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.

December 30, 2006

Ghost dog haunts truckies Manawatu Standard

The first thing truckies see are the eyes, then the white, fluffy collar. Then the Desert Road "ghost dog" comes into view.

He always runs toward the traffic, New Zealand Couriers truckie Gary Soden says.
Last week, Palmerston North woman Dayna Sawtell rescued a young dog she found wandering on the Desert Road and took him to the SPCA. He has been found a new home.

At the time, people wondered whether he was the Desert Road ghost dog. It seems he was not. MORE>>

December 28, 2006

Christchurch surgeon offers hope for girl whose foot was bitten off

The family of a South African girl whose foot was severed in a vicious dog attack has moved to Christchurch so the girl can have ground-breaking surgery.

Charley Du Toit, seven, had her entire left foot ripped off about two years ago by her grandmother's bull terrier in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Since the accident, Charley has had 19 operations to reattach and rebuild the foot, including having her right calf muscle implanted into a hole in her left ankle. MORE>>

Seven-year-old attacked as dog 'snaps' during party

A 7-year-old's face was left bloodied and scarred after she was bitten by a dog at a Christmas party in Wyndham.
The black labrador was shot as Danielle Huntington was taken to Southland Hospital, where doctors treated gaping wounds that almost threatened her eye.
Mr Kirkwood said he was told Danielle was among children playing at the Marshall's Garage customers' party and near another, unrelated and private party next door.
Mr Kirkwood understood the dog "snapped" at Danielle when she lunged for its bone.
Mrs Huntington said police had not interviewed Danielle, who maintained she was bitten after the dog, unprovoked, knocked her over. Hum.. a dog and/or a lab doesn't snap when one gets knocked over. Poor girl, she probably thinks that people would think less of her if she told the truth.

Whatever the case, Mr Kirkwood said it was a "snap, all-of-a-sudden event that resulted in a significant injury – but the people at the garage party reacted quickly and did a great job".
Mr Kirkwood said the owner gave him permission to shoot the dog. It was an upsetting situation for everyone. Of course, you do realise that they will get a city council fine because the city council wants their blood too!
The whole horrible experience showed dogs, no matter how benign the breed, should be supervised around children.

Marshall's Garage owner Minnie Turner said the incident was a bolt from the blue. I don't hink so... I'm sure the dog gave signs 4b hand.
Before the incident it was thought to be "just a barker", and was usually tied up.
Now that is probably the problem. "Usually tied up". Too bad the owner didn't undrestand 'dog' and their social need to be part of the pack.

Regardless of the circumstances, Danielle was a brave wee girl. Many Wyndham people had donated money to buy her something to "make her Christmas brighter", Mr Turner said.

December 27, 2006

Mistreated dog takes farm holiday

A young South Auckland dog locked in a room and left to die is enjoying his Christmas holiday on a farm with some new canine friends.

'Job' was left in an emaciated state, near death with hardly any hair and pus-filled sores all over his body when he was rescued from a vacant Housing New Zealand property earlier this year. He had been abused before he was abandoned. The dog's injuries were so severe, the SPCA had trouble identifying his breed.

Auckland SPCA Managing Director Jane Thompson say Job seems to have captured the public's heart and gifts have been flowing in from people around the country. Ms Thompson says the dog is on the mend, has a lot more energy and is running around, although his condition still needs to be carefully monitored.

He is unable to be adopted until legal proceedings against those who mistreated him are completed and his health improves markedly. Sheese, that could take months if not years. We know how long it takes someone to go to court!!

December 26, 2006

Dognapped pets come home

It was looking like a dog of a Christmas for Shaun McDermott and his dad, Bruce, after their two pet chihuahuas were taken from their van outside Upper Hutt's KFC.

But their sad tale triggered nationwide sympathy. It apparently even tugged at the heartstrings of the dog-napper, who set them free and then made an anonymous call later just to make sure the dogs were safely home again.

One of the pets, Honey, had belonged to Shaun's mum and Bruce's wife, who died two years ago. The other, David, was acquired 15 months ago to be a special friend to Shaun, who is intellectually handicapped. David has been Shaun's best buddy since - they even sleep together. MORE>>

December 25, 2006

Dog thieves discover Christmas spirit

An Upper Hutt family has received the best Christmas present they could wish for.
Earlier this month Bruce McDermott and his Down's Syndrome son Shaun were devastated when their two pet chihuahuas were stolen.

The dogs...six-year-old Honey and 15 month-old David...were taken from a truck while the pair were parked at a KFC.

But Mr McDermott said nine days later as a result of media coverage and strong local interest, the thieves seem to have thought better of their actions.
He said the dogs were released and found... one of them even has a new collar.
Bruce McDermott said having the dogs back made for a wonderful Christmas.

December 24, 2006

Court Rules A Dog Is A Dog Not A Family Member

A New Zealander who claimed his border collie Sally did not have to be registered because she was not a dog but a loved member of the family has lost his case in court, it was reported Saturday.

The dog was impounded by Hauraki District Council dog officers after Gordon Israel, of the North Island town of Waihi, refused to pay the animal's compulsory registration fee.

He said Sally was a "living being who is loved and cared for as part of the Israel household," and should not be subject to regulation, the Waikato Times reported.

A High Court judge has upheld Israel's conviction on a charge brought under the Dog Control Act 1996, the paper reported.

As a result, Sally could have been put down but family friends have since paid for the registration and mandatory micro-chipping. "

It's a happy ending for the dog, which probably wouldn't have survived to see another Christmas," Hauraki mayor John Tregidga told the paper.

But he said council ratepayers faced a $10,000 bill for court costs. Gee, how much dog food that would have bought for the homeless pooches! But it had to go to court. I probably would have done the same. My dog is part of the family. We don't register our kids, do we? At least not every year. What I don't get is that if there is a microchip implanted in the dog, well... he's tagged for life. So why pay council fees?

December 21, 2006

It's a dog's life at Bullswool

When Bullswool Farm Park's two miniature Jack Russell terriers Digger and Specs went missing last Thursday an exhaustive search of the Karangahake farm began.

"We figured they had gone down a rabbit hole while hunting and got stuck," Bullswool Farm Park owner Sue Austen says. Days went by, and the dogs didn't appear. "We rang neighbours, had it announced on radio and spent hours going to every corner of the farm, searching and calling."

By Tuesday morning they had almost given up hope; they'd been missing five days, which seemed too long to be able to survive in a rabbit hole, she says.

"We began to have suspicions that perhaps they'd been stolen, as they're very friendly dogs who would jump into anyone's car. As awful as it sounds, in some ways we were hoping they'd been stolen, as at least it would mean they were alive." MORE>>

Desert Road 'ghost dog' finally collared?

Christmas came early for one young dog when he was rescued from living rough on the Desert Road this week.

But no one knows for sure if he is the animal nicknamed the Ghost Dog that has been spotted on the Desert Road occasionally over the past year.

Good Samaritan Dayna Sawtell was coming home from Taupo when she drove round a corner and saw the dog sitting in the middle of the road, she says.

"I just slowed down and he just stood there and then moved off to the side of the road. We stopped and wondered for a while, should we pick him up or should we leave him?" She called out to him and put out her hand, though she was a bit concerned he might rip it off. "But he licked it and we put him in the car."

Miss Sawtell says she could see his backbone and his paws were raw.

Posties learn to bite back

Whangarei posties are a lot safer while delivering our mail thanks to new protection measures brought in after a serious dog attack last year.

After the attack, which left a Whangarei postie in hospital, steps have been taken to ensure posties keep safe, especially during the hectic lead-up to Christmas.

Mail centre leader Alyson Maioha says the posties have had workshops with the Brain Injury Association, which taught them how to correctly wear their helmets, and dog rangers, who taught them about dog awareness. Gee, it took a dog attack to get to know how to where your helmet? I thought that dog awareness was already part of a postie's education... I figured wrong.

The measures have resulted in a minimal number of dog attacks on posties in Whangarei this year. You mean that EDUCATION works! what a concept! ... so why do we have all these arbitrary dog laws that inflated dog registration price?

Dog body language, facial expressions and how to act around dogs were all covered in the workshop. Now that's new! (ya man, I'm been fasicious)

Some posties just don't like dogs and others are startled when dogs charge at them or jump up on fences or letterboxes says Ms Maioha. The posties ask that people restrain their dogs. The best way is to give a dog a treat! Did they mention in their workshop to put treats in their pockets? Show them you are their friend and what better way than to share a meal..

If dogs are found wandering the dog ranger is called immediately. Oh, you couldn't have that, now could you.

If a dog is inside a fence but is still causing problems for the posties the dog owner is contacted and asked to restrain it. If problems continue the dog ranger may be called.

"We try to work with the dog owners and most of the time they are really good, but if they aren't we work with the dog ranger," says Ms Maioha.

She says the number of dog attacks has decreased this year with the new measures but posties still aren't safe. No one is safe. If this is like a zero tolerance policy, it is failed right at the beginning. Why? because life is a risk!

Houses with dogs are marked as hazards on the posties round so when someone new takes over they know where to be cautious.

Posties also wear reflective fluoro vests while on their rounds to increase their visibility.
However some posties are still not being seen and drivers need to be aware, whether it is looking out for posties or pedestrians, says Ms Maioha.

I thought we were talking about dogs and posties. What's this about reflective vest and cars/peds. I would imagine that CARS and PEDS cause more trouble to posties than dogs.. but this is only mentionned at the bottom of the article. Hum...

Review: The Sims 2 - Pets

Nintendo DS: The Sims 2

Players take on the role of a veterinarian, who is also a pet owner, and has to look after other people's pets, all the while building up the business and exploring your world.

Gameplay is like in a traditional Sims game where you have to tell your sim to go to the toilet, cook meals, take a shower, interact with people, but apart from that, interaction is actually quite limited.

Things pick up when you get some animal patients coming in, but really, all you need to do is listen to them with your stethoscope or give them an X-ray until the game diagnoses what illness they have, then you treat them with the appropriate medicine. It gets boring, real quick.

Man strangles Valentines Day present puppy

When his 11-year relationship ended, Brent Mervyn Sowry strangled to death the puppy he had given his partner on Valentine's Day.

The police say he strangled the puppy in front of the three children aged 14, 8, and 6 who were at the house in Cheviot.

Sowry denies the children were present in the room, but he pleaded guilty in Christchurch District Court today to killing an animal in a manner that caused it to suffer unreasonable and unnecessary pain or distress. MORE>>

Gee, and you wonder how the relationship lasted 11 years!!

December 19, 2006

What The Edge said about NZ dogs....

New Zealand gave us a chance to get off-side. We stayed for a couple of days on Great Mercury Island. It was amazing. We resolved to go back one day and call in on the Fay family for a week or two. It turns out that in New Zealand there are two types of sheep dog. The ones that bark and the ones that don't. The barking ones drive the sheep away, the quiet ones bring them back. We established that they do not have to remove the vocal chords of the quiet dogs - they are wired that way naturally.

Edge (U2)

Dog handler acquitted of using dog as a weapon

The alleged offending took 24 seconds, the ensuing prosecution nearly two years, and a jury today took just 40 minutes to acquit a police dog handler accused of using his dog as a weapon.

Two YEARS !! why should it take so long to bring to trial?! I read the court sections and this isn't the first one that takes so long. It is criminal for a trial to drag so long...

(read my comments and the actual article in the post below)

He pointed to inconsistencies in the accused's statement of fact, incident reports, and evidence given in court

Defence counsel Mike Antunovic said the accused had seen the multi-tool in Mr Wilby's hand and had released the dog in defence of Mr Spence.

The arrest was the first time Mr Spence had been involved in a police pursuit, or seen dog handlers in action.

In contrast, the accused was an experienced dog handler accustomed to dealing with police pursuits.

The time from the accused releasing his dog, to taking it back to his van and calling police communications to say an arrest was made took 24 seconds.

Mr Antunovic said there was no way he could have planted the multi tool within that time frame without being seen.

Through a spokesman, the dog handler said he was pleased that the matter had finally come to an end.

He did not wish to comment further, but thanked everyone who had supported him and his family.

He told the jury earlier this week he was "disgusted" with his police bosses for prosecuting him over the incident. They should prosecute when they think there is just caused, otherwise the police will have a law on their own.

He had never had another complaint made about him, and the prosecution had taken its toll on him and his family. I feel for the family, but it doesn't mean there shouldn't have been a trial.

Mr Wilby appeared as witness this week after spending the night in custody, charged with car conversion. Mr Antunovic said he was a hardened career criminal, and his testimony, which the prosecution relied upon, was not credible. Interesting that in the previous article which I dissected, this was never mentionned. I didn't know that the guy was a mob guy.

The trial, before Judge Susan Thomas, was the second the accused had been through, with the jury at the first trial, in June, unable to reach a verdict.

December 18, 2006

Foster carers wanted for animals

Nassus animal shelter is looking for foster families to take the load off during the Christmas rush.

"Every Christmas Day to date, I have had an animal come to the shelter," owner Teresa Sharman-Richards said. She takes in dogs that are stray, not wanted or abused and looks to rehome as many as possible.

The shelter is supported through donations and is used as a boarding home during holidays.
Ms Sharman-Richards wants foster families to take in dogs for three to four weeks. MORE>>

Champion title for agility pair

Kristina Beresford and dog Zena are a team on their way to being top dogs in the agility world.
Kristina has reached the grade of agility champion with the New Zealand Kennel Club.

The title is four steps up the dog agility grading ladder and comes after some hard work by both Kristina and her black and white four-year-old border collie bitch.

"To become an agility champion you have to have clear rounds at senior level in a champion show," said Kristina. "Teams must also complete six challenges' by gaining first or second places in competition." MORE>>

December 15, 2006

Doggie bling takes the biscuit

It's not only people who will be looking forward to opening presents and over-indulging this Christmas.

Pet owners throughout Auckland have been spending up large from speciality shops stocking the sort of designer wear and doggie bling once reserved for Paris Hilton's chihuahua.
And that means it's anything but a dog's life for Kiko, an eight-year-old crossbreed who is pampered and preened by her owner Annah.

"I don't have any children so Kiko's like my own daughter," the 32-year-old Onehunga resident says. "I always say to mum you've got 13 grandchildren and one granddog." MORE>>

December 14, 2006

Lots of love the best medicine

Just three weeks of love and antibiotics has made a young abused dog a different animal.

Job was rescued by SPCA inspector Vicki Border after a Housing New Zealand staff member found the dog abandoned in one of their recently vacated Mangere homes.

He was in such bad condition, had mange and was covered in sores, that it was touch and go whether he would survive.

December 13, 2006

Breeders warn against silver labradors

The introduction of a so-called new type of labrador to New Zealand could have disastrous consequences for the pedigree breed, says Bay of Plenty dog breeder Virginia Barlow.

Dog experts believe silver labradors are not true labs but a cross with weimaraner dogs.
Breeders of silver labs are getting them registered as pedigree dogs by listing them as "chocolate" when they send in the forms to the New Zealand Kennel Club. Only black, yellow and chocolate varieties are considered true pedigree. MORE>>

December 12, 2006

Long-serving Customs dog retires

It's retirement time for one of New Zealand's longest serving Customs dogs.

Declan's area of expertise is drug detection and over nearly a decade he has proven to be one of the country's best.

When it comes to drug detection, this dog knows his stuff.
New Zealand Customs dog handler Kevin Hattrill says Declan is one in a million "He's fast, he's accurate and he's had some really good finds." MORE>>

Posties on Christmas alert for rogue dogs, errant motorists

Almost 200 posties have been forced to take time off work after being bitten by a dog or hit by a car in the past year.

And as the Christmas rush approaches, New Zealand Post is urging people to take extra care as busy posties deliver cards and presents.

"All our posties want for Christmas is a safe one so they can enjoy their time off free of pain and discomfort," said postal delivery general manager Matthew Nant.

Up to 5.5 million mail items will be delivered every day during the pre-Christmas peak.

Mr Nant said dogs had always been an occupational hazard, but there seemed to be a growing popularity for large and aggressive dogs. MORE>>

Trial begins for cop accused of using dog as weapon

The trial of a police dog handler charged with assault using a dog as a weapon began at Wellington District Court today. Guilty as charged. I don't need to read the rest. If the general public can be charged, so should he. Now lets read the rest...

The police officer, who has interim name suppression until the end of the trial, pleaded not guilty.

Crown prosecutor David Laurenson said the dog handler ordered his dog to attack an unarmed offender without justification or apparent reason as the man was not resisting arrest. Why does this sound like I would actually beleive this? Is it because I am losing faith in the police? Is it because I know that the police have changed their entrance levels to accept lower level of educated cops? That SOME cops are just bullies with uniforms?

The Crown alleges that early on January 24 2005 the complainant, Samuel Wilby, stole a van from Lyall Bay in Wellington, starting it with a "multi tool". So it can still be done. I thought you needed more modern technology, but just a plain old multi tool... I'm impressed :)

Wilby drove the van north on the motorway heading towards Lower Hutt. A police car began following the vehicle, with lights and siren both on. I'd like to know why he was being followed... just interest's sake. The van pulled off the motorway into the forecourt of a BP service station but then drove past the petrol pumps and past a police dog vehicle, driven by the accused, which had tried to block the exit.

Both police cars then pursued the van for about 10 minutes until the van spun out of control.
The Crown alleges Mr Wilby then got out of the van with his hands in a position that clearly indicated he was giving himself up. He had nothing in his hands.

A police constable, Jason Spence, grabbed Mr Wilby and pushed him against the side of the van intending to handcuff and arrest him. Mr Wilby was cooperative.

The Crown said the accused then grabbed Mr Wilby, knocked Mr Spence away and forced Mr Wilby face first to the ground. Will Mr Spence testify that this is what happened? Or will he keep with the boys in blue?

The accused then crouched beside Mr Wilby and started motioning to his dog to bite him. At first the dog seemed confused, then it bit Mr Wilby a number of times on the upper arms and elbows before the accused pulled the dog away. At that point Mr Spence noticed the "multi tool" on the ground. Oh for heaven's sakes... the guy was already on the ground... what threat can he be to you?

Shortly after the incident while Mr Spence was questioning Mr Wilby, the accused approached Mr Spence to tell him what he was planning to write on the police job sheet "so that we are reading off the same page". Ashlot!

He told Mr Spence he thought the "multi tool" was a knife and that was why he used
the dog. But he was TIED you idiot! In a brief opening statement to the jury, defence lawyer Mike Antunovich said when the accused let his dog go he believed Mr Wilby had a weapon in his hand.

"He was acting in the defence of his fellow officer when he let the dog go, he was not acting like the common criminal the Crown alleges." ya right!

The real issue was why the accused let the dog go, Mr Antunovich said.
The trial before Judge Susan Thomas is expected to last five days.

READ THE VERDICT in the previous post (Dec 15 06)

December 08, 2006

Claim from dog control officers prompts lockout

Press Release: Christchurch City Council

New claim from dog control officers prompts partial lockout

Christchurch City Council has issued a partial lockout notice to its eight dog control officers who are seeking a more than 50% increase in their daily standby rate to attend calls on Banks Peninsula.

This extra $50 a day standby payment would be on top of their present $101 a day or $707 a week. Under the claim this would increase to more than $1000 a week and they also want an additional $150 for any call out to Banks Peninsula. This is on top of their normal salary, which is about $42,000.

The Council's General Manager Human Resources Philippa Jones says dog control officers who are members of Southern Local Government Officers Union have put a ban on attending call outs on Banks Peninsula to support their claim. "This action is unfair and selective. They are refusing to service a part of our community even though they are being paid more than $700 a week to do so. This demand is unreasonable and yet another example of the real anomalies in the way some of our people are paid," Ms Jones says

Meanwhile the Christchurch City Council has continued with preparations for a three hour strike tomorrow after receiving no counter proposal from the Southern Local Government Officers Union this week to avert strike action.

The Council gave the union a commitment last Friday that it would consider any proposals it made in the week ahead, but Ms Jones said none was forthcoming.

Council has gone ahead with its contingency plans to ensure that disruption to residents during the strike from 11am to 2pm is minimised. Council has also received notice of a second strike from 11am on Thursday 14 December to 11am on Friday 15 December. Planning is already underway for this strike.

As a result of tomorrow's strike there will be some disruption to libraries and service centres, but no essential services such as water supplies, sewerage treatment or rubbish collection, including EcoDepots, will be affected by either strike. The Council call centre, all pools and recreation facilities, Council parking buildings, Christchurch Art Gallery and the South, Upper Riccarton and Parklands libraries are among the services that will remain open.

Comments anyone??

December 07, 2006

Cop pays $6000 to fly old work pal to NZ

A Wellington policeman has forked out £2000 ($NZ5832) to bring out from Britain his former police dog who lost his job because he couldn't bear to be parted.

Former police officer John Gallagher was living in in Sabden, Lancashire with his wife, Angela, and son Finn, six, when he moved to New Zealand in late 2004. Gee, two years later!

He pleaded with his bosses to allow him to bring his german shepherd police dog, Diesel, but police chiefs refused because Diesel did such a good job fighting crime in East Lancashire. Oh, ya gotta love how dogs pull your heart strings!

The pair were based at Accrington Police Station and Diesel helped police football matches, and brawls and track criminals.

Months before the family emigrated, Diesel was named runner-up in the UK's National Young Dog competition.

But Mr Gallagher told the Lancashire Evening News that Diesel pined for him so much that he no longer performed properly and lost his police job. wow.. now that just goes to show you how dogs are faithful, and have feelings!!

(...)"It cost £2000 for him to be flown over but he's worth every penny. He was on a flight for 30 hours and spent a day travelling to get to London's Heathrow Airport but when I saw him he was jumping and bouncing all over the place. ya probably needing a pee:)

"I'm pretty sure he still knew who I was. We forged a very close bond because I'd had him since he was a puppy. Sheese, "I'm pretty sure"! That's not good enough. Of course you ARE sure, you are certain because you know your dog! There is no two way about it.

"He comes to work with me and we go out for a run every lunchtime. It's just great to have him with me again."

December 05, 2006

Alleged dog shooter discharged when key witness fails to turn up

The trial of a man charged with kidnapping a woman and shooting her dog has been abandoned, after the key Crown witness failed to turn up. MORE>>

Breeder appeals against limit

A Waipawa man is doggedly pursuing an appeal against court rulings that radically trimmed the 135 soft-coated wheaten terriers he and two others could have.
David Balfour spoke for himself, Neil Moir and Kirsty Reid, in the Court of Appeal yesterday to argue that the Environment Court had been wrong to restrict the number of dogs to 10.

The High Court later amended that to 40, still dozens fewer than the 135 that the dog breeders had at the property at one time.

The Court of Appeal reserved its decision on the trio's application for leave to appeal against the decision. MORE>>

Schools use dogs to sniff out drugs

Schools are using dogs from private companies to sniff out drugs. Well, prohibition is working! I mean, you gotta keep the system in place, otherwise those dogs wouldn't have a job to do! (can you read the sarcasm?)

Among them is Green Bay High where a dog was put through its paces around lockers and bags belonging to students and staff in November. Principal Morag Hutchinson says the practice is becoming quite common. This doesn't mean it's right! If you take that logic, drugs are common too. I guess that makes it right :)

"There are members of the community who see schools as places where they can ply their trade," she says. "I'm quite keen to make sure the environment is as safe as it needs to be."

The search did not turn up any drugs or illegal substances and Mrs Hutchinson was pleased with the result. Well, perhpas your kids don't do drugs! Why pay from the school's purse for a search that is totally useless, and quite frankly puts students in a 'don't trust' mind set!

Is this the school that paid $22, 000 for a 5 year search. How many books or computers that would have paid for?

"It all went quite smoothly," she says. "It was a very non-intrusive exercise." More intrusice than you think. It's something that you can't measure.

Students can expect further random exercises next year. Why? ya didn't find anything!

Mrs Hutchinson wants to send a clear message to the community. "Illicit drugs are not acceptable in our school," she says. But YOU DON"T HSVE ILLEGAL DRUGS !!

Up to four west Auckland schools have used the services of Elite Dogs in similar random searches. Spokesman Paul Thomas says the company takes a proactive approach.

Its handlers have backgrounds in the police force. And ya wonder why the kids are disrespectful to lay enforcement!..tags! talk back!

Mr Thomas says random searches act as a deterrent and ensure the safety of students in schools. Bunckum!

Avondale College principal Brent Lewis says he has not felt the need to bring in sniffer dogs.
"But I won't preclude it."

A number of other schools are also thinking about it.
Waitakere College acting principal Cliff Edmeades has raised the possibility with his board of trustees.
He says the concept is worthwhile as an "educative thing". A WHAT? Educating kids that you have to FEAR the law and cops!

"Kids have to face the fact there are a lot of drugs around," he says. Not shit Sherlock! "They need to know what the consequences are." Oh, why is this article published in mainstream news?

December 04, 2006

SAFE’s annual appeal for animals

SAFE’s annual appeal for animals - Auckland animal lovers take to streets!

People who love animals are being urged to help collect donations against animal cruelty. SAFE, New Zealand's second largest animal advocacy organisation, is holding its street day appeal on Friday 22 December 2006.

"We’re calling on compassionate people to help SAFE reach its goal of 900 collectors across the country, raising over $200,000 for animals", says SAFE’s Auckland appeal coordinator.
”Dressing up as your favourite bear, bunny or reindeer is entirely optional but loads of fun! Fun antics aside, SAFE’s message against animal cruelty has a serious side. SAFE has a 73-year history in New Zealand and has spearheaded the campaign in this country against battery farming,” says Caro.


Man pleads not guilty to kidnap and animal cruelty charges

A man charged with kidnapping a woman and shooting her dog has pleaded not guilty to all charges. MORE>>

Man pleads not guilty to kidnap and animal cruelty charges

A man charged with kidnapping a woman and shooting her dog has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Craig McKelvie, 35, of Wainuiomata entered his pleas to seven charges including kidnapping, threatening to kill and wilfully ill-treating an animal at the Wellington District Court.

A jury of six women and six men were sworn in this morning.
McKelvie has been accused of kidnapping a woman in Upper Hutt while she was exercising her dog in December last year. MORE>>

December 02, 2006

Dog owner in court after driver bitten

Now this is an interesting case to keep an eye on. Basically, the guy that got bitten is in court trying to blame the dog owner.

The dog owner is saying that the dog was tied, that the driver had no business patting the dog (without asking... which is what kid's are taught), and that he should have used another entrance. She basically also pointed out that the driver should NOT have come to the door as all drivers just toot to say they are there...

A dog that attacked a man called to provide a sober driver service was "not a mind-reader", the owner tells a Hamilton judge. A man providing a sober driver service was attacked by a dog when he went to a house to pick up a client. I guess we are suppose to see the driver as the hero because he was 'providing a sober driver service'.

He needed stitches in his leg for serious injuries suffered in the attack, according to a Hamilton City Council report.

The dog's owner, Iritana Pauline Davis, was in court yesterday for a status hearing, and told Judge Phil Connell the driver should have waited for her to come outside.

Davis is charged with owning a male labrador-retriever cross that attacked a person causing serious injury and an alternative charge of owing the dog that attacked a person on July 30. She has denied both charges.

Judge Connell, referring to a summary of facts, said the dog was calm but then lunged at the man. Davis, representing herself, said the man put out his hand for the dog to sniff, and when he moved towards the door it attacked. "Most drivers in control toot the horn," she said. "Police come and do curfew checks but no-one approaches the dog. Why couldn't this person do the same?"

Judge Connell said the summary of facts said the attacked man did not know the dog was there but Davis claimed it also said the dog had barked before the attack. Hum... guess he needed his hearing aid.

Davis said the man should have waited for her to come out of the house.
"It seems you are going to blame me anyway," Davis said. Of course Mrs Davis!! Society BLAMES all dog owners, no matter what!

"The guy put his hand out for my dog to sniff him. My dog is not a mind reader. The dog was secure on a chain. The guy approached the step and as he put his foot forward the dog bit him on the thigh," Davis said. Hey, the dog is just doing what a dog does... providing protection!

She said her house had two entrances and the driver could have used a different one away from the dog. She offered the court photos of her house, but Judge Connell said that might be part of her defence and declined to look at them.

He set down a three-hour defended hearing for January 10. This will be an interesting outcome.

The dog was impounded for a month after the incident but is now back with Davis. Impounded hein! I'm surprised they didn't shoot the dog right there and then! Ya, I'm a sinic... especially with the rules of law for dogs and their owners.

Blind man, best friend besieged yet again

A mauling from a pitbull has left Leo the guide dog nursing his wounds and his blind owner too scared to leave his home.

The great dane-pointer cross guide dog and his owner Petrus Tuerlings were set upon by a red-nosed pitbull in Massey - the third dog attack they have suffered in the past year.

It left Leo with deep stomach wounds requiring several stitches and Mr Tuerlings with puncture marks to a finger.

"This dog was just going for it. [A woman] drove past ... and she jumped out of her car and started yelling at the dog for him to stop," Mr Tuerlings said.

"It made no sense at all."

One of the earlier attacks on Leo involved another pitbull from the same house, which led to the dog being destroyed.

In the other attack Leo was set upon by two dogs.

Mr Tuerlings, a 41-year-old kitchen-hand at a Henderson rest home, said the latest attack, two weeks ago, made him fear leaving his house.

"I'm too nervous to go walking now. I wanted to go to the gym the other day but could hear dogs barking behind fences and did not want to go any further," he said.

Attacks on guide dogs were not uncommon.

Angie Coupar, a dog mobility instructor from the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind, said there had been 14 cases where guide dogs needed medical treatment after being attacked over the past year.

Miss Coupar said it was "incredibly lucky" Leo was not too badly injured, as the loss of a guide dog can be a huge setback to a blind person's independence.

"Often what happens when guide dogs get attacked is that their response in relation to other dogs can deteriorate and they too can feel incredibly nervous about going out," Miss Coupar said.

Training a guide dog costs about $22,500 and can take up to two years.

Waitakere City Council animal welfare manager, Neil Wells, said an investigation into the attack was under way but was being hampered by an "unco-operative" dog owner who has not given up the pitbull.

Mr Wells confirmed the same person had another pitbull which attacked Leo in a separate incident. It has since been put down. How is it that THAT dog owner gets away with a fine/sentence, while our dog gets fined $300 for pissing on a fence unsupervised?!?! THEN, they give us the wrong ticket, and when we told them, they REISSUED another one !

Although Mr Tuerlings is $500 out of pocket through dog medical bills and is still trying to come to terms with the attack, he said Leo seemed to be doing fine. Why doesn't the pitbull dog owner pay for it !!

"Actually he's going a bit stir crazy with the healing and not being able to go walking.
"I think he's handling the whole thing better than I am." That last statement says it all!

December 01, 2006

SPCA: Think Before You Buy A Pet For Christmas

The Royal New Zealand SPCA asks that people should think twice beforebuying a pet for Christmas."Cats and dogs should be genuinely loved, wanted and cared-for bytheir human families.

Unfortunately, that isn't always the result when pets are acquired on a whim or as a Christmas treat for the children,"says the SPCA's National Chief Executive, Robyn Kippenberger."

Every January, our shelters across New Zealand fill up with animals purchased on impulse and no longer wanted. It's a heart-wrenchingsight, but far worse are the cases of animals abandoned or leftwithout adequate food, water or veterinary care after being acquiredthoughtlessly during the pre-Christmas rush," she says. MORE>>

Every Christmas this warning is given by all SPCA around the world, and people's attitudes still haven't changed. So what are we doing wrong?
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