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.

February 10, 2006

Spook appeal lost but owner fights

Spook the dog just refuses to roll over and die.

The bull terrier – facing a death sentence for biting a woman and another dog – lost an appeal in the High Court at New Plymouth yesterday.

But owner Michael Cooley said he was now considering another legal appeal, and even a private prosecution against witnesses he said had perjured themselves. (Why I do somehow believe him??)

Council enforcement officer Lloyd Crow said now the appeal had been dismissed, the council would come looking for Spook.

"Let's face it, there is still the destruction order that has been put out, so we owe it to the community to make sure that is carried out," he said
An opinion article below:

Spook's minders are making fools of the council and the court system, says the Taranaki Daily News.

It is no doubt very amusing for those associated with this dangerous dog to play evasive games and to accumulate a mounting list of charges and penalties – and, of course, it delays the eventual day of reckoning – but the sport is damaging the authority and public credibility of the local government and the judiciary.

The saga is encouraging the very people who should be discouraged from owning untrained and unfenced animals, and is disheartening for neighbours and entire communities who expect dog owners to abide by the law and society's expectations. (Ya, and even those are penalised!)

The five-year-old bull terrier-cross, Spook, has attacked two people and another dog in the last three years – two of the incidents happening in the street outside the owner's Waitara home.
The most serious attack, on January 6, 2005, was against a neighbour who had visited Spook's home property to sell potatoes. (I guess we now phone our neighbours, hein?)

It resulted in Nigel Halliday admitting a charge of owning a dog that attacked and bit someone, causing injury, and his being fined $400.

Since then, the case has ballooned to nine court appearances by two different people identified as the dog's owners – and two others who might have been at various convenient times – and several charges, all but one of which have been proven and upheld. MORE>>


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