RESIDENTS worried about the number of dogs being abandoned in Melton say they are disgusted by the cruel killing of animals at a dumping ground in Rockbank.
Resident Shelley Culpin said she was horrified earlier this month after finding what appeared to be a healthy 18-month-old crossbred dog that had been shot in the head.
"She was so young, her teeth were pristine," she said.
"It was a heartless act. The pound is 10 minutes away, there's always a choice."
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Around the same time Ms Culpin found a Maltese dog that had been shot and left on Leakes Road in Rockbank.
Pets Haven founder Trish Burke said if caring for an animal was no longer an option, people should contact local pounds, rescue groups, animal shelters, vets or friends.
"It amazes me that people go to the trouble of putting a dog in the car and taking her to a secluded spot to shoot her, yet they could have taken her to a pound and spared her life," Ms Burke said.
"There's never an excuse for killing animals when there are so many available re-homing options."
Ms Culpin and Ms Burke said there needed to be greater efforts to educate the community about re-homing options.
Melton Council said it was not aware that a number of dogs had been reportedly shot and dumped at the locations.
"However, council officers did discover one dog in Beattys Road that appeared to have been shot," chief executive Kel Tori said.
"Local laws officers will continue to patrol these areas to monitor the situation."
He said the pound was centrally located within Melton township and it was advertised through the council's website and publications.