the shelter workers seemed "truly as heartbroken" as she was.

"I'm not saying that the animal shelter is at fault, but they're holding a puppy so young and she's sick. And she's so sweet, but quiet and withdrawn because she's so small."

Tracey Moore, Auckland Council's animal management manager says it's sad, yet avoidable.

"[It's a] situation our team sees on a daily basis where yet another dog owner has failed to take responsibility. The council strongly recommends people think very carefully before taking on the responsibility of giving a dog a home, and that dog owners desex their animals."

The dog will be checked by a vet tomorrow, when she passes to legal ownership of the council. A decision will then be made on Hope's fate.

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