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.

July 30, 2006

Racing: Vet banned after betting on dogs he doped

A greyhound racing veterinarian responsible for official drug tests has been banned from the sport for 10 years after doping dogs and betting on them. James Mason, 46, a Scot who now lives in South Auckland, was also fined $5000 following an inquiry, the Sunday Star-Times reported.

The inquiry was told that Mason injected a phosphorous supplement in July into two greyhounds which he placed with Waikato trainer Ronald O'Regan.

Four days later he gave the trainer $300 to back one of them, something he repeated with the other one another four days later.

The inquiry was also told that on July 28, Mason gave O'Regan capsules to give to two dogs, Fancy Bonnie and Fancy Joe. He told O'Regan that swabs would not detect the drugs, and that he and the Australian owners wanted to place a bet. MORE>>

July 27, 2006

Dog wakes family in burning Te Awamutu house

A frantic dog woke a man and his three daughters after a fire filled their Te Awamutu house with smoke early today. The four were saved in what firefighters said was a textbook rescue started by the dog, who raised the alarm even before smoke alarms sounded.

The man and his daughters were sleeping in the upstairs rooms of the house when he was woken by his dog which went "off his head" shortly after 5am when fire broke out in a downstairs garage and began to fill the house with smoke.


The fire was thought to have started in the electric motor of an appliance in the garage.

District's dog registrations up as owners get educated

The number of dogs registered in the Timaru district has increased by 14 per cent during the past year. The Timaru District Council's annual dog control report shows 8224 dogs were registered in the 2005/06 year. However, not all of those will be "new" dogs – some will just not have been registered before, and it's believed there could still be hundreds of unregistered dogs in the district.

Cr Terry Kennedy wasn't impressed with that, and said the council should be carrying out a purge, otherwise it was unfair on the law-abiding owners who did register their dogs.

But he was told the cost of carrying out something like a door-to-door purge would likely far outweigh the lost revenue. Hey, they can talk sense :)


July 26, 2006

Drug dogs cost schools thousands

Some Manawatu schools are paying for private dog services to ensure schools are kept drug-free, at a cost of $1500 a time. Sheese, look at all the books that would buy!

Palmerston North Boys' High School conducts up to seven searches a year. $1500 x7= $10 500
What?!? man-o-man, drugs do pay. It makes an ass of the law, doesn't it?

There is no funding available and the Ministry of Education offers no guidelines for schools to follow. Boys' High rector Tim O'Connor said he wrote to the ministry to request funding, but -was declined. GOOD !

"I think this is an indictment on the ministry - they don't know what's happening in the real world," Mr O'Connor said. "How do they expect us to have a safe and healthy environment for students? I don't make any apology for taking a hard line. Drugs are not accepted."
Did you know that booting kids out of school is the worse thing to do! What are they going to do while "at home"? So they are kicked out of sports, and all the ties they have... Don't you think that schools should be more "educate-ful?

Students found with drugs are stood down.

The education ministry doesn't endorse drug searches in schools, spokesman Vince Cholewa said. He advises schools to seek legal advice if they do decide on searches. Mr Cholewa said only police have a right to search a school if drugs are suspected. That will really help kids have friendly relationships with their neighbourhood constable.

"Teachers aren't above the law," he said. Yes, because even teachers smoke dope!

"The ministry is not a law-enforcement agency, (therefore) we don't have guidelines about drug searches."

Random drug searches, despite the name, require much planning, Queen Elizabeth College acting principal Mary Zambazos said. Why don't you spend your time doing other things !!

"Drug searches are a grey area in schools," she said. "We prefer to use the police (to search), then all our legal obligations are met." Yup, pass the bucket! but I know what they mean...

Students who have been stood down must agree to a drug test before returning to school, Mrs Zambazos said. Well it takes 30 days for cannabis to leave the body, so that means, stood down for at least 30 days.... So what do the kids do instead? Yes, take other drugs that don't stay in their system.. something more harmful. Great way to manage this problem!

Some city schools employ Auckland-based company (.) (why give more publicity to them?) , to conduct searches.

Owned by former police officers, the company provides and trains specialist dogs in a range of areas including drugs, explosives, firearms, searching and tracking.

Mr O'Connor said using a private company is less alarmist than using the police. But they WERE the police!!

Once drugs are found and students questioned, schools have a legal obligation to involve parents or guardians, Freyberg High School principal Mike McMenamin said.

"Schools have policies in place to deal with these situations and anyone can ask to see it."

Palmerston North police youth aid officer Sergeant Peter Knight said police, on average, search a school a month for drugs. This is at the request of the school.

"We have to have good cause to suspect drugs, then police can enforce a search under the Misuse of Drugs Act." Ya man... just a whiff, a? They'll say anything to enforce this Act!

However, many searches yield nothing, Sgt Knight said. So the school that spends $10,500 a year should save their money, is that what they are saying?
What they ARE saying is that this article is just scare-mongering... bloody media ! making something out of nothing!

July 25, 2006

Fewer dogs ending up with a chip on their shoulder

Auckland vets aren't doing the roaring trade expected from new dog microchipping laws.
gee, darn! hard time paying the rent, are they?!

The Auckland Citnperzyloy Harbour News spoke to four vets in Pt Chevalier, Ponsonby, Herne Bay and Grey Lynn this week. The average number of dogs they had microchipped since the new law came into force on July 1 was five. Pt Chevalier Veterinary Clinic head nurse Jacqui Wigmore says few customers have even asked about it. Probably because they don't think it's important!

The new law requires all dogs classified as dangerous and newly-registered dogs to have chips inserted within two months. Each chip costs between $10 and $20, with vet's costs another $30 to $70. Maybe that's why they aren't asking.. the fear of the cost!

The Auckland City Council has decided to place a "low priority" on enforcing the laws.
and so they should!

Councillor Cathy Casey says they will take the focus off dog registration.
She says 99.9 percent of the 18,649 known dog owners in Auckland city registered their dogs in June - "the highest ever". And look what the SPCA says at the bottom of the article !! Hell, with this compliance, why the grim quote?

To enforce the new rules immediately would be expensive for the council and those costs would be "borne by the dog owners of Auckland", Ms Casey says.

Auckland SPCA chief executive Bob Kerridge says the council is "irresponsible". "To have the council stand on a soapbox and say they're not going to enforce it is an open invitation to people to treat all laws with the same contempt." Hum... with 99% dog registration, why beef?!

July 21, 2006

Doggie Doo Dumpster

The Far North District Council is installing a "Doggie Doo Dumpster" at Te Haumi foreshore near Paihia to encourage dog owners to pick up and dispose of their pets' droppings.

Responsible dog owners have long complained that, while they are prepared to carry a "pooper scooper" and accept responsibility for canine droppings, they have nowhere to safely dispose of the droppings.

The council is trialling the dumpster for three months as a potential solution to the problem.
Dog owners will still be required to carry a plastic bag or container to pick up their dogs' droppings, but now have somewhere to dispose of the container. MORE>>

Inter-club dog trials decided at Motunau

Daniel Greenwood and Mark Mallinson stormed home for their sister clubs of Hilton-Gapes Valley and Geraldine to win the Canterbury inter-club dog-trial competition.
The pair completed an aggregate score of 190 points in the final hunt and heading run-offs against the three top teams for each section.

Greenwood and his dog Boy put up 96.5 points to edge out Dick Carmichael and Brook who finished with 91 points.

Third were Ollie Dickson and Hurk on 90.5 points. The sheep were less willing to play ball in the heading final and Mallinson and his dog Havoc did well to return home as the clear winner, with 94 points. MORE>>

Inter-club dog trials decided at Motunau

Daniel Greenwood and Mark Mallinson stormed home for their sister clubs of Hilton-Gapes Valley and Geraldine to win the Canterbury inter-club dog-trial competition. MORE>>

July 20, 2006

Microchipped dogs but a chipped cat?

Dargaville resident Maureen Woolley thinks the microchipping of animals is a good idea.
So much so she has had her best friend, Blackie the cat microchipped.

Mrs Woolley says she got Blackie microchipped, apparently the first Dargaville cat to have the procedure done, as she will be giving her to a friend in Ruawai to look after while she is involved in a family event later this year.

``I know cats will walk miles to get back home and in case she decides to take the long walk back to Dargaville, I decided to get her microchipped,'' she says MORE>>

Good for her for doing that on her own. I personally think that cats should be registered, just like the scheme in Victoria, Australia. They've got a programme there in which $3 of each cat registration and $5 of each dog registration goes towards their school education programme about animals. They train volunteers to educate the kids in schools. There's also a website that is dedicated for the kids...

July 18, 2006

District's dog owners seek fee reductions

Dog owners hit with higher registration fees are looking for ways to pay less.

The Timaru District Council's registration fees for the 2006/07 year reflect the increased costs involved in microchipping and establishing the national dog database.

The increased fees have seen some owners ask for selected owner status and others are claiming their dogs – although described as entire on the database – are actually neutered, so should attract a lower fee.

Environmental health manager David Vince said yesterday a number of people had asked if they could apply for selected owner status.

For a neutered dog in an urban area, that would see the fee drop from $40 to $20. MORE>>

I just had an email from someone who'd dog died because of complications of neutering... is it really worth the price?

Detector dogs to sniff out illegal paua export

A new breed of detector dog is being trained to help combat illegal export of paua from New Zealand.

Minister of Fisheries Jim Anderton yesterday described paua smuggling as "big business", and said he was concerned about the threat it posed to New Zealand's economic well-being.
Mr Anderton watched two trainee detector dogs, Luke and Taz, demonstrating their skills at Auckland International Airport yesterday.

"Paua means so much to New Zealanders, and is part of our cultural identity. We are taking steps to stop those involved and shut down their routes for exporting what they have stolen," he said.


July 16, 2006

Rosier life for dog with nine lives

Life was not looking rosy for a dog called Ruby just a fortnight ago - she had been abandoned in a Manawatu rubbish skip.

Her animal shelter says she had probably been abused and neglected for years, but now she is a dog with nine lives. She gave birth to six male and three female pups on Sunday.
Ruby is now being looked after at a privately run animal shelter near Feilding.

"She's definitely had quite a few beatings I would say, because if you go near her at certain stages she's very unsure of your hands," Theresa Sharman-Richards of Nassus Animal Shelter says. MORE>>

July 15, 2006

Tiny terror has dog rangers on the run

A pint-sized chihuahua known as Bertie is wreaking havoc in Otaki, rampaging around town, terrorising large dogs and children and causing state highway motorists grief.

Dog rangers say the tiny dog is a recidivist offender and has had them on the run for more than four years with his hell-raising antics. Repeatedly jailed at the local pound, Bertie is a menace known to confront dogs up to 10 times his size, repeatedly lunging at and threatening to bite young children and using State Highway 1 as his playground.

The terror of Otaki is currently in custody but is an accomplished escape artist known to have fled his own home and the pound on several occasions. Kapiti Coast District councillor Alan Tristram said he had met Bertie during a brief visit to the pound to collect his dog.
"I was very taken by him – there was something engaging about the way he looked at me," Mr Tristram said.
The council would not comment on the case or Bertie's fate.

July 14, 2006

Beagles keep a nose in front of contraband

The airline passenger from Australia was only carrying a wallet, but the detector dog could smell something else.

Dog handler Liz Moore says it was clear the beagle had sniffed out something of interest.
"He just kept pushing his nose into the man's pocket," she says.

At the handler's request the man opened his wallet to reveal a couple of small leaves.
They were a souvenir pulled from a tree on the set of the television show Neighbours.
The beagles's sensitive noses are trained to sniff out anything that could carry unwanted pests or disease: Fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, plant products and live animals.

Ms Moore says they can smell even a single seed on the bottom of a shoe. MORE>>

Dogs welcome

Dogs and gardens often don't mix, but can get along with the right training and the right planting. Having several large dogs leaping around their garden would give many gardeners nightmares, but some people do it on purpose.

A large A-frame and various jumps make unusual garden features on Yvonne Lowe's well-kept lawn, but these are no ornaments. Yvonne spends many weekends travelling to compete at shows with Journey, her agility champion Huntaway-cross dog. At her Bell Block home, Yvonne juggles her passion for the sport with caring for her teenage family and working part-time as a dog trainer, teaching agility classes and looking after her two other big dogs and various pets.


Having dogs playing on a lawn can wear the grass down, particularly in winter, so Yvonne has pieces of netting on two pegs that can be moved about and placed in areas where the grass is getting damaged by frolicking paws. (...)

Having a good-sized area of concrete around the house helps minimise the mud carried in by the dogs. Yvonne has recently paved an area near the house with some pieces of Taranaki's doggy history. The paving stones came from outside the old dog training club at East End Reserve, which was removed to make way for the skating rink some years ago after the North Taranaki Dog Training Club moved to its present Glen Avon grounds.

Yvonne rescued the pavers when the building at East End was being demolished. Now, after a professional clean and set with potted plants, they look as good as new.

"Sometimes I sit here and wonder how many people have stood nervously on them waiting to go into the ring," she says. "I could name a few people who've spent more time than me!"
One of them could be Patricia Martin, who has trained and competed with her dogs in obedience, agility and working trials for many years.

But no matter what their specialty is, her three border collies all scurry at the shout:

"Getoffthegarden", whether she's inside or outside the house.

Patricia uses temporary fencing to keep the dogs off the gardens at her Omata home while they are puppies, and the garden on the lawn where she trains the dogs is a raised bed, which helps protect it.

"If you can, have raised gardens. We put up ropes and that works quite well, except when David (her husband) or myself fall over the damn ropes!

"I've put pathways through my vegetable garden, rather than have one great long strip. The dogs know to walk around the edges or through the paths, although Rosie (the puppy) is still figuring out where she's allowed to go in the garden."

Patricia says she doesn't select plants with the dogs in mind, but finds some are more dog-resistant than others.

"Roses are quite good, the dogs soon learn that they're prickly, and things like natives and grasses are good – they can handle a dog running over them at great speed."
Some people have a part of their property fenced off for their dogs and put plantings in areas where the animals don't spend much time.

Dog groomer Jane Tett of New Plymouth owns two bichon dogs, but can have up to 14 canines at her home for grooming and boarding. Jane has bred, shown and groomed dogs for 28 years and last year opened Jane's Dog Grooming Studio.

She has gone for easy-care planting around her section, using tough plants like agapanthus, along with potted plants and pebbles.

Even though Jane only works with small dogs, the animals could make a mess if not managed well. She doesn't have kennels, so the dogs live in the house. She has a downstairs room set aside for them. This opens on to a yard where the planting is strictly utilitarian and dog-proof agapanthus and grass.

* A dog-friendly garden
Dog trainer Yvonne Lowe knows how dogs and gardens can work together. "A lot of people come to me about digging, which can be difficult to stop, but here's some ideas."

* They always dig more after rain, especially during summer.

* For holes being dug repeatedly in the same area, fill in the hole and peg a small square of wire-netting over it, then leave it there until the grass grows back.

* Another idea is to fill in the hole, then leave the spade or a fence standard standing up, stuck in the earth.

* Only feed the dog raw bones, preferably brisket bones they can eat in one session. Bigger bones are likely to be buried.

* Sometimes, burying a few of the dog's own droppings in the hole will stop a repeat digger.

* Confining the dog in a kennel and run is better than a chain because it looks neater in the garden and stops them digging when they are bored.

* A solid fence with no peepholes will stop dogs running up and down along it and wearing a track.

* A larger sheet of netting, pegged down at the edges, can prevent holes being dug in areas where you're likely to step in them in the dark.

* A small battery-powered electric wire can be set up to deter dogs from trampling gardens.

* Don't put any cooked food or tasty scraps in the compost bin if the dog can get into it.

* If you are using snail bait, put it under a margarine container with a stake to hold it down.

* Don't use blood and bone or animal manure where the dogs can wander because they will dig it out.

* Deep wood-chip mulch is good – dogs don't seem to like walking on it.

* Male dogs prefer to poop in one area, so this can help with training them to use an out-of-the-way area.

Dog days

Every dog has his day and Andrew Pope spent much of yesterday at Hamilton District Court dressed as a dog. Wearing a white and black dog suit, rubber glove on one hand, dog collar with registration tag, carrying a Tux bag and using dog biscuits as paper weights, Pope appeared before Judge Denise Clark.

The 51-year-old was disputing a Hamilton City Council infringement notice for owning a dog that was not kept under control. Council lawyer Dorothy Thresher said Pope's huntaway dog Puppy wandered from his Grey St home to a house in Fifth Ave on November 20 last year.

The council impounded the dog and asked Pope to pay a $160 fee to get it back. He paid by cheque but later instructed his bank to stop payment. The council sent him an infringement notice requesting payment of $300 and the original fees. Pope requested a defended hearing.
The judge, who seemed to realise Pope was dressed as a dog after seeing a tail protruding from his overcoat, found in Pope's favour on a technicality.

"I am not satisfied that the only inference I can draw was that the defendant caused the dog to be at large. It may have been someone else who caused that to occur," Judge Clark said.

Pope submitted that the dog control officers had a choice to return the dog to its owner or take it to the pound.

Dog control officer Matthew Auld said he always took dogs to the pound, unless the dog was found right outside its home.

Outside court, Pope said he didn't want to appear dogmatic but he had a point to make. He said the council held him "emotionally and financially" to ransom by taking the dog he loved and demanded he pay for its release or it would be killed.

He said council procedures were a "revenue gathering exercise dreamed up by bureaucrats".

Council general manager environmental services, Graeme Fleming, said they accepted Judge Clark's decision.

"There is a technical error in the way the notice was served. We have learned from that and move on," he said.

Dunnies for doggies

The Far North District Council is installing a "Doggie Doo Dumpster" at Te Haumi foreshore as an incentive to dog owners to pick up and dispose of their pets' droppings.

Responsible dog owners have long argued that while they are quite prepared to carry a pooper-scooper and accept responsibility for canine droppings, they are left with the quandary of where to dispose of the droppings.

The Doggie Doo Dumpster is being trialed for three months as a potential solution. Dog owners will still be required to carry a plastic bag or container to pick up doggie discards, but now have somewhere to dispose of the container. The trial is being sponsored by dog owner Belinda Pryke from the Beachcomber Resort which overlooks the Te Haumi foreshore and town maintenance contractor Excell Corporation has agreed to empty the dumpster free of charge. Hey that's good publicity for her... more here :)

At the end of the trial decisions will be made as to whether to expand the scheme and how it may be funded in the longer term.

July 13, 2006

Designer dog

What does an affluent society do with its ever-increasing disposable income? Dress up the dog, of course. It's woof wow in the fashion world as designer dogs and their outfits are becoming the must-have accessory of the decade.

Toy dogs are the latest look, not only for the rich and famous – otherwise known as Paris and Tinkerbell – but for ordinary men and women as a smaller, easy-care option in pets.

As people downsize their sections and minimalise their homes, no longer is there room in the new urban lifestyle for large dogs and the input they require. And with ever smaller dogs come all the accessories imaginable. It is possible to kit out your dog with a complete wardrobe for all seasons.

Designer apparel for pets is growing in Taranaki with local pet shops stocking accessories from collars and leashes to superman suits and pyjamas – or petjamas! Items also include fancy bowls, sleeping beds and even dog handbags where your dog can sit in comfort and enjoy the trip to the shops. MORE>>

To microchip or not to microchip

Dog control officers in the Queenstown Lakes District will be on patrol looking out for pet pooches posing as hard-working farm dogs when they're really just lounging lifestylers.
Human workers have "instinct" too and CivicCorp staff are becoming expert at deciphering who's actually doing all the work down on the farm. MORE>>

Mainly dangerous dogs to have their chips

The Invercargill City Council would not flout new dog microchipping laws but its priority would be on menacing and dangerous dogs, councillors were told at their meeting yesterday. (...)

Mayor Tim Shadbolt said the trouble for the council was that if a person said his dog was used for stock control and claimed an exemption "how are we going to know" one way or the other. MORE>>

July 10, 2006

Bad taste SPCA Ads Spring Up In South Auckland

Ana says: Springing up around South Auckland this controversy-courting SPCA ad from Lowe advertising in Auckland

July 06, 2006

Dogs still man's best friend

This month brings microchipping and a rise in registration costs, but pet stores and breeders say it hasn't stopped people from buying dogs.

The increase in registration costs is due, in part, to the added cost of maintaining a new dog-control national database. It should actually be due to some better dog education programmes in schools!

But Manawatu District Council (MDC) environmental manager Patrick McHardy said only a small percentage of dog owners will end up paying the full registration price. "The council wants to encourage people to join the preferred owners scheme," Mr McHardy said.
The scheme allows a dog-control officer to inspect the property and the dog to check it is under control and has access to shelter, food and water. Owners on the scheme pay $18 to register rather than $40. Finally a good idea...

Speyed and neutered dogs also cost $18 to register. Farm dog registration has increased from $14 to $18, which Mr McHardy says is still cheaper than in most districts.

Palmerston North pet shop Animates general manager Richard Bowker said Animates had been microchipping its puppies for at least two years. Oh good for you...

The company even donated scanners to the pound and SPCA. a great story with free publicity... I guess they can afford it as the price for a dog is sooo expensive. It's doesn't deserve the rpice tag!

"With all the talk going on, we thought it would come in at some stage. In terms of management, we thought it was a reasonable idea," Mr Bowker said. He said the company absorbed the cost of the microchipping. "Obviously because we buy in bulk, we get a good deal."

A Manawatu Veterinary Services spokeswoman said while there hadn't been a mad rush to get dogs chipped, those who had come in were not complaining. "They seemed okay with it, I guess the ones who would be complaining aren't getting it done," the spokeswoman said. That's about right.

The MDC sent pamphlets with information on microchipping with the registration notices this year. However, the farm-dog exemption was introduced in Parliament after the pamphlets were sent out. Manawatu Veterinary Services said it prefers to leave microchipping until a puppy is at least 12 weeks old. This means people who buy from breeders will be responsible for chipping their own dogs. Manawatu breeder Helen Upson said most allowed puppies to go to owners when seven to eight weeks old. She said she was looking into getting equipment to do her own microchipping. Mr McHardy said as long as the chips are compatible, he sees no reason why people can't chip their own dogs. Oh... ya mean competition!!

Dogs go on killing rampage

Two roaming dogs caused the deaths of several breeding pheasants in Rongotea at the weekend.
Pheasant breeder Jim Cook was shocked to discover the dead game birds on Sunday night when he returned home from work. He had caught two dogs earlier that day as they were ripping into the hutch of a pet rabbit on the front lawn.

"It's a whole breeding season gone," said Mr Cook.
The dogs got into the pheasant aviary by ripping a hole in one corner of the netting. The game birds killed were of the ring-necked and silver pheasant breeds along with several mutant varieties. A pet magpie also died when its legs were ripped off by the dogs. MORE>>

Tags for exempt dogs non-existent

Applying the new dog control rule which excuses stock dogs from microchipping has hit a hiccup.
The specially marked tags for dogs excluded under a recent amendment don't exist. Oh me, oh my.. wouldn't it have been easier just to 'chip all dogs or no dogs... would the money spent on these sorts of stupidity be better spent on educating the public on 'how to read a dog!"

Timaru District Council environmental health manager David Vince said the labelled tags were a completely new requirement and one that couldn't be met on July 1.

He said a common sense approach would see statutory requirements carried out as soon as possible. The dogs exempt from chipping are used to work stock – genuine farm dogs, but an urban-dwelling farm worker's dogs would meet the criteria.

(blah, blah, blah. I'm surprised the Racing Dog Council isn't up in arms about the 'chip as it was said in Australia (where Greyhounds don't require the 'chip) that when a dog requires laser therapy (which most racing dogs do), they can't do it because the 'chip + laser = a no-no.


Customs on the hunt for hounds

Got a dog who's constantly digging holes? He could make a good explosives detector.

The New Zealand Customs Service is looking for energetic, playful dogs to train to seek out drugs or explosives. I think there would be a lot of people wanting a dog to do the first of the two! :))

Drug detector dogs are trained to find illegal drugs such as cannabis, methamphetamine or cocaine while explosive detector dogs screen cargo crossing New Zealand's borders for commercial and military-type explosives. Wasn't it heroin that dog can't detect? Isn't that why it's so easy to bring in heroin into countries. I may be wrong, but I think that's what a drug dog handler said!!

"We're looking particularly for labradors, springer spaniels or mixed-breed dogs but will consider any hunting breeds that are good retrievers, are of medium size and are healthy," detector dog training team leader Dave Huff says.

The dog would have to be between one and two years old to be suitable for training as a dog detector. Mr Huff says a dog who is constantly digging holes and retrieving things is likely to be a good candidate. Ya see, what bothers the homeowner, helps other jobs!

He suggests testing their fetching skills by throwing a tennis ball for at least 10 minutes.
"If your dog is totally focused on the game, retrieves the tennis ball and doesn't get distracted and wander off to do other things, then they could be what Customs is looking for."
If you think your dog may make a good detector, call Customs to arrange an assessment.

Dog handler at centre of crashed police car inquiry

A Rotorua police dog handler is at the centre of an investigation into a police car crash.
An unmarked police car assigned to Sergeant Keith Mitchell was found smashed into a power police and abandoned at 5.30am on Saturday.

Rotorua area commander Inspector Bruce Horne said Mr Mitchell was "normally the person who would be driving that car" and he was among the staff who had spoken to the inquiry team.
"What we've got is a police car found smashed against a power pole with no one in it. That is unusual," he told the New Zealand Herald.

A police source told the paper Mr Mitchell had told the inquiry his vehicle had been stolen.
Mr Horne would not say if any staff had been stood down.

Mr Mitchell was praised by police bosses in May for saving the lives of two men by clinging to the bumper of their van as it teetered over an 8m bank.

Family helped hide dog stabber

The man who stabbed police dog Ed was aided in avoiding police for days before the incident by family members, a court has heard.

Graham Leslie Ashcroft, 53, a Raupunga, Hawke's Bay, farmer was being tracked by police for breaching bail on other charges when he was cornered at a pine plantation last month. MORE>>

July 05, 2006

Reprieve for farm dogs but issues remain

Matamata farmer Stew Wadey – the senior vice-president of Waikato Federated Farmers – says a full review of the Dog Control Act is still required, despite last week's split vote from the Green Party that gave farm and companion' dogs an exemption from microchipping laws.
"I believe all of the dogs that attacked people in Auckland were unregistered anyway and officials were still able to track the owners. The victims are rightly entitled to ACC but we all pay levies for that. Responsible owners also pay out to register their dogs to cover the cost of dog control officers. Presumably ratepayers will now be funding the district council's share of maintaining the looming national microchip database," says Mr Wadey.

Although opposed to microchipping, Mr Wadey is adamant we do need a more robust registration regime, based on what is already in place.

"It goes back to rewriting some meaty stuff into the Dog Control Act, not just an amendment. A good adherence to registration was a pivotal instrument in helping eliminate hydatids from New Zealand years ago, when farm dogs were taken to a dosing strip. Since then, attitudes to registration have relaxed and we find ourselves in the situation we are in today."

He sees all sorts of administration issues for the government and says he can see the issue rearing its head again in the run-up to the next election.

As for the national media attention for his dog suit, Mr Wadey says he was wearing it because he drew the short straw among the four-strong delegation – who had thought of a cunning way to bypass legislation preventing dogs from being taken on to the steps of Parliament.
"The stunt has grabbed the front page and we played up for the reporters. But we were there to present our case and 6700 signature petition in a professional manner. I don't mind the fun because it profiles Waikato Federated Farmers and it has given Matamata a buzz. I have had enough offers of dog biscuits to fill my house!"
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