Daily Liberal


  • Much-loved family pet Ninja was shot by a Walgett Shire Council ranger at the local tip after he had been removed from his owners who were unaware they had surrendered him.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> PHOTO: CONTRIBUTEDMuch-loved family pet Ninja was shot by a Walgett Shire Council ranger at the local tip after he had been removed from his owners who were unaware they had surrendered him. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

A COLLARENEBRI family is devastated after discovering their much-loved dog, Ninja, was shot dead the day he was removed from their backyard by a council ranger.

The woman, *Kate, said she did not know how to tell her children their much-loved pet was dead.

“They’ll be so upset, they really loved that dog,” she said.

The mother was alerted to the ranger’s early-morning visit when she heard him banging on the side of her house.

She went outside to see what was causing the noise and found him in her yard.

“The dog catcher came out with a rope in his hand and took Ninja out to the tip and shot him in the head,” she said, still upset at the memory.

The woman said she was initially confused by the situation and didn’t know if he was allowed to take their dog or not.

She said the ranger told her to sign something which she later discovered was a form saying she had surrendered the dog.

“I said where are you taking him and he said they would probably take him to Dubbo and he’d end up in a good home with an enclosed yard,” she said

“I was believing what he said, but I still didn’t know if he should be doing that.”

Kate said she had heard Ninja had escaped from their yard and knocked over a couple of bins in the street.

She said it had been seen and noted by the garbage truck driver the day before Ninja was taken away.

A couple of hours after the dog was removed Kate said she felt the situation was not right.

“I rang and said I wanted to know where my dog was because I didn’t think he could do that, and I was told he’d been taken to Sydney.”

She said when she got home she vowed to find her dog and called as many pounds in the Sydney area as she could.

None had been sent a dog from Collarenebri.

After a series of calls she spoke to a woman from Sydney Pet Rescue and Adoption who pursued the matter on her behalf.

Kate had been told the dog had been shot the same day he was taken.

“We wanted the dog, I don’t understand why he didn’t just give me a warning and leave him with me,”?Kate said.

Walgett Shire Council’s director of planning and regulatory services Matthew Goodwin said the incident had been handled correctly as far as procedure went.

He said the dog had been surrendered and therefore did not need to be impounded for the usual seven to 14 days.

“The dog was considered a nuisance dog and was repeatedly found out on the street,” he said.

“She voluntarily surrendered the dog and then changed her mind about it later.”

Mr Goodwin said it was not unusual to destroy animals on the same day as they were collected.

“We have to consider the health and condition of the animal and western areas tend to have more dogs than people,” he said.

When the Daily Liberal asked if Ninja had been shot at the local tip Mr Goodwin said he had.

He added it was not unusual to destroy animals by shooting them, nor was it illegal.

“It is a near instantaneous death from a single bullet,” he explained.

“Every council has their own way of treating a situation but inland the animals tend to be shot rather than given an injection.”

Mr Goodwin said the council ranger did tell Kate her dog had been rehomed but he said the ranger did it to protect her feelings.

“It was not the correct way to handle the situation and that won’t happen again.”

*not her real name



Showing 5 of 26 comments


It’s unacceptable.It was an act of cruelty against a defenseless animal.It’s so sad that lately many of these case have been happening in a crescendo.



what!! how can they pick up a dog and kill him same day. There was no time for this error to be rectified or even any chance of him being rehomed, disgusting and heartless



There are a few issues going on here. Firstly would this have happened to a wealthy family in town? I think not. Secondly there are either no policies in place to follow or they aren’t being followed! And finally shooting a dog? This is the 21st century!


It is truly sick and disturbing a modern country can have such heinous acts happening with out really a thought about it. And the people who can carry it out obviously have no conscience was is worrysome. We live in sad times….



Absolutely disgraceful.  Unfortunately, people do not know their rights and can’t stand up to bullies in positions of authority.  As pointed out by others, if the ranger had the right to take the dog he would not have needed a surrender form.  Statement by Walgett council says the dog was shot about midday same day because it did not have a potential adopter – presumably this about the same time it took the ranger to drive to the tip and pull the trigger, so it’s not as though they tried.



I have just read Walgett Council’s statement on their website, which details their version of events.I regard this as lacking in
credibility and a poor attempt at risk management.

I do not believe Council’s report of what happened to Ninja and the
little stray collected by council on the same day.

The story the owner told me of how the ranger pressured and coerced her,
into signing surrender papers, which she did not understand, was credible and
consistent over several conversations.

Does this council not understand the concept of “informed consent?”

Whilst Ninja’s owner’s story was consistent and credible, Council is reliant on the the word of a ranger whom they have established to be a LIAR on this matter, for their version of events.

Does anyone believe this statement from Council-

“Given that the animal was surrendered and council could not identify a potential new owner it was euthanased around midday on 21.12.12.”

Consider that they only seized Ninja around 8-8.30am that morning..so they only had him in their possession for literally a couple of hours before they took him to the rubbish tip and shot him.

How hard do you think they tried to find him a home?

Remember also that at the time of seizing Ninja, the ranger first told the owner that Ninja was a lovely Labrador who would easily find a home when they send him to Dubbo, and then when the owner made  a follow up call a couple of hours after Ninja had been seized, he told her that he was a lovely dog and had been sent to Sydney for re homing with a Lab breeder.

And now Council is expecting us all to belie

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