New Zealand Dog News

Reviewing the dog news in New Zealand with editors comments. Someone needs to keep reviewing how our dogs are doing in society.

January 31, 2006

A dog of a time for a holiday

Since Sunday, it has been the year of the dog, says Nelson Mail columnist Alan Clarke.
Actually, in our house the year of the dog started in 1998, when Che the tibetan terrier moved in as head of the pack and I moved out to the dog box.

Since then, I've lived on boiled rice and, if I'm lucky, unwanted bread that drifts to the edge of the Queen's Gardens duck pond.

I also have been designated official dog food taster, in the hope that any bird flu, rabies or other viral contamination that enters the household via a supermarket bag might be detected in time.
I've sold one kidney, two testicles and three-quarters of my liver so that we can afford the vet bills and dog food on which whole villages in Kenya would thrive.

Che spends much of his life on the new, purpose-built couch. It is so large that I must spend my evenings sharing a cosy spot under the table with the cat.

My Chinese friends say this is not just the year of any old minor canis.

Dogbite victim wants justice

The latest victim of a savaging by a dog has joined the call for tougher penalties against their owners.

Pauline Cornelius, 63, suffered nine puncture wounds in her groin and a deep gouge in her leg when a dog she believed was a pitbull mauled her repeatedly at Otaki Motor Camp.
The attack stopped only when the dog's owner grabbed it and fled. Both have yet to be found.
It is at least the seventh such attack in New Zealand this year.

Mrs Cornelius, a resident at the camp, was mauled as she walked across the site to water a friend's garden about 6pm on Sunday.

"I just froze. I knew if I ... more>>

And you might want to read the REAL VERSION of the story

Fight serves as reminder 29 January 2006

The head of animal control at the Palmerston North City Council, Peter Broughton, said last Friday that the animal involved in the recent dog fight, in which one of Barbara Adlington's two golden retrievers was injured, would not be destroyed.

The animal was a labrador cross, not a pit bull or bull terrier, as had been reported. It was a registered family pet and was out walking with a younger family member.

"That dog, and Mrs Adlington's dogs were all off the leash. It appears that the dog in question became involved in a fight with Mrs Adlington's dog and it was only when she intervened that she was bitten. It was a very unfortunate incident, but we have no evidence as to how it started." more>>

Tough dog penalties no good if not used

Press Release: NZ Kennel Club 31 January 2006

The NZ Kennel Club says that tough penalties in the Dog Control Act are no good if the Police and local councils fail to use the powers the Act gives them. On Sunday night, Pauline Cornelius of Otaki suffered nine puncture wounds in her groin and a deep gouge on her leg when she was attacked by a vicious crossbreed.

"Responsible dog owners are outraged that little is being done," said Greg Kerr, chief executive of the NZ Kennel Club, the organisation of responsible dog owners. "Section 58 of the Dog Control Act imposes up to three years jail and a $20,000 fine for owning a dog which causes serious injury. "Where are any meaningful penalties being handed down? "If a person had inflicted such serious injuries on Pauline Cornelius, the offender could expect to have been remanded in custody by now.

“But charges have not yet been laid in this case. Kapiti Coast District Council and NZ Police will have to explain to the public if they do not prosecute soon.

"Thankfully, the message on vicious cross-breeds is getting through. Pauline Cornelius described the dog as 'believed to be a pitbull' which is more accurate than saying it is one. The reality is that the pitbull label is a convenient shorthand for a range of bad mongrels. It is more accurate to call them what they are, vicious crossbreeds," said Greg Kerr.

The NZ Kennel Club is introducing the Canine Good Citizen scheme. That is a series of tests which assess a dog’s reactions and behaviour in a variety of situations and is awarded when the owner can demonstrate that their pet meets the required standard of good behaviour.
Canine Good Citizen certification is a way for a good owner to ensure that their control of their dog, and its behaviour, is up to the standard required by law.

January 30, 2006

Confessions of a dogsitter

High summer and the land is dry. I have had many opportunities in the past few days to observe it, hence I can make all pronouncements with regard to moisture, or in this case the lack of it, with confidence.

Our local fire unit was called out twice last week. Small roadside grass fires that could have become larger ones if left to the wind.

At this point in time everything looks spent and seedy but then one forgets these things from year-to-year. Seasons are a constant surprise – a bit like giving birth really.
One forgets the pain.

My life has been reorganised and revitalised
A small dog by the name of Flic is responsible for the mayhem that used to be my relatively orderly existence – admittedly punctuated by the odd flight of fancy but nevertheless fairly restrained in a middle-age-ish sort of way.

January 29, 2006

Council sinks teeth into dogs

Dog attacks, questionable pet ownership and worried officials ... it's all back in the headlines. Manawatu appears to be particularly proactive in tackling the problems. VIV POSSELT finds out what's afoot.

The Palmerston North City Council is coming to the end of a four-month swoop on 1100 local owners of unregistered dogs, an exercise which has seen many animals impounded, and forced the hand of owners wanting them back. The team has only about 50 more to nab before the job's done - then it's primarily a case of keeping tabs on them.

And coming soon to a street near you is the "poop brigade", a sweep by local officials to stop people allowing their dogs to foul footpaths or berms.

The council's head of animal control, Peter Broughton, said not only is it offensive but it's an offence, and people will be brought to book.

Further tightening control on the regional's pooches is legislation effective from July 1, which will see all first- time registered dogs microchipped and placed on a national database. It also requires microchipping of "second time offenders", and dogs which have been deemed dangerous or menacing since December 2003.

There's more where that's coming from, too, promises Mr Broughton.

January 26, 2006

Dog always obedient for me, claims man

A Riverton man's plea to claim back ownership of his dog failed at a Southland District Council meeting yesterday.

Timothy Pearce was disqualified from owning his dog or any other dog until May 2010 after councillors at a meeting in December found he had not been a responsible owner.
Mr Pearce had received two infringement notices for failing to keep his dog under control or confined, in accordance with the Dog Control Act. The council classified the dog as dangerous.
In November he was convicted for unlawfully releasing his dog from the Riverton pound.
Mr Pearce told councillors at the meeting he did not think it was right that they could take his dog from him.

"I just think it's a bit of a vendetta against me."
Mr Pearce said his dog now lived "quite happily" at his mother's home in Riverton. The dog had been neutered, always wore a muzzle and was always on a chain on her property, which had dog-proof fencing. more>>

SPCA renews push to get fireworks banned

An animal welfare group has renewed its push to persuade the Government to ban fireworks sales for personal use all year round.
Fireworks can only be bought by the public for a few days before each Guy Fawkes' night on November 5 but many people stock up and use them at Christmas and New Year.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' chief executive Robyn McDonald said they were appalled by the widespread use of fireworks during the summer holiday and were more determined than ever to get a ban on the sale of fireworks for personal use.
She said the loud screeches, explosions and bright flashes, terrified animals and cause them to bolt in panic.
"It's bad enough that animals should have this terror imposed on them for a couple of weeks in late October and early November.
"But it's appalling that they should be forced to endure further fright and anguish for months afterwards."

Stranded dog's 10-day ordeal

Kotiro the dog survived a swim across a treacherous channel in the Manukau Harbour before being rescued from a remote shore by the Coastguard, 10 days after she went missing.
The rescue, at nightfall during the storm that lashed Auckland on Tuesday, is very special to the Papakura Coastguard crew who found her.

She is the first creature they have saved, because most people quickly perish in the stretch of sea which is notorious for rips, shifting sandbars and mud so sticky it can trap people in rising tides.

Greg Raumati, who owns Kotiro, feels so indebted to the rescue crew that he plans to join up. more>>

January 25, 2006

Getting inside the head of a 'delinquent' dog

When you've raised a juvenile delinquent like I have, then you have few options left.
One of course is taking the said delinquent to Timaru dog talker Ally Crabb who claims any behaviour is fixable with patience and positive reinforcement.

Kaiser, the one-year-old German Shepherd in question, was going great guns at puppy school and passed the first three sectors with little problem. But come graduation day you would have thought he had never heard a command before in his life.

He'd forgotten what simple words like heel, come and sit meant but according to Ally that's all because he's reached his teenage years and he's stretching the boundaries.
"He's like a 16-year-old who wants the family car," Ally said.

Doggy do in Qtown may soon be costly

Is doggy litter "litter" by the letter of the law? A Queenstown Lakes District Council panel is to investigate whether dog owners who fail to pick up their dogs' droppings can be fined under the council's litter bylaw.

And if the panel finds doggy do is a doggy don't under the law, it will mean an instant $100 fine.
The panel met yesterday to hear submissions on the council's draft dog policy.
Wanaka woman Lyn Marshall said the council should provide doggy litter bins and educate owners to pick up after their pooches.

But panel member Cr Kathy Neal said there may already be a deterrent in place. "We have a litter law and we need to go back to the appropriate committee and see if it covers this sort of thing," she said.

The litter bylaw was put in place last year and carries an instant $100 fine for anyone caught littering. more>>

Missing dog found after 10 days

Missing pitbull terrier Kotiro is back with her owner 10 days after the rising tide stranded her on a small island in Auckland's Manukau Harbour.

The distressed dog was last seen trying to swim off the island off Weymouth Beach after the tide came in but coastguard searchers failed to find her despite a two-day search.
Kotiro was found last night about three kilometres from where she was last seen and the coastguard believes she swam or walked to a remote coastal part of the harbour and had lived there for several days.

Coastguard spokesman Jo Ottey said Kotiro had been fed by someone in the area but was ecstatic when spotted by a coastguard boat last night. One of the crew members swam ashore because the boat could not get close enough and the dog was taken on board and reunited within her owner. She was in good condition although slightly under weight.

Boy savaged by dog that pulled him out of tree

A Whangarei boy suffered more than 50 puncture wounds in his body when he was dragged from a tree and down his back yard by a dog. The owner of the dog – which police say is a pitbull-Staffordshire cross – allegedly watched and did nothing to stop the attack. Another neighbour's dog tried to come to the rescue. (which, according to the media may be put down due to it not being registered)

It was the sixth recorded dog attack in New Zealand this month and has the boy's mother calling for tougher penalties for owners of dangerous dogs. (Isn't $20 000 and 3 years in the can is tough enough!)

Kevin Hale, 7, was playing at his Kamo home on Monday night when the two-year-old dog, Fergie, sprang through a fence and attacked him. "He was chewing my neck and shaking my head around. I tried to climb a tree and he pulled me back down," Kevin told TV One News.

.....The latest attack was the sixth by pitbull-type dogs this month. (and one that was not media reported is my dog that was mauled by a pitbull-looking dog. Thankfully the owner has a conscious: paid the vet bills, came to the vets, sat with my dog, sent a parcel with dog treats and a card two days later, and has come around asking how Holmes, my dog, is)

January 24, 2006

Boy, 7, mauled by two pitbulls

A seven-year-old boy is recovering in Whangarei hospital after being mauled by two pitbulls last night.
Police were called to an Eden Terrace property in Kamo about 8.15pm.
The boy suffered bites to his arms, legs and neck and was described as in a moderate condition.
Police and animal controllers were dealing with the dogs.

This is what happens to dogs who aren't socialised. People don't want their dog close to a pitbull-like dog. Pitbull-like dog doesn't get to know dog behaviour. Dog owners don't want to take pitbull-like dog out in public. Pitbull-like dog stays behind 8 foot fence - in prison... inching to escape and rack up violence.

Now tell me, is this the dog's fault or the societies?
There are no bad dogs, just bad owners!

Frenzied dog kept up attack

A group of workmates didn't hesitate to come to the rescue when they saw a man being attacked by a frenzied pitbull.
The workers from East Tamaki furniture manufacturer Criterion were heading home just after 5pm last Tuesday in four different cars when they saw a commotion at the intersection of Smales and Harris roads.
Damian Dearsly, who also suffered injuries during the incident, says they saw a "brave" woman using a rock to try to get a dog to release its grip on a man's arm.

"I saw a woman trying to stop the dog and I knew she wasn't going to have much luck."
"The man was yelling: `Help. Help. Someone get it off me'."

Mr Dearsly and his friend and colleague Dennis Tuputuia, both from Papatoetoe, got out of their car and went to his aid.

"I didn't think of what was going to happen. I just knew something had to be done otherwise the guy was just going to get mauled," Mr Dearsly says. more>>

January 21, 2006

Come on everybody, let's do the dog shuffle

If you thought disco dancing had gone to the dogs, wait till you see Adele Williams and her prancing CZ – arguably the most in-step dog this side of the Akatarawas.

Mrs Williams and her performance partner Kate Jago have what some people would deem a slightly unusual hobby. They train dogs to dance with them to pop music and don't care who is watching. "We mainly do freestyle because it's more fun and you can do more tricks. It's more entertaining for the crowd."
Paws in Music is the latest fad for discerning dog owners.

"It's all about having lots of fun with the dog," Mrs Williams said, as she prepared to give a demonstration yesterday with her seven-year-old Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever. The stereo's play button was hit and Trentham Memorial Park came alive with the upbeat sound of country classic Cotton Eye Joe.
The women and their dogs began to move gracefully together, performing tricky set pieces such as figure eights through the legs, elegant twists and bows, and hind leg manoeuvres. more>>,2106,3546623a6479,00.html

January 20, 2006

SPCA does roaring trade in adopting out homeless pets

The SPCA's animal village in Mangere has started 2006 in a similar record-breaking fashion as it finished last year: SPCA customer services officer Craig Montgomery said last weekend was one of the busiest ever.

"Usually on the weekend we will adopt out around 30 animals a day but last Saturday we did 52 and over 70 for the whole weekend," he said. The Herald has been running a campaign to encourage adoptions over the holiday period. Since December 26 the SPCA has placed almost 600 animals. Cats and kittens make up 85 per cent of adoptions.

SPCA general manager Jane Thompson said the promotion had been extremely successful and generated a lot of calls and interest. The Herald has featured 17 animals in the "Adopt Me" series over the past four weeks. New homes have been found for 14 of the animals including Dolly the Flemish giant cross-rabbit and Basement Jaxx the dog. more>>

It's a dog's life

Every morning for the past year 3-year-old Toby has been collecting The Southland Times newspaper for his owners Owen and Eileen Bulling. Toby, who has a preference for the newspapers wrapped in plastic, runs up the Bay Rd driveway relentlessly and personally delivers the paper to his masters, who say it's his job "before he gets his breakfast" .

No paws for thought for top canine athletes

There were oodles of Poodles and Border Collies galore at the Tokoroa Dog Training Club's Triple Champion Agility Event and AD Trial held in Tokoroa over the weekend (Saturday January 14, Sunday January 15).

Competitors from as far away as Kerikeri made the trip to Tokoroa to attend the event, which was held at the dog obedience grounds in Princess Beatrix Ave. Many of the visitors camped on the grounds and used the nearby YMCA facilities for showers.

Over the two days there were a total of 1466 runs, with competition continuing until 6pm on both Saturday and Sunday, in order to get all 450-odd dogs through.

Amongst the show highlights were the couple of dogs who won higher events out of the lower classes. more>>

Year of the Dog to be welcomed

The Asian-Chinese Year of the Dog will be ushered in next Saturday, when Dunedin's Asian community celebrates its New Year's Eve in the Octagon.

Dunedin City Council Events team leader Marilyn Anderson said the Octagon would take on a distinct Asian and Chinese flavour on January 28, when members of the Asian community celebrated the end of the Year of the Rooster and the beginning of the Year of the Dog.
The Octagon would be transformed into a miniature Chinatown, by filling it with drop-down banners giving messages of peace and good hope. Two large concertina dragons would be hung across the carriageway.

....Ms Anderson said the festivi- ties would begin at 6pm with competitions and a prize-giving for the best dog photo and best dog colouring competitions.

From 7pm, cultural groups representing India, Korea, Japan, China, Malaysia and the Philippines would provide traditional Asian singing, dancing and music, martial arts and swordsmanship demonstrations, Ms Anderson said.

The Year of the Dog would be heralded by the Dunedin clock tower bells chiming at midnight, followed by a Chinese fireworks display, provided by the Dunedin Casino, she said. more>>

Cattle killed in vicious attack

On the night of January 8, dogs viciously attacked cattle on a farm in Huntly West.
Three of the property owner's stock were attacked with two dying and one having to be put down after the dogs ripped off its ears. Waikato District Council's Animal Control Officers have impounded three dogs in relation to the attacks and investigations into the situation are continuing.

The owner, who does not wish to be named, says the problem has been going on for years and wants to put a warning out to Huntly dog owners. "Any dog found in our property between Waahi Marae, McDiarmid Crescent and Parry Street will be shot," says the property owner. more>>

January 19, 2006

The friendly, versatile and loving labrador

When talking to local dog breeders it is easy to understand why labradors are New Zealand's most popular breed of dogs.
According to 2005 registrations with the New Zealand kennel club, over 1200 labradors were registered last year.

Gavin Brears has been a dog breeder for 30 years. He usually has four or five labradors at one time.

....Breeding labradors can be very involved says Mr Brears.
The dogs need to get their eyes tested annually and x-rays need to be taken to check for hip and shoulder dysplaysia.
Gavin suggests that if anyone is interested in purchasing a labrador, they need to remember that the dogs are a large breed requiring a lot of space and exercise. more>>

Dog control on beach highlighted

The Dunedin City Council may consider making Allans beach on Otago Peninsula a "dogs on a leash only" area if owners do not act more responsibly in the locality, animal control team leader Denis O'Connor says.

The suggestion was made after a fur seal was attacked and injured by a pitbull-like dog on the beach last week.

Mr O'Connor urged the public to be vigilant about notifying the police or Conservation Department if they observed bad behaviour by dogs and their owners in the area.

"Any pattern of bad behaviour will be looked at. If there are enough public submissions and the Department of Conservation put up a case, the Dunedin City Council will consider tightening their dog control bylaws."

While dogs were permitted on the beach without a leash, they had to be controlled by the owner's voice commands. However, Mr O'Connor suggested dogs be kept on a leash in the area anyway. more>>

Free Concerts

Funny original title for this story?!?
When talking to local dog breeders it is easy to understand why labradors are New Zealand's most popular breed of dogs.
According to 2005 registrations with the New Zealand kennel club, over 1200 labradors were registered last year.
Gavin Brears has been a dog breeder for 30 years. He usually has four or five labradors at one time.
Originally from Taumarunui, he and wife Faye bought a property in Omori in 1992 and moved there in 1994.
The property, which has a big section, is perfect for the to run around on.
Mr Brears, a keen game shooter says that labradors are "good versatile, all round dogs".

Retrievers fight off frenzied pit bull

A man walking a dog that attacked a woman on a riverside walk this week refused to help defuse the situation, saying he wouldn't take on the dog because it was a pit bull, says the victim.

Police have been called in to find the pit bull's owner and the dog after the incident in Palmerston North that left the woman and one of her two dogs with multiple bite wounds.

Barb Adlington was walking her golden retrievers, Brodie and Brock, beside the Manawatu River near the Ruahine Street carpark on Monday about 4.30pm when Brodie was attacked.
"A couple of young guys and a pit bull came up and the pit bull had a sniff and then started attacking my dog," Ms Adlington says.

"I just got a big stick and started hitting it to try to get it to let go and then it lunged at me and attacked me. It got me to the ground and I started screaming, but the dog's owner wouldn't do anything - they just stood there and watched.

"When I asked him to help me, he just said `I'm not getting in there, it's a pit bull.' "

Ms Adlington says that after the attack, the group who were with the pit bull put the dog in a car and fled, but not before a passer-by recorded the licence plate.

January 17, 2006

Specialist DOC dogs meet public

Department of Conservation working dogs got an unaccustomed feast of pats, hugs, strokes and cuddles at a public introduction to their work on Saturday morning.

A Fiordland Summer Programme family session introduced visitors to the work of DOC's trained dogs – valuable staff members who can locate takahe, kiwi, blue ducks and stoats.
Children watched as Koha scented and tracked a hidden stoat lure in simulated forest terrain.
Handler Jane Tansell, Murchison Mountains kiwi team leader, told the watchers that Koha was especially valuable for checking that supposedly stoat-free areas really had stayed that way.

Koha points to any evidence of stoats, such as dung or the remains of a kill, or even a hole where a stoat had slept recently. This information is invaluable to DOC staff laying stoat traps to protect threatened species such as takahe and kiwi. more>>

Woman bites dogs to stop attack

A woman was forced to bite her two dogs while holding one in a headlock to stop them attacking a small border collie.

Delwyn Heath, of Hastings, was walking her eight-year-old collie Mercy in Collinge Rd on Sunday afternoon when two "pit bull-type" dogs lunged at frightening speed.
A passing motorist helped to stop the attack by jumping out of his car and hitting the attacking dogs with an umbrella.

The limp and bloodied Mercy was wrestled from the jaws of her attackers, which then lined up Mrs Heath and the motorist.

Mrs Heath said afterward: "I was walking on the footpath and I heard this rustling sound and this dog was trying to get through the fence of the orchard.

"There was a lady with another dog and I started yelling at her to get her dog."

January 16, 2006

Hastings police are hunting for two dogs after a "frenzied" attack on a family pet.

The attack happened about 1pm yesterday when a woman was walking her border collie-cross dog along Collinge Rd. The two dogs, described as stocky, white pit bull terriers, or pig dogs, ran out from an orchard and attacked the woman's dog – one clamping on to its backside and the other biting it around the throat.

The dogs, which did not have collars or leads, were in such a frenzied state they would not release their grip as the woman fought to get them off, police said. It was not till a passing motorist stopped and hit them with an umbrella that they could be wrested away. The woman's dog was taken to a vet for emergency surgery.

Video clip here

How to stop a dog fight??

Watchdog unhappy at kiwi protection plan

The New Zealand Conservation Authority (NZCA) is concerned by an apparent change in direction to the kiwi recovery programme by the Department of Conservation (DOC).

The authority, an independent statutory body closely involved in conservation planning, met Conservation Minister Chris Carter last month to discuss its concerns.

NZCA manager Catherine Tudhope said she understood DOC had budget constraints but was concerned at the "philosophical difference" identified in their pre-consultation document which will form the basis of the 10-year Kiwi Recovery Plan 2006 to 2016.

The plan expires this year and states the department has a long-term recovery goal "to maintain and where possible enhance the current abundance, distribution and genetic diversity of kiwi".

The authority views the proposed ten-year goal of focusing on a limited number of sanctuaries and having 500 breeding pairs of each species of kiwi to be a backslide. (More>>)

Specialist DOC dogs meet public

Department of Conservation working dogs got an unaccustomed feast of pats, hugs, strokes and cuddles at a public introduction to their work on Saturday morning.

A Fiordland Summer Programme family session introduced visitors to the work of DOC's trained dogs – valuable staff members who can locate takahe, kiwi, blue ducks and stoats.
Children watched as Koha scented and tracked a hidden stoat lure in simulated forest terrain.
Handler Jane Tansell, Murchison Mountains kiwi team leader, told the watchers that Koha was especially valuable for checking that supposedly stoat-free areas really had stayed that way.

Koha points to any evidence of stoats, such as dung or the remains of a kill, or even a hole where a stoat had slept recently. This information is invaluable to DOC staff laying stoat traps to protect threatened species such as takahe and kiwi. (click on title to read more)

January 13, 2006

Judge orders dogs to die

A woman who used two bull-mastiff dogs in an attack on police officers has pleaded guilty to using the animals as a weapon. One of the dogs, a seven-year-old called Tana, was shot twice by police using hollow-nosed 9mm bullets.

It survived, but Papakura District Court judge C S Blackie has ordered that both dogs be destroyed. (click on title to read more)

Tourist to the rescue as seal attacked

An English tourist hit a pitbull-like dog on the nose to make it release its grip on a fur seal at Allans Beach on Otago Peninsula.
Paul Smith (45) and his partner Jennie Down (55) were walking along the beach on Wednesday evening when they saw the dog, which was accompanied by three young men, grab hold of the seal by the lower jaw.

Two of the men tried restraining the dog, pulling at its hind legs with no luck, he said.
"I helped pull and knock the dog's nose in an effort to make it let go – it did so after a minute."
The men then restrained the dog and Mr Smith had a heated discussion with one of them about the need to have dogs on a lead.

The men were accompanied by a second dog, also a Pitbull-type.
Looking back on the incident, Mr Smith realised it could have turned ugly.
"Jennie said not to rush in, but I had to help the seal. I don't regret what I did."
(click on title to read more)

Burglar nabbed in yard

For someone who had never been in trouble with the law, Timothy Seaton Read looked like a seasoned criminal when he was caught by a police dog last month.
Read, 21, was found in a Christchurch wrecker's yard, having scaled a 1.8m fence, equipped himself with a spotlight attached to his head, a set of tools for removing valuables and a walkie-talkie to communicate with his lookout outside.

Braille on 45-cent stamp a New Zealand first

According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2006 is the Year of the Dog, and to celebrate New Zealand Post has issued a series of stamps recognising the significant contribution that dogs of all shapes and sizes make to our daily lives.

The special series also marks the first time that Braille has appeared on a New Zealand stamp. The 45-cent stamp, which spells out the number ‘45’ in Braille, depicts the image of the Labrador Retriever, a dog whose intelligence and good nature make it an ideal guide for the blind.
Stamps General Manager Ivor Masters said “from supporting the vision-impaired, to herding sheep, to providing friendship and fun, dogs play an essential role in helping New Zealand communities function effectively.

“New Zealand Post is delighted to celebrate the loyalty, skill and stamina of our canine companions. Our Stamps Business is well-known for its innovations on the ordinary postage stamp, and with this series we have once again included a stamp that is inventive and different in order to acknowledge the crucial work of New Zealand’s guide dogs,” Mr Masters said.

The 90-cent stamp features the German Shepherd dog, whose versatility and intelligence have made it the dog of choice for the New Zealand Police. The energetic and feisty Jack Russell Terrier appears on the $1.35, followed by the gentle Golden Retriever, a favourite family pet, on the $1.50.

Finally, the Huntaway graces the $2.00 stamp. Although it does not have official ‘breed’ status in many kennel clubs, the Huntaway is an undisputed necessity for sheep farmers throughout the country.

The stamps and first day cover were designed by Stephen Fuller of Wellington and printed by Southern Colour Print. Products are available at all New Zealand Post retail outlets, or from the New Zealand Post stamps web site, from 4 January 2006.


January 11, 2006

City man sees red after dogs taken

When a dog control officer left a note on Mike Nelley's fence about his two fox terriers, he had no idea that within 24 hours the dogs would be gone and it would cost him more than $220 to get them back.

"There's no such thing as private property any more," said Mr Nelley.

The Hamilton man paid the penalty for refusing to register Bonnie, eight, and Clyde, six.
Under the 2004 amended Dog Control Act, dog control officers have greater powers to seize unregistered dogs.

Which is exactly what happened last week when the council received a complaint about an unregistered fox terrier getting into rubbish bags in the Yeats Cres area.
Dog control manager Janice Burns said once the council had a complaint, it had to act on it.

(Ya, and the owner can't appeal because they don't want to release the complainant's name. Basically anyone which a grudge with you can complain about anything about your dog, and you get a black tick beside your name... )

An officer posted a message on Mr Nelley's fence last Tuesday asking him to contact the council urgently about his dog.

When he failed to do so, officers the next day went on to the section and seized both Bonnie and Clyde. "I don't think you should have to register your dog. Why don't you have to register your cat as well? It's the only animal you have to register," said Mr Nelley.
"You've got no option and no rights, it seems."

(Ah, Mr Nelley,,, someone has to pay for all those dog control officers issueing tickets for a dog urinating on a neighbour's fence unsupervised. More laws mean more complaints = paying more mean dog officers who have no sympathy with the amount of work you do to make your dog socialised)

When he was told it would cost him $223 to get them back –- the seizure and registration fees –- he saw red. He managed to scrape the money up and on Monday his dogs were back home none the worse for wear for their three-day stay at the pound.
While the council gave a tick to the fencing around Mr Nelley's property, he is aware fox terriers have a reputation for being able to get out of anywhere.

"They're pretty clever dogs," he said.

Mrs Burns said fencing for fox terriers had to be better than for bigger dogs, as it was often smaller dogs that caused trouble once out.

Fox terriers could be among the worse because they were "snappy animals" that could nip ankles and loved getting into rubbish.

"You're creating a health hazard when that happens. We're trying to control that."
The council knew there were still unregistered dogs in the city and many of them, like Bonnie and Clyde, were well cared for. (so why penalise him even more?!... go after those dogs who aren't well cared for)

Keep your dog cool

The SPCA is preparing for a long, hot summer - but they're not particularly looking forward to it.

Instead officers will be rescuing dogs dying from heatstroke after being left in overheating cars.

"Imagine what it's going to get like when it's really hot," Mr Kerridge says.

The SPCA deals with more than 20 cases of heat exhaustion and at least three deaths every year, he says.

Judge spares dog in cat-killing case

The mystery of a city-dwelling cat-killing dog remains, after the case against one of the prime suspects was dropped in the New Plymouth District Court yesterday.

Since the beginning of last year, a number of cats have been mauled and killed by a dog, or dogs, in the area of Powderham, Dawson, and Vivian streets.

Yesterday, charges against dog owner Angela Carole Kirkpatrick (26) were dropped when Judge Robert Murfitt said it could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt that her dog, Teorka, was responsible for a cat attack last year.

Kirkpatrick had earlier denied one charge of owning a known dangerous dog that was at large in a public place and one of failing to control a dog that attacked a cat.

......Judge Murfitt said there was an element of doubt about the identification of the dog that carried out the September attack and no cat carcass was found on Kirpatrick's property. He dismissed the charges. (click on title to read what's in between)

Mouse thrown in fire gets revenge

(not a dog story, but I'm sure we can all relate to the mouse story)

A mouse had its revenge against a homeowner who tried to dispose of it in a pile of burning leaves by running back into the man's house and setting it on fire.

Luciano Mares, 81, of Fort Sumner, in New Mexico, United States, said he caught the mouse inside his house and wanted to get rid of it. "I had some leaves burning outside, so I threw it in the fire, and the mouse was on fire and ran back at the house," Mr Mares said from a motel room.

Village fire chief Juan Chavez said the burning mouse ran just beneath a window of the house. The flames spread up the window and throughout the house. All contents of the home were destroyed. "I've seen numerous house fires," village fire department Captain Jim Lyssy said, "but nothing as unique as this one."

Fires have charred more than 21,200 hectares and destroyed 10 homes in southeastern New Mexico in recent weeks during unseasonably dry and windy conditions.

Drunk Woman Sics Dogs on New Zealand Cops

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A drunken woman unleashed pitbulls on two New Zealand policemen responding to a domestic dispute, sending them scrambling to their patrol car where she bashed in their windshield with her feet, police said.

Gunshots and pepper spray couldn't deter the pair of angry hounds, which hurled themselves at the car's windows, said Detective Senior Sergeant Neil Grimstone in the northern city of Auckland.

The "intoxicated and aggressive female," meanwhile, "jumped up onto the bonnet of the car and smashed the patrol vehicle's windscreen with her feet," he said in a statement.
Back-up officers arrived and tried to negotiate with the woman, but to no avail. One of the dogs charged and was shot and wounded. The woman also assailed officers and was arrested, he said.
(click on title to read more)

January 10, 2006

Dog wanted for attacking sheep

The hunt continues for a dog that mauled and killed sheep raised by Mountainview High School agriculture students. John Davers, the school's agriculture teacher, received a phone call at 6.52am on Friday morning from a Pages Road resident who lives next to the 2<<1/2 ha training paddock.

He arrived ten minutes later to find two sheep with their throats torn out and six others heavily wounded by a dog attack. Mr Davers' wife Annette also attended the scene. "Someone around the area must know something. Their dog would have come home covered with blood.
"But, unless police catch it in the field, they can't do anything about it," she said.
The flock are still suffering casualties from the Friday morning attack. (click on title to read more)

Shore residents can now do it all online

North Shore residents can now pay their parking fines, renew their dog licences and find out the food safety rating of local restaurants on the North Shore City Council's website.

The council has boosted the number of online services over the past year and the number of visitors to the website is steadily increasing.

The website,, receives an average of 400,000 hits every month.

Dog used as a football

The King Country SPCA needs volunteers to assist in the busy summer period.

One of its newest arrivals who would benefit from extra help is an eight week old puppy who was used as a football on Boxing day. A member of the public who saw the puppy being kicked and stood on by a group of boys, rescued the animal and handed it over to the SPCA. The SPCA is investigating the incident says inspector Rachel Brown.

The summer period is kitten season and also a time when some people go away and leave animals in the care of those who are irresponsible. (click title to read more)

January 09, 2006

Drowned man's dog 'like kid he never had'

Rossi the Staffordshire bull terrier was almost the child that Dave Clarke never had. When the dog got into trouble in the big surf pounding Birdlings Flat beach on Friday night, the Christchurch man died trying to save him. Clarke, 26, died at a spot he loved, doing the fishing he loved, with his friends making desperate attempts to save him.

"He always said how beautiful it was out there, when the sun was going down," said Tracy Eathorne, who describes herself as Clarke's best mate. "Actually, I think Rossi was probably his best mate, but I came a pretty close second."

Eathorne's brother and father were fishing with Clarke when the dog ran into the water, apparently chasing birds. Clarke tried to rescue the dog and was sucked into the big surf himself.

...."He was so close to his dog."

January 07, 2006

Christchurch man dies in bid to save dog

Christchurch man who leapt into rough seas to save his dog drowned last night, despite desperate efforts by friends to save him.

David Clarke drowned after he was swept into the unforgiving waves at Birdlings Flat about 4.30pm, trying to save his dog, Rossi, from the 2m southerly swell.
The incident happened not long after low tide, close to the eastern end of the beach where large waves were crashing on the rocks and gravel, near where Clarke was fishing earlier.
Constable Rob Stuart, of the Lincoln police, said Clarke, believed to be in his mid-to-late 20s, was at Birdlings Flat with friends.

"The man had been fishing ... His dog was chasing birds, it went into the water and the man went to catch it, but unfortunately he has been swept away with the big seas," he said.
"Two people went into the water to save him and had a hold of him for a while but had to let go."
(click on title to read more)

Labradors lap up top dog rating

Labrador retrievers have licked their rivals to remain the country's most popular dog breed, the New Zealand Kennel Club says.
Over 1200 of the chocolate or yellow or black purebred dogs were registered last year, the club said. Being a multi-tasker helped the Labrador get its teeth into top dog status, Club president Lesley Chalmers said, It doubled as a great family pet and a working dog, and was often used for hunting game, the reason it was bred. Overall registrations of pure bred dogs were up 4.5 per cent on 2004, with more than 10,200 dogs (mainly puppies) of 150 breeds registered in 2005.
(click on title to read more)

Funnily enough, it's the breed that most attacks children!

Sheep attacked in Pages Road, Timaru

A group of sheep were found mobbed up and bloody in Pages Road at 6.40am yesterday, and Timaru police would like to hear from anyone who might be able to identify the offending dog.
Senior Sergeant Mark Offen said the owner had seen the sheep at 5am and they were fine but by 6.40am the sheep had been attacked.

He said when police arrived the dog was gone and no likely suspect was able to be identified. It is the third time in a year that the sheep have been worried. Mr Offen said if anyone knew who the offending dog belonged to or had seen an animal near the sheep they could contact Timaru police.

January 05, 2006

Family's new purchase no truffling matter

"Ragazzo qui venuto!" Fortunately, a Porirua family doesn't need to learn how to say "come here boy" in Italian, but their new imported dog is still appropriately named Marcello.

In fact, Robert Rangi and Cheryl Ashford have imported their Italian Lagotto - New Zealand's first purebred truffle-sniffing dog - from a kennel in Perth, Australia.

Marcello is 12-weeks-old and the Lagotto is a breed which originated in northern Italy in the 1300s. Marcello is a popular boy's name in Italy that means warrior.

The Lagotto's natural searching abilities and highly developed sense of smell make it ideal for hunting out the warty mushrooms which grow underground and are considered a fine delicacy. Truffles are one of the most expensive natural foods in the world. But it wasn't Marcello's sniffing abilities which attracted Mr Rangi and Ms Ashford. (click on title to read more)

January 04, 2006

Cruel owners abandon dog

The new year has been an unhappy one for a large unwanted, nameless labrador-cross, found apparently abandoned and tied to a lamp-post. Yesterday he was languishing at Christchurch's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) shelter, awaiting an uncertain fate.

SPCA animal inspector Jenny Rudd said the arthritic dog was found on New Year's Eve tied to the lamp-post in Northwood, Christchurch. He was left with an icecream pottle to drink from.
Rudd said the SPCA and the Christchurch City Council had received dozens of phone calls from people worried that their neighbours had gone away without making arrangements for the care of their animals. (click on title to read more)
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