LEETON Shire Council is taking immediate action to address issues raised following numerous incidents involving council's rangers.
A rally was held last Thursday, with a small crowd marching from Jarrah Mall to council chambers to express their distress at the treatment of animals by the rangers.
A petition was presented to mayor Paul Maytom and general manager John Batchelor containing 460 signatures, and a letter calling for action regarding the community's concerns.
There has been angst in the community after a dog was killed by a council ranger with the use of a firearm in January after it was deemed to be acting "aggressively", as well as a more recent incident where a family's dogs were incorrectly put down by a ranger.
Rally organiser Mark Norvall and Sian Hindmarsh held an hour-long meeting with councillor Maytom and Mr Batchelor following the rally.
"It was a positive and productive meeting, with council outlining many changes it will be putting in place to stop these sorts of things from happening again," Mr Norvall said.
"Our aim wasn't to go in angry, but to put our point of view across so we can all work together.
"They were very receptive and ran through with us what they will be putting in place.
"They are heading in the right direction."
Some of those changes will include the employment of a third ranger next month, a re-homing program at the Leeton pound, better education surrounding pet ownership and the restricted use of firearms.
"The point we want to make is council has already put many measures in place to ensure we don't have a repeat of these incidents," Mr Batchelor said.
"We've been working on solutions since the first incident in January and a lot has already been done.
"Another change will be to have three people present and rigorous checks completed before an animal is put down.
"However, euthanising animals will be a last resort.
"Re-homing will be a big focus now, with the ins and outs of that being worked on.
"There will be a big shift in focus from euthanasia to animal welfare.
"The use of firearms will be restricted to injured animals, perhaps on the side of the road, or those that are threatening physical safety or attacking other animals."
Council is also continuing to review its protocols and policies relating to animal welfare.
It is hoped once a re-homing program has been set-up, dogs at the pound available for adoption will be photographed and placed on council's website for residents to view.
"We intend on keeping the community up-to-date with where we are up to with these things," Mr Batchelor said.