AN under-fire animal shelter has been hit with more allegations of wrongdoing by a woman who claims her dog was put down without her knowledge.
The woman, who asked not to be named, only discovered recently that her Staffordshire bull terrier Lexi had been taken to Leigh Cats and Dogs Home by a St Helens Council dog warden after she went missing in March 2014.
The woman said Lexi was microchipped but that no attempt was made to contact her by either the dog warden who found her or the home where Lexi was taken.
She said it was only last month she discovered where Lexi had been taken and was then told the tragic news that her beloved pet had been put down.
She said: “Lexi was not an aggressive dog. She was very loving and to find out she was put down for no reason is heartbreaking.
“Leigh Cats and Dogs Home have told me that the St Helens dog warden ordered them to put Lexi down but the council have said they don’t have the authority to do that.
“I just want to know how this happened. After Lexi went missing I would call round the animal shelters in the area, including Leigh Cats and Dogs Home but they always said there was no dog matching the description there.
“She was microchipped but for some reason her chip must not have been checked properly or they didn’t do it at all.”
Both St Helens Council and LCDH have confirmed that Lexi was put down on April 24, 2014, but both deny being responsible for the decision.
A council spokesman said: “We can confirm that no such order was made as we simply don’t have the powers to do that.
“Our records concerning this matter suggest that the dog in question was picked up on April 16 last year. At the time of pick-up we scanned for a chip and found one – however when we contacted the microchip company’s helpline we were informed that there were no details recorded against the chip on their national database.
“With no other information available to identify the owner, the dog was taken as a stray to Leigh Cats and Dogs Home that same day and remained there for the statutory seven day period.
“Our paperwork indicates that no claims were made on the dog, and a review of the paperwork provided by the home suggests that the dog was put to sleep on April 24, 2014.
“Nowhere within our records relating to the dog was it ever suggested that it was aggressive or a prohibited breed and, to re-emphasise, no order or instruction to put the dog to sleep could – or would – be given on that basis.
“We would only ever authorise this course of action - on veterinary advice - as a welfare consideration.
“After the seven day statutory period the dog became the property of Leigh Cats and Dogs Home - and decisions, from that point on, regarding the future of the dog would lie with them.”
Anibase, the microchipping company responsible for Lexi’s microchip said they had followed procedure correctly and no errors were made.