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.

April 13, 2006

Why council didn't prosecute attack dog's owner

Waitakere's dog control chief is defending a decision not to prosecute the owner of a pitbull terrier cross which attacked a 10-year-old girl last Thursday. Sree V Nair received seven stitches to her hand after the attack by the unleashed dog in Te Atatu Peninsula. Its owner took it into hiding but later surrendered it for destruction when council officials and police called with a search warrant.
Council animal welfare manager Neil Wells said the owner would not be prosecuted in return for handing the dog over.

In response to Herald readers' queries, Mr Wells said yesterday there was misunderstanding in the public mind about powers given by the Dog Control Act. "It's not an open-ended policy that there will be no prosecution if the dog is handed over. It's done on a case-by-case basis."

I would have thought that they treat all dog owners the same... a $300 fine minimum, then ask questions later. I'm amazed to read that dog control officers have that power to be "discreet". So why don't they use it more often when a good dog owner gets down hard? Remember that lady who was just in front of her house (with kids), and she let the dog off lead to run into their yard. Bang, dog control officer gives then a $500 fine. (for dog being off lead! not for attacking a kid! ) I don't seem to remember any discretion being made there. Mind you, I would have gone to court to defend good dog owners in general! But that' s me.


"We'd rather work one to one with the person on education to ensure they understood their responsibilities."

Well, that's nice to read... would have been nice if they would have done that ( education) before the attack... but then again, the owner probably didn't know that their little precious was capable of it.



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