The Tokoroa Pound is under fire after accidentally putting down a dog meant to be sent home with his owner.
The dog, called Balls, had been picked up by South Waikato Council dog control officers after he was found roaming the streets earlier this month, Fairfax Media reports.
The owner had made arrangements with the pound to pay a fee and take the dog home, but Balls was given a lethal injection in error.
A post on the Genuine Tokoroa Facebook page by Balls' owner, Newa Winikerei, sparked outrage, with others saying similar things had happened to them.
"R.I.P.my boy accidently put dwn Gona miss u my boy and always luv u may u rest with ur mum kernal love u [sic]," reads Ms Winikerei's post.
Rob Luatua and Jamie-Rae Takiri say their dog Nato was also accidentally put down about two years ago.
"The first option they gave us was to go and pick another dog," says Ms Takiri. "I said, 'I don't want any of those dogs; I want our dog back.'"
She says staff from the pound dropped off a $200 Warehouse voucher and a Crunchie bar.
"It didn't seem very sincere. It seemed like a bribe not to go any further."
The pound's regulatory manager, Sharon Robinson, says the error is "completely" the council's fault.
"It resulted from a breakdown in process when hard-copy records were not updated as per the electronic records that indicated a payment plan to have the dog returned had been agreed with the owner.
"We have been in contact with the owner of the dog and can only at this time express our sincere sympathy. We apologise both to the owner and our community for this terrible error.
"We are very aware that an incident of this magnitude can call our credibility into question and for that too we apologise."
The council has offered Ms Winikerei compensation options to make amends for the mistake.
Ms Robinson says the pound is reviewing its processes to make sure no other dogs are accidentally killed.
Of the 600 dogs impounded by the South Waikato Council in 2013-14, roughly 240 were put down.