A local government in rural Australia drastically shot 15 shelter-bound dogs in an attempt to protect volunteer workers from Covid-19.

The Bourke Shire Council in the north of New South Wales issued the command to shoot the dogs in an attempt to stop volunteer workers from traveling back and forth as they tried to take the animals to open shelters. Ten of the fifteen dogs were puppies, and one of the adults had just given birth to her own litter of puppies.

The Bourke Shire Council issued a statement that their shelters had reached capacity and that their rehousing employee was unavailable. They also said that two of the fifteen dogs had been displaying aggressive behaviors.

In the hopes of reducing any spread of Covid-19, they decided to take matters into their own hands, claiming the need for safety as Covid cases are on the rise. However, the data shows that Bourke and the town where the volunteers were coming from had currently only had 8 Covid cases between them, calling their excuse into question.

Emma Hurst, a state lawmaker from the Animal Justice Party, said, “This is just absolutely heartbreaking – to think of these lost or abandoned animals not even having a chance to find a loving forever home.”

Hurst had tried to find other solutions other than shooting the dogs but had been told that the decision had already been made.

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