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.

May 31, 2006

Comfort for dog attack victim

Robert Webb, chairman of the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre, comforts a female North Island brown kiwi, which was attacked by a dog in Hukerenui last week.

Mr Webb says dog owners need to be aware dogs can smell kiwi from 100 metres away and it is "just nature" for them to attack.
Kiwi's soft bellies are particularly vulnerable to attacks, he says, but this one was lucky because the dog was a small foxy.

He hopes the kiwi, aged about six years, will be released shortly, in time for breeding. MORE>>

Happy homecoming for Skoota

Skoota the pekinese puppy is back with his family two weeks after being `dognapped' and tossed from a stolen car.

But the six-month-old pedigree is street savvy after a fortnight of roaming.
"He's a friendly, happy puppy - but he came back a little bit angry," owner Maureen Hinton says.

"He growls at people now which he never did before." MORE>>

May 30, 2006

Sled dog racing veteran anticipates event near city

South Island sled dog enthusiasts will be out in full force for the annual Sandy Point Scarper in Invercargill this Queens Birthday Weekend.

Hosted by the Southland Sled Dog Association the Scarper, in its 10th anniversary year, is being held at Fosbender Park in Sandy Point on Saturday and Sunday.
The Sandy Point Scarper, a two-day sled dog racing event sanctioned by the New Zealand Federation of Sled Dog Sports, features traditional sled dog breeds like Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes and Samoyeds. Other breeds such as Boxers, Golden Retrievers, Labradors and Dalmatians are also proving to be excellent sled dogs.

This weekend's Scarper races includes the new single dog event, Canicross, where mushers are connected to their dog and have to run as fast as they can while being pulled along by their dog over a 2.7km course.

May 28, 2006

Killer-dogs' owner faces charges

The owner of two dogs that ravaged a flock of sheep on a Te Kowhai lifestyle block on Tuesday will be prosecuted.

All 21 of Brent and Suzy McPhail's pregnant ewes died after being attacked by the dogs, staffordshire bull terrier-pit bull terrier crosses. They were later shot by Mr McPhail.
The dogs were registered and the council will be prosecuting their owner, who Mr McPhail said lived "up the road". MORE>>

May 26, 2006

Ex-top cop dogged by fine

Former top policeman John Dewar has been convicted and fined $300 for owning a dog which attacked another animal. We know now why he's an ex! (smile)

Dewar, 54, of Hamilton, appeared before Judge Robert Spear in Hamilton District Court yesterday to defend the charge.
In March last year, Mrs Dewar was walking Peanut, a labrador cross, near the Rosebank and Woodcock Rds intersection in Tamahere, when it ran up to another dog and attacked it.

The Incident: The other dog's owner, Colette Hanrahan, became emotional as she told Judge Spear she thought her dog, a Border Collie named Tess, would be killed by Peanut. "She (Tess) couldn't do anything. She was pinned by this dog. It's mouth was all over her," Mrs Hanrahan said. Mrs Dewar said the fighting dogs scared her. The women separated the dogs and Mrs Hanrahan took Tess to the vet. On the way home she stopped at Dewars' house and handed over the $90 bill. Now that is cheap. When my dog was attacked the other dog owner paid $240~ . Thank God he wasn't an ex-policeman!

Originally Mrs Dewar said she would pay it, but after discussion with her family offered to pay half believing both parties were at fault because neither dog was on a leash at the time.

"This matter has made its way to a hearing before a judge because of the rather obstinate head-in-the-sand attitude undertaken in respect of what I consider to be the sensible and reasonable claim by Mrs Hanrahan for payment of the vet's bill of $90," Judge Spear said. He decided not to order that Peanut be destroyed because the attack happened in a "rural residential extension of Hamilton". Oh, that's a bit much to even think of putting it down!!

Waikato District Council have issued the Dewars with a notice requiring Peanut to be on a leash or muzzled in public. Well, which is it? there's a difference between both! A disputes tribunal hearing is to be held to determine if Dewar should contribute to vet fees for other injuries suffered by Tess which Mrs Hanrahan believes were caused by Peanut. Gee, another long process !! why doesn't the x-cop just accept that his dog ain't perfect, and that he has to take responsibility for HIS (that is, the x-cop) lack of training for his dog!

Clark not swayed on issue of dog chips

Prime Minister Helen Clark emerged unscathed when pensioners questioned her on the dog chipping issue at a Grey Power meeting in New Plymouth yesterday. MORE>>

I guess the Grey Power didn't have any aliances with Dog Power!

May 25, 2006

Possible dog theft adds to widow's anguish

As if suffering a devastating bereavement wasn't enough, Dargaville High School executive officer Martine Morris claims her two beloved dogs suspiciously disappeared off her rural property.She believes they were stolen. However, the dogs have since returned home.

A story to read... mystery about puppy tied up at the nighbours, and because of a collection of the much sort after substance, ambergris, a compound vomited up by sperm whales, which floats to the surface of the sea and washes ashore.

May 24, 2006

Neighbour threatens to cook family dog

24 May 2006
A Tokaanu woman threatened to cook her neighbours' pet dog in a hangi and serve it to them in pieces, a court was told.

In Taupo District Court yesterday, Olive Oriwia Whakatihi, 36, was found guilty of intending to intimidate her neighbours by threatening to kill and cook their dog on New Year's Day.
Whakatihi said she would cook the Labrador in a hangi, cut it into pieces and take it over to them to eat if it defecated on her property again. She said she had done this before to "whiteys' " dogs.

Judge Phillip Cooper sentenced her to a nine-month suspended term.

Trust gets grant for dog training

The Taranaki Kiwi Trust has been granted $9444 to run more dog training and awareness courses.

It will use the money to run eight kiwi aversion courses, including a refresher course for dogs that went through the training last year.
The courses will be available for pig dogs, farm dogs and other canines taken into the bush.
Trust chairperson Jan Fogg said the avian aversion training was another way to raise awareness about the plight the North Island brown kiwi in Taranaki.

She said the trust had several kiwi conservation programmes under way and worked with landowners, the community and the Department of Conservation to ensure populations of the endangered bird survived.

"This new funding will provide a welcome boost to the trust's work. In some areas of the country, hunters are not able to get a permit to hunt without their dogs having gone through the training," she said. MORE>>

Farmer pledges to break dog law

24 May 2006
One lone farming voice has stood up against the microchipping of dogs in Kaikoura District with a certain amount of success.
Mr Parsons contended that microchipping was the Government's way of passing the buck after high profile attacks on children by dangerous dogs. YES, I agree!

"At the end of the day it's a police problem. If I walk down the street with a loaded gun the police would be there in minutes. "But I can walk down the street with a dangerous dog. What's the difference?"

The opportunity to forbid the importation of dangerous dogs years ago was "fluffed" and now responsible dog owners and ratepayers were bearing the financial brunt.
Councillors agreed unanimously to adopt its dog control policy under the new Act with the proviso that microchipping infringements be downgraded from the A list, where an infringement notice be given without prior warning to the B list where a warning would be given.

Mr Parsons was assured that council did not intend to go out and intentionally check on whether the dogs of responsible owners were microchipped.

Mayor Kevin Heays said South Island councils, which had a large rural component, had come out against microchipping during local government level meetings. However, northern councils failed to support them.

"But council cannot say we will not comply as a council. We have statutory obligation."
Councillors agreed with Mr Parsons on the dangerous dog issue.

"We really ought, as a nation. do something about the dogs that actually bite people," Barbara Woods said.

Marauding dogs slaughter sheep

Two dogs went on the rampage at a Te Kowhai lifestyle block yesterday and slaughtered a flock of sheep, and the farmers want the dog's owners to take responsibility.

Brent and Suzy McPhail found 21 dead pregnant ewes after the attack, which could cost them hundreds of dollars.
A few sheep which survived the mauling were so badly injured they had to be put down.

"They had huge holes in their sides and most of them had had their udders eaten off," Mrs McPhail said.


May 23, 2006

Ruapehu council defies dogs act

The Ruapehu District Council is defying the Government's plans to microchip all newly registered dogs and wants the controversial law repealed.

Mayor Sue Morris said she and all 11 councillors had unanimously agreed to instruct staff to give a low priority to all actions associated with microchipping following a resolution proposed by councillor Marion Gillard.

"It's just distressing news," Mrs Morris said after a bill to scrap the law was defeated in Parliament on Wednesday.

"The Government are clearly not listening to the people. I just think it's nonsense.
"It's just another burden that the Government has imposed on the rural society."
The Green Party's Dog Control (Cancellation of Microchipping Requirements) Amendment Bill was voted down 61-60 with the Government, New Zealand First and United Future opposing it.

May 19, 2006

Dog registration on the rise

Dog registration fees are on the rise. Manukau City Council is increasing fees from July 1, with responsible dog owners having to pay $45 to register their pet, up from $40.

The standard fee will increase from $80 to $90, and registering a dangerous dog will cost $135, a $15 increase. The standard late registration fee will rise from $100 to $120, but registering a dangerous dog late will cost $180, up from $150. A new microchip implantation fee of $25, without sedation, and a $50 fee for microchipping with sedation will apply to dogs microchipped at the Manukau City Council and Papakura District Council Animal Management Shelter.

The Manukau City Council has not increased responsible dog owner and standard owner registration fees since 1997. The increase is less than the cumulative rate of inflation for the past nine years.

The cost increase will recover half the cost of implementing a new dog management system and costs related to the national dog database and microchipping.
Failure to microchip a dog or failure to provide proof to the council may incur an instant $300 fine or a court fine of up to $3000.
THAT's how they will "recover" the other half of implimenting the national dog database! The less dog owners who comply and get caught, the happier the Council is!

Merinos will test the best sheep dogs

Merino wethers that have not seen a shepherd for nearly four months will soon be mustered off the high-country hills for the week-long Tux New Zealand sheep-dog trials in Omarama from May 29. Tim Cronshaw reports.

The wethers will be among 3000 merino sheep used during the trials. They will provide a challenge for trialists and dogs more accustomed to working with crossbred sheep. Last mustered at the end of January, the wethers will come from Otematata Station next week and be put before the dogs in two heading events.

Entries have already reached about 475 dogs and more than 250 competitors for the trials at a site at Omarama Station, near the fringe of the Mackenzie Country township. MORE>>

May 18, 2006

Teacher saved toddlers in dog attack, court told

The "brave and selfless" (that's a bit thick! I mean, the kids were in her care, she HAD to do something! Saying that, she did what she had to do and she held up her ground... well done!) actions of a kohanga reo (kindergarten) teacher almost certainly saved the lives of two toddlers when they were attacked by four dogs in February, Rotorua District Court was told on Wednesday.
When they passed Taiatini's semi-rural property, which is partly enclosed by what police described as "loose fencing", four bull terrier, labrador cross dogs attacked them.

The teacher held the toddlers above her head but the dogs then attacked the teacher. She eventually fell to the ground but still managed to protect the children by covering them with her arms and curling into a ball.

The dogs were eventually fended off by other teachers and members of the public. Police and dog control officers later caught and destroyed the dogs . MORE in the middle>>

Dog microchip amendment fails

United Future has sided with Labour in the first attempt to do away with the microchipping of dogs, in planned new dog control laws.

The Green Party's amendment to cancel the need to microchip all dogs failed by one vote in Parliament last night. United Future MP Gordon Copeland opposed the Greens, saying public safety should take priority. (Yes, it is, and United Future should leave Parliament.. for our safety!) He says if microchipping can prevent just one attack on a child then he thinks it is worth doing. (show me how? The power of parliament people who think they have power... ultimately, they will fall)

New Zealand First also sided with Labour, giving it the support it needed to defeat the Greens.
The discussion also brought the unusual sight of National and the Greens working side by side.
National's Agriculture spokesman David Carter described the Greens' amendment as a commonsense one, and was strident in urging New Zealand First and United Future to support it.

Despite last night's vote, the microchipping debate still has life in it - National's David Carter has a similar amendment which has yet to be debated by Parliament.

And the Government clearly intends sticking to its guns.

Justice Minister Mark Burton has talked up the importance of microchipping, and the need to link dogs to their owners. He says the original enabling legislation was passed by an overwhelming majority in the face of some horrific dog inflicted injuries.

Mr Burton accused some of his opponents of changing their tune in a bid to win cheap votes.

May 16, 2006

Dog breeder angered by judge's comments

A former Hawke's Bay dog breeder, ordered to get rid of nearly all of his 135 dogs, is angry that a judge referred to him as self-centred and controlling. 135 dogs?!? sheese, ya gotten love dogs, or you're a bit insane.. or, of course, you're a breeder of some sort.

Last year the Environment Court ordered David Balfour to scale back his dog breeding operation at Waipawa to just 10 dogs. That followed complaints about the amount of noise the dogs made and a Central Hawke's Bay District Council application to the court.

Mr Balfour has since moved his kennels out of Hawke's Bay. Where did he go?

Dogs caught after attack on sheep

At least a dozen sheep have had to be destroyed after a pair of dogs carried out an attack in a paddock behind Mountainview High School yesterday morning.

The two dogs, believed to be a german shepherd cross and some kind of bull terrier, have been seized by Timaru District Council animal control officers after police followed the pair back to their homes in Usk Street. MORE>>

Debarking for kennel licence bid raises concern

A Hope dog breeder has had the vocal cords removed from 15 of her dogs to help her get a kennel licence.

But the "debarking" has been slammed by veterinarians and the Nelson SPCA, and failed to sway opponents to support her application.

Kevin and Roz Cooper applied for a dog kennel licence from the Tasman District Council after the council received complaints about excessive barking from the Cooper's Paton Rd property. Their application drew six opposing submissions and one in support.


Council dog control officer John Bergman, who found up to 30 dogs on the property in January, said Mrs Cooper was a good dog owner but he would be "very reluctant" to grant the licence.
"I don't think you can have 36 dogs on that property and not cause grief to people living close by."
He also had reservations about debarking. "I don't like it. It's abhorrent."

"A dog barks for a whole range of reasons. Debarking is something that should be done only in circumstances that could result in the animal being euthanased. It is not something that should be done as a matter of course."
Former SPCA animal shelter manager and dog breeder Cherie Palmer said she had spent many weekends at the property and was surprised to hear of noise complaints about the Cooper's dogs.
She said she knew several breeders who debarked their dogs.

Beloved missing pets come home

It was the perfect Mother's Day present for Queensberry woman Judith Ashmore. Her two beloved boxer dogs, missing for 11 days, came home on Sunday. HEY! the dogs didn't even need to be radio'ed in through their microchip!! How's that for non-technical dogs!!

"It's just indescribable how I feel. It's just been hellish, because they're our family." (...)

A white ute had been seen parked outside her house and Mrs Ashmore believed the dogs may have been mistaken for hunting dogs and stolen.

"But they're not hunting dogs, they're house dogs," she said.
It was not usual for the dogs to run away, so she believed someone had taken them. Despite two sightings of the dogs during the past 11 days, they had remained missing and Mrs Ashmore resigned herself to the fact she would never see them again.
However, all that changed on Sunday, after her husband, Colin, spotted them roaming in the hills surrounding their own property. MORE>>

May 15, 2006

Woman devastated over pet's death

Troye Evans was sitting alone in her house truck yesterday, crying as she described how her closest companion was killed in a vicious dog attack just hours before.

As her little Pappillon Maddy lay injured on the ground, the owner of the other dog said he would go phone a vet, but never did.

Ms Evans said she is angry at the man for abandoning her and he and his dog need to be tracked down. "I just feel that he's not a responsible dog owner. It won't be the last time it attacks another animal.

"I would like to see the owner of that dog found and the dog muzzled before it destroys someone else's dog and someone else's life." She said the owner of the german shepherd was a tall, caucasian, elderly man wearing a hat and earmuffs.

Ms Evans had owned Maddy for nearly three years and said life will be lonely without her. I know how she feels... I just can't imagine living without my dog.

May 13, 2006

Council defends degrees of response

Now this is an interesting topic... one that is not really discussed. It's an article how the interpretation of dog pound officer responds to a complaint. It also tells us how the dog pound officers interprets the severity of a situation. It describes the degree of inequality.

How is it that one dog complaint is hounded on and the other isn't? Why do dog pound officers give fines when the dog isn't a threat but leave the dogs who have a disposition to be threatening alone. This process needs to be reviewed in all councils.

Dog owners deserve an open safe format (ie, a Hui would be nice) in which concerns are raised. Why do farmers hold the media's interest when it relates to them, and city dog owners are left wanting their own answers?

Stray dogs and threatening dogs. There is a difference and so too is the degree of response from the Timaru District Council when a member of the public calls.

That's the message from Timaru District Council regulatory services manager Peter Thompson who was responding to an article in yesterday's paper, written by Timaru Herald reporter Michelle Nelson and criticising the council for not acting quickly enough.

Mr Thompson said a dog that presented a clear and present danger to a member of the public, triggered a very different and immediate response, than that of stray dogs.

The reporter wrote of her own experience, where she informed the council that dogs were wandering at large at 6am, in Geraldine.

Under standard council policy, dogs such as strays and which do not represent a threat to anyone are dealt with at a lower level of response. "Where the concerns being expressed relate only to stray dogs, after hours staff will not normally respond because experience has shown that almost invariably when an animal control officer attends, the strays have gone," Mr Thompson said. "

This has particular relevance when, as in this case, the strays are some distance away (Geraldine) from the officer's home (Timaru). Attending the site was likely to take in excess of 45 minutes, involve driving a return trip of some 80kms and overall, including search time, take about two hours for a likely nil result," he said.

The reporter claimed in her article that the dogs were attacking her cats and that she was forced to retreat inside and was "bailed up in my home". However an electronic transcript of the complaint shows she did not report this aspect of her concerns to the council. Hum, you would think that the transcript would?! Once wonders how this transcript was typed up? Where's the tape? However, one reading this might thing that we have just entered the Complaining Society.

"I have confirmed with our after-hours service and with the officer concerned that the complaint related only to stray dogs," Mr Thompson said. "Where a dog is acting in an aggressive manner or where stock or other animals are being attacked, these instances will be addressed as quickly as possible regardless of the time of day or night," Mr Thompson said.

Michelle Nelson:
"I told the council duty operator I would not go outside while the dogs were there. "I was not told the call was being taped but would like to hear it – there is no doubt in my mind I said the dogs were dangerous-breed types and described them as a brindle mastiff and red pit bull-type.
(isn't this sad that she forms a judgement on the danger of the dog by its breed??)

"I said they had chased my cats. I called council animal control officer Mick Hogg, who lives at Temuka and told him I was bailed up in my home by two dangerous-looking dogs. " Oh, the drama !! How is it that Temuka's little community doesn't get together and have a dog day event so that people know other people's dogs... I described both dogs and discussed dangerous breed-types with Mr Hogg."

Yesterday the Herald received five calls from people who had experienced similar problems in reporting stray/threatening dogs to the council. There needs to be a clear process that people feel that their complaints are being addressed in a democratic way. But it's important that the complainer is also held up to account to 'their complaint'. I do not accept that one complaint can be grounds for giving large fines. I'm sure the police would love this form of justice ?!

One woman waited five hours and was speaking to an animal control officer while the dogs attacked sheep next door, she said. UNacceptable!!

May 12, 2006

Dog control unleashed

Dog-control officers are on the prowl in Palmerston North. That's against the law... being on the prowl. That's a $500 fine.

They are targeting dog owners who don't pick up their doggy's doo and will be taking a zero tolerance approach. Oh watch out !!

The worst areas in the city have been identified (How'd they do that? count the shit packs around? ) and the officers will be out and about day and night, head of animal and parking services Peter Broughton said. Isn't there a better way of spending your day !?

He wouldn't reveal which areas will be targeted, but anyone found not scooping the poop will cop an instant fine of $300. That's expensive shit!

"Our guys came across a young fella whose dog had done his business on the footpath. Teach your dog to go in the bush!! "He only lived down the road, so he rushed home and got a plastic bag. "They (officers) waited for him to do that." The young man managed to avoid a fine because he removed the evidence, but some people flat-out refuse, and they are the people the council is after, Mr Broughton said.
(...) You'd think that council would give free bags with all their registration money they part with. Hey, maybe microchipping will identify the owner of the excrament??

Doggy doo is a problem in the city, especially near schools, he said. Ya gotta think about the kids!!

"No one likes standing in it." Can we get the ducks to shit in the water please... pls fine them too!

He said that if the council has a hard policy, the message will get through. There's a heavy-handed approach to speeding, and I don't see the numbers being reduced!

"Please pick up after your dog." Ducks, are you listening !!

Howl over dog chips

Farmers will unleash a howl of protest at the National Sheep Dog Trials in Omarama on June 2 against the compulsory microchipping of all dogs.

At a given signal, as many as 300 dogs and their trialist and farmer owners will bark up a storm to try to overturn microchipping laws under amendment.

The Dog's Breakfast protest is being backed by Federated Farmers and the New Zealand Sheep Dog Trial Association.

(...)This loss of registration revenue explains why some councils were reluctant to police the law.
"It would be more effective to remove the dangerous breeds and the unregistered dogs that are roaming around," he said. "A lot of the problems are from unregistered dogs, and they will not be microchipped anyway."

(...) Microchipping would discourage the owners of dangerous dogs from registering their animals, making it more difficult to identify the owners of dogs that attack.

The logic in expecting microchips to stop dogs from biting was weird, he said. "How about chipping all babies to prevent rape, murder and mayhem, because if a dog chip stops a dog from biting, then a chip will surely prevent a person from attacking."
Oliver said he was unaware of any vicious attack on a child by a farm dog, and dog bites were limited to people breaking up a dog fight or helping a dog that had got itself tangled in a fence or was in trouble.

Read the complete article here

May 10, 2006

Dog law collars control officer

Rod McLeod tried to stop the law forcing the compulsory micro-chipping of all newly registered dogs from July 1. But as Te Kuiti's dog control officer, he might have to enforce it.

Speaking at a public meeting called by Waikato Federated Farmers in Te Kuiti last night, Mr McLeod said he had opposed the Dog Control Amendment Act in 2003 when he was president of the New Zealand Institute of Animal Control Officers.

"We fought this all the way. Our whole argument, right from the start, was that the good people are going to have to pay again," he said. MORE >>

May 09, 2006

Ready to microchip

The Whangarei District Council will be ready to microchip dogs when the new law comes into effect on July 1. While other local authorities have suggested defiance to the controversial law changes, especially as it applies to farm dogs, Whangarei plans to toe the line.

But compliance manager Nick Fowler says only new puppies and unregistered dogs found wandering will be microchipped. Law-abiding dog owners are unlikely to be affected until they get a new dog, which could be up to 20 years away, he says.

hein?!? 20 yrs away... I would love my dog to live until he's 20 but to really imply that people won't pay for another 20 years is misleading.

To help save costs to owners, animal control contractors will be able to insert the microchip, saving a trip to the vet, he says.

And how much will that be? I think that's a great idea, especially the personal factor, or am I misinterpreting something??

The council has already spent $30,000 on upgrading its computer system, so it can run with the new national database, controlled by the Department of Internal Affairs, says corporate services manager Alistair Drake.

$30,!! was that really necessary? I mean, that's a lot of dog bites!

While Mr Drake says he understands the frustration from the farming community, microchipping only has to be done once in a new dog's lifetime.

If that is so, why then do dog owner have to 'register' their dogs each year, if they are microchipped??

Contractors have been told not to be "over the top" in enforcement, he says.
"From a council's point of view we can't disobey the law...but they're not going to be seeking out dogs that need to be microchipped. "They're not going to be knocking on farmers' doors and asking if they have a new dog that needs to be microchipped."

but that will give council a great excuse to 'visit' those farmers.

Mr Fowler says microchipping will not stop a dog from biting but will eventually make it easier for the council to identify dogs.


However the system will take up to 20 years to be put in place, as current dogs die out, he says.
The Whangarei District has 9500 registered dogs and anywhere between 3000 to 6000 unregistered dogs. Parliament is still debating whether to exclude working dogs or remove the need for microchipping altogether

Open day full of cuddles

Taupo SPCA and the dog pound threw open their doors on Saturday to give the community more of an idea about what they do. Taupo SPCA president Faye Johnson says the open day was successful with a good turnout and about $270 raised.

"We rehomed three cats, a kitten and two puppies, but we did have one cat and one kitten brought in, but still we're very pleased with the amount of people and the profile." MORE>>

I'm surprised that not more money was raised...

May 08, 2006

Protests planned over dog chipping

Federated Farmers will stage a series of protests against microchipping of farm dogs around New Zealand over the next two months. Tim Cronshaw reports. Farmers have been heartened by political parties being divided on the issue, although an impasse seems unlikely to be broken at this stage.

(...) We only need United Future to change their stance from an exemption for farm dogs to no microchipping at all, and then we will have National, ACT, the Maori Party, Greens and United Future, and potentially New Zealand First, all on the same songsheet. We have always been optimistic that common sense will prevail."

However, New Zealand First appears to be pro-microchipping as is Labour.
An amendment bill by Green Party leader Jeanette Fitzsimons, drawn in a ballot yesterday, supports only menacing dogs to be microchipped, while among the proposed amendments which may yet be included are an attempt by National MP David Carter to scrap microchipping.

Good'on the Greens to take a stand. Either all dogs are dangerous and 'need' supposed microchipping, or none.

United Future has backed microchipping, but wants farm dogs to be exempted, which has failed to gain the support of the Greens.

May 06, 2006

Benefits for all if compromise found on microchipping dogs

Political horse trading is a well-known phenomenon, but dog trading may be a more appropriate description for what it seems farmers may be required to do to ensure their dogs are exempted from the microchipping provisions of a new local government bill, says the Taranaki Daily News.

A weak argument lies in this article...

Burglar hounded by Holmes

Doglinks' is in the news!!

06 May 2006

Christchurch pooch called Sherlock Holmes proved his crimefighting credentials by sniffing out a dairy robbery in progress and helping police put the burglar in the human doghouse.

Sherlock Holmes, or Holmes for short, alerted his owner Blair Anderson to a burglary at the Wainoni Dairy while out for an early-morning walk last July. The case came to court this week.

The 10-year-old beagle-border collie-cross dragged Anderson across the road and about 50 metres towards the dairy, barking incessantly, after the canny canine detected something was wrong, his owner said. Outside the locked dairy, Anderson said he heard someone smash a window and drop what sounded like a crowbar.

Man and dog ran back to their house, where Anderson called 111.

With police and their sniffer dog, Holmes and Anderson tracked the burglar, who was hiding in the bushes several hundred metres from the scene of the crime.

Between the dairy and burglar Robert Boyd's hideout, a trail of black clothing, a crowbar and a backpack were found, Anderson said.

The burglar was arrested, and the rest is elementary, my dear Watson.

Boyd this week pleaded guilty in the Christchurch District Court to burglary and providing false details to police.
He was sentenced to 18 months in prison, a result police say was largely due to Holmes' dogged detection.

Constable Chris Caldwell, one of the police officers who arrested Boyd, said he may have escaped if Holmes and his owner had not got involved.

Caldwell said that because police got a call from Anderson while the crime was in progress, and he was able to point out the direction the offender had gone, the professional sniffer dog was able to get on the trail of the robber.

Protests planned over dog chipping

Federated Farmers will stage a series of protests against microchipping of farm dogs around New Zealand over the next two months. Farmers have been heartened by political parties being divided on the issue, although an impasse seems unlikely to be broken at this stage.
Federated Farmers president Charlie Pedersen said that scrapping the microchipping law for farm dogs was not a lost cause, although ultimately it would be decided by politicians. MORE>>

Dog information evenings 05 May 2006
Matamata-Piako District Council is hosting three Dog Information Evenings, to answer questions about mircochipping (sic) of dogs.

These meetings are about myth busting and educating," says Council's Environmental Services Manager Dennis Bellamy "(...)

The evenings will be:
Morrinsville, May 9, 5.30pm, Senior Citizens Hall.
Matamata, May 10, 5.30pm, Matamata Memorial Centre.
Te Aroha, May 11, 5.30pm, St Joseph's Hall.

Or, you can just go on the Net and see for yourself... check out this site

May 05, 2006

Dog of an idea

That good intentions can too easily create a dog's breakfast is being shown by the row over canine microchipping, writes The Press in an editorial.

This could only have worked if it could be guaranteed that working dogs never left the farm – and it could not. Besides, it would make no sense at all for a national database to be set up but then exclude certain dogs, so the focus of the debate has rightly shifted to the mandatory microchipping regime itself.

The key issue is not the cost to owners or councils but the fact that it would not work. (...) There should be tough controls targeted at dangerous dogs or even breeds, but microchipping should remain voluntary, not made mandatory. Unfortunately National, the Greens, ACT and the Maori Party are unlikely to muster the numbers to axe this dog of an idea.

And Dunne (or like I refer to him, Dunny) would never support the Greens for an idea of theirs, would he? A Family Party?!? doh!

CCC backs exemption for farm dogs on chips 05 May 2006

Christchurch City councillors have voted to exclude farm dogs from the controversial microchipping legislation.

The legislation, which requires all dogs registered after July 1 to be microchipped, has divided Parliament, but South Island councils are now united in their bid to exclude farm dogs.

Are they hypocritical, or what?! they should exclude ALL dogs!! not just farm dogs. My dog, for example, has never ever bitten anyone. And he's not even microchipped. We just worked hard at giving him dog manners.

Children read to him! Kids and parents love the "little wolf that lives under him" story (which relates to his natural markings). Holmes, my dog, is the Snoopy of all Snoopy's!!

Dog owner reassured over barking worries

Taupo woman worried her dog could be put down for excessive barking, has been reassured that there are plenty of steps which can be taken to help reduce any problem.

Look on and you'll find some really good advice

Patricia Keelan was bewildered over two complaints to Taupo dog control officers saying her jack russell terrier, three-year-old Nash, barks too much. He certainly did raise the alarm when the Times went to visit, but settled down once formalities were over and we were seated in the lounge. Taupo dog control officer Cherry Hewitt confirmed two complaints had been received, one in March and a second anonymous call on Sunday afternoon.

The problem with 'anonymous calls' and the impact it has is really quite under-stated. I mean, someone could complain about your dog (ie a neighbour that always wanted to get back at you)and you really don't have the right to defend your self. Not only this, but it affects your 'Good DOg Onwership' status with your City Council.

Mrs Keelan, her children aged 14 and 21, Nash, and the family cat have not long been in their Kaka St flat. Nash has a big, well-fenced yard, a kennel outside, but he sleeps indoors in the laundry. He has been registered every year, and Mrs Keelan gets a reduced registration fee because the layout ensures he is kept secure.

Usually barking has to be loud and continuous to warrant taking any action and sometimes assessing that can be difficult, Mrs Hewitt says.

"We have to find out how big a problem it is with all the neighbours."
Officers would survey all the neighbours to see whether they had concerns.
"But there just haven't been the complaints in this case," she said.

There are a range of options an owner can take to stop a dog barking too much, Mrs Hewitt says. But she adds it was not an easy problem to solve and it does take time.

Dogfight over chipping

United Future battles with former allies

BLAH BLAH BLAH... but I like what the National Party said:

National Agriculture spokesman David Carter said: "United Future hold the balance of power on this issue. They call themselves the common sense party but there's no common sense if they are going to force all dogs to be microchipped"

"I call on United Future to ensure this ludicrous plan is not inflicted on any dog, particularly the farm working dogs they promised to keep exempt.", Mr Carter said. He urged the party not to make themselves the government's "poodles" by voting with Labour.

May 04, 2006

Rescue dog sees more

The dog that found a body crushed under a tree within minutes, after the man's family had searched for hours, was part of a display by police dog teams yesterday at College Street Normal School.

Brik and two other dogs were taken to the school by their handlers to show what they are capable of. Brik is a search-and-rescue dog and was pivotal in finding the body of a man killed while chopping a tree for firewood on a Linton farm last month.

Officer in charge of the police dog-handling unit at Palmerston North, Paul George, said the man was completely covered by the tree and his family had spent six hours looking for him around the area where he had been working. "They had been searching for hours and they called us at about 10.30 at night and Brik found him within 10 minutes."

Brik's calm temperament –makes him good for search and rescue. Other, more aggressive dogs are more suited to the armed offenders squad. Brik and handler Dean Harker are part of the six-person dog team in Palmerston North.

The dogs average 20 to 25 jobs a week, including rescues, tracking and control work.
Dogs are trained from puppies, live with the handler and their families and usually have a career with the police until they are eight years old and get a bit slow for the job.

Editorial: Logic off the leash

Microchipping of dogs is dumb, dumb, dumb.

No reasonable argument has been made that this will lessen the risk of dog attacks, and if anything it will increase it because fewer people will be inclined to register their animals.

That's what I've been saying for the past few posts!! I guess people have been reading what I've been saying, and agreeing. And who said that the Internet isn't powerful :)

The politicians and the public were slow to realise the implications of microchipping part of the Dog Control Amendment Bill when it was passed in 2004.

Funnily enough, during the elction campaign, DOGLINKS was the only one asking about microchipping, and asking the view of political parties (and posted them). During one of the political meetings, I was refused to ask my question !!!

Only ACT voted against the bill then, and while other parties had disquiet over the microchipping part, they did not want to risk derailing the whole law in an emotive post-Carolina Anderson era after the girl was mauled by a dog.

(...) Even the supporters of the law – the SPCA, veterinarians and kennel clubs – are subdued.

So why don't the politicians back down, recognise this part of the Dog Control Act for what it is, swallow some pride and drop it?

Today there is almost enough support to do just that. National, ACT, the Greens and the Maori Party want microchipping dropped. United Future will support an exemption for farm dogs only. The Greens won't wear that. For them, it's all or nothing. So, close, but no cigar. Frustratingly enough, if microchipping alone went to a conscience vote, it would most likely pass.
So, unless United Future can be swayed the rest of the way (unlikely), IDIOTS, who voted for 'em?? They only have 1% of the vote!! or New Zealand First they have 3% of the vote or Labour be so persuaded (more unlikely), it looks like we're going to have confirmed an element of law that most politicians and a great part of the community think is stupid.

Should that happen the onus falls on local government to enforce it. Now, far from us as a responsible newspaper to advocate civil disobedience, but who is really being irresponsible here? And for what? Stubbornness? Pride? We give up. We can't think of anything else.

Why should we be surprised... there are many laws out there that the public don't support but who are too afraid to say so for appearing 'not with it'. It takes DOGS and CHIPS to see it.


Horowhenua opposes microchips
Horowhenua District Council has come out in support of the opponents of dog microchipping.
Environment manager Tony Thomas says the council has voted in favour of a full exemption.
"There is nothing more that can be added at this stage," he said. "It was just a policy statement by the council." However, Palmerston North City Council plans to fully comply with the microchipping legislation.

Microchip opponents can't muster majority
Number-crunching opponents of mandatory microchipping of dogs are still trying to muster a majority in Parliament to defeat the law but their campaign appears to be doomed.

All newly registered dogs have to be microchipped under a provision that comes into force on July 1, and MPs who want to stop it have drafted amendments to a local government bill which is going through Parliament.

May 02, 2006

Plea goes out for dog with bad paw

Save our staffie" is the plea from the Nassus Animal Shelter in Feilding, which can't fund a potentially life-saving operation for one of its charges.
Bullet, a pure-bred staffordshire bull terrier about two years old, was found abandoned three weeks ago and brought to the shelter. There she quickly endeared herself to the staff, and demonstrated a penchant for doing everything at high speed.

"She ricocheted around the place as if she had been fired from a gun," Teresa Sharman-Richards said yesterday. "That's how she got her name." However, Bullet has a large and possibly cancerous growth the size of a golf ball on her left front paw. MORE>>

Cuddle up

DOG'S LIFE: Damian Nunns with three-year-old Willow at the dog show in New Plymouth at the weekend. Nearly 600 dogs and their owners were at the TSB Stadium for the New Plymouth Kennel Club's Dog Show.

Merinos give trialers the runaround in run-up to SI champs

The wily woolly ways of merinos were under scrutiny last week as dog trialers took their first chance to herd the breed.

More than 200 dogs and 95 men and women competed in the two-day trials at Malvern Downs last week, with many farmers getting in some practice for this month's South Island championships in Omarama.

Lumsden farmer Dick Restall, who was at last week's trials with his dog Pun, said merino sheep were different to handle from crossbreds. "We normally use romneys ... I'm only getting used to this type of sheep for Omarama," he said. Another farmer, who did not want to be named, said the agility and fitness of merinos made them completely different to work with compared to crossbreds. MORE>>

Masterton council sends message against dog microchipping

More small town and rural community leaders are thumbing their noses at the Government over the proposed microchipping of dogs.

After a protest and march organised by Hawke's Bay farmers at the weekend, Masterton District Council has voted to make the microchip law low priority. "If you can't beat the new law you can at least do your best to ignore it. This is just the start. We are well ready to get down to Parliament and tell the Government to get nicked," said councillor Rod McKenzie. MORE>>
Taranaki vows fight over microchip dog law 02 May 2006
Resistance to the dog microchipping law is growing in Taranaki with two rural mayors speaking out against it.
"The last thing we want is microchipping. It's a dog," Stratford District Council's regulatory manager Mike Avery said. His council has decided to enforce microchipping only on dangerous dogs. MORE>>
Farmers welcome dog-chip stand 02 May 2006
Farmers opposed to microchipping their dogs may have found unlikely allies in the Green and Maori parties. It seems the parties, not known for their support of farmers, will be able to do what Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton failed to when he asked for farm dogs to be exempted from the controversial microchipping law due to be introduced on July 1.

When the minister asked for the exemption he was told by Cabinet there should be one law for all dogs. Both parties indicated yesterday they were likely to support a move to drop the proposed legislation altogether. Waikato Federated Farmers president Peter Buckley, in the throes of organising public meetings against the legislation, said farmers were welcoming the parties' support.

If the Greens and Maori parties oppose the legislation it would bring parliamentary support up to 63, forcing a Labour rethink.

Mr Buckley said he had heard some weeks ago that the Greens and Maori might join National, Act and United Future in amending the act. Though the parties were unlikely allies, Mr Buckley said farmers were supportive of any political party that sang the same tune as they did.
"We realise that they are not farmers but welcome their input."

Mr Buckley has arranged a series of public "dog-chip" meetings starting in Te Kuiti on Tuesday at 7pm. Tokoroa and Hamilton will host public meetings on Wednesday, and Te Aroha and Huntly on Thursday. From this article

May 01, 2006

Dog chip law needs rethink

The Marlborough District Council is staging a revolt - and it is to be applauded for it, writes The Marlborough Express in an editorial.
The council's assets and services committee last week said it would not enforce Government's "inappropriate and unnecessary" dog chipping legislation. And our council is not alone.
Other local bodies around the country are challenging the legislation, with some calling for exemption for working dogs and others calling for the microchipping to be voluntary. MORE>>

Dog's life in Rotorua

Rotorua is on a dog roll. And dog owners should take a bow wow.

It appears only 84 of the 7500 dog owners are not registered with the Rotorua District Council. When the national dog database kicks in on July 1 this year, a record number of dogs in the district would have been registered.

Their names, and the names of their owners, are being lodged with the national dog database. An estimated 10,452 are in the council's database - among the highest level of registrations in the district.

The Rotorua District Council's manager of regulatory and support services, Jim Nicklin, outlined information over dog control at last week's meeting of the planning and bylaws committee. In a report, he said: "One of the parameters of the database is the inclusion of new standardised and abbreviated colours of dogs and breeds of dogs."
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