Christian Tatman | Frankston Standard Leader
LAWYER Anne Greenaway has slammed Frankston Council’s announcement that it has destroyed two dogs.
Ms Greenaway, who acted for owners Shannon Holt and Evan Jeremiejczyk, described the move as “unnecessary and despicable”.
She argued the council destroyed the dogs to save face.
“If these dogs went somewhere else, it would be clear they were not dangerous. It’s got nothing to do with the protection of the community,’’ she said.
Ms Greenaway said interstate organisations offering to take the dogs were fully aware of their background.
Supporters of two death row dogs are livid after Frankston Council announced the dogs had been destroyed.
Owner Shannon Holt said she was disgusted at the way she and partner Evan Jeremiejczyk had been treated during the long-running dispute over the dogs.
A distraught Ms Holt, who repeatedly broke down in tears, said the council had lacked compassion.
Ms Holt was only informed of the demise of the dogs this afternoon.
“It’s proven it was not my dogs (that killed a cat). My dogs didn’t hurt the cat,” she said.
Outraged supporters have posted angry and impassioned comments on the council’s Facebook page.
Shel Williamson described the euthanasia of the dogs as an “utter disgrace”.
“With so many options that could have been explored, council has decided to choose the very least compassionate option. Shame on you,” Ms Williamson said.
Jo-Anne posted a picture of a memorial with candles for the dogs and added: “You horrid people.”
Liz Miller described the action as “outrageous, thoughtless and totally heartless”.
Others said the destruction of the dogs was shameful.
Frankston Council announced this afternoon that the two dogs, Charlie and Sharni, had been euthanised.
In a lengthy statement, mayor Darrel Taylor stated that the dogs had been “humanely euthanised by a qualified veterinary practitioner”.
“This decision was not taken lightly. Our council considers every such case carefully based on all the information available to ensure we act responsibly on behalf of our community,” he said.
“Due to the legal and case review process, council has not been in a position to fully respond to some provocative media coverage.”
Cr Taylor acknowledged 11th hour efforts to save the dogs, including a push for them to be sent interstate.
“While offers to assess and rehouse the dogs were received from interstate, these offers were made without full knowledge of the circumstances and the history of the animals,” he said.
“Council did not accept these offers as they could not give a 100 per cent guarantee the dogs would not be a risk to people and animals when re-released into a community.
“Council was not prepared to hand over our legal and moral responsibilities.
“It is council’s responsibility to investigate and prosecute domestic animal attacks. Council will determine the future of the attacking animal and, where there is sufficient evidence, may humanely euthanase in the best interests of the broader community.”
Cr Taylor said the council reinforced its message of responsible pet ownership, including that dogs must be kept securely on their premises and kept on a lead when outside the premises unless within a designated off-leash area.
Supporters furiously lobbied last week for the dogs to be saved, but this was rejected by Frankston Council.
Ms Holt told the Leader last week that funds from an anonymous donor had already been soaked up in legal fees and neither she nor Mr Jeremiejczyk had the money for a Supreme Court challenge to the council’s decision.
She said she and Mr Jeremiejczyk were financially and emotionally exhausted by the battle to save the dogs.
Ms Holt and Mr Jeremiejczyk pleaded guilty to a range of charges including having a dog at large and dog attack serious injury causing death at the Frankston Magistrates’ Court in February.