The veterinarian who euthanised seven-month-old mongrel Tammy had followed all protocol, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said in a statement released on Tuesday.
The authority was responding to the online furore on Facebook last week, as netizens criticised dog owner Alison McElwee for putting it down instead of returning it to the person she adopted it from.
But the AVA said the vet at The Animal Clinic had discussed other options, such as re-homing the pet, with Ms McElwee before putting Tammy down on Oct 7. Before that, the AVA said other vets in the clinic had witnessed the dog's escalating aggression, which reached a point where it could not be muzzled. Instead, Tammy had to be sedated for procedures that required more handling, the statement added.
The AVA said that aggression may be sufficient cause to euthanise a pet, as is the practice in Australia, Britain and America.
Stressing that only dogs of suitable temperament and health should be re-homed, it advised parties concerned to "recognise the adopter's good intentions when adopting the dog in the first instance". It said the ultimate decision to put down a pet is its owner's "responsibility and right".
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