The RSPCA has cautioned a South Australian council officer who “euthanized” a dying cat with a hammer after the animal was hit by a car.
The City of Mount Gambier employee and another person found the cat earlier this month, an RSPCA South Australia spokesperson said.
The pair initially believed the cat was dead because of its significant injuries, but when the council officer realised the animal was still alive, he used a hammer to kill the animal.
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The local council reported the incident to the RSPCA, which then investigated.
RSPCA SA spokeswoman Carolyn Jones said the officer was issued a letter of caution, which stated they should have transported the cat to one of the two nearby vets.
She said the investigation into the incident determined the officer’s actions “were motivated by his wish to end the cat’s suffering as quickly as possible”.
“It is an offence under SA’s Animal Welfare Act to kill an animal in a manner that causes the animal unnecessary pain, or to kill an animal by a method that does not cause death to occur as rapidly as possible (unless the animal is unconscious),” Jones said.
The City of Mount Gambier also received a copy of the letter.
CEO Sarah Philpott said the council had also acted following the investigation.
“Council has taken appropriate action internally and the RSPCA’s professional advice will inform our Injured and Deceased Animals Procedure to safeguard against this happening again,” she said.
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