THE RSPCA has told the West Tamar Council to stop shooting dogs. The direction is one of several recommendations made after an investigation into the council's animal control procedures. Last month, Swan Point couple Bruce and Elisa Evans expressed serious concerns after a council officer shot their two Siberian huskies in the head. The dogs had escaped from their enclosure and were at large. The officer seized the dogs but no attempt was made to contact the Evanses before their pets were killed - just hours after they escaped. Despite a public outcry after the story appeared in The Examiner, the council firmly stood by its actions. But the RSPCA was appalled. "This should never have happened," chief inspector Paul McGinty said yesterday. "We have thoroughly investigated the incident and have discovered a distinct lack of appropriate policies and procedures regarding animal control." The RSPCA has made the following recommendations in a letter sent to the council yesterday: Animals in the council's possession are to be retained for three days before any action being taken. Euthanasia must be effected via lethal injection, carried out by a qualified vet. Rangers must make actual documented efforts to contact an animal's owner. If animals are wet or have been hosed down (the Evans's dogs were capsicum-sprayed prior to the shooting), they must not be placed in the pound in such a state. The pound (at Beaconsfield) must be destroyed and rebuilt or modified to an acceptable standard. "I absolutely expect my recommendations to be followed," Mr McGinty said. "I can see no reason why most should not be implemented instantly." But the council's development services manager Rolph Vos told The Examiner he would be out of the office for the rest of this week and would not be in a position to make any comment. Mr Vos instead reiterated a comment previously made in which he said the council would "seek to implement" any RSPCA-made recommendations. No charges were pressed following the RSPCA investigation. Mr McGinty said most other councils appeared to have policies and procedures in place with strict guidelines for dealing with straying or dangerous animals. "This was not the case with the West Tamar Council," he said. "By doing so, they could have prevented this from happening." The RSPCA would monitor the council closely, he said, and would take further action if the recommendations were not complied with.