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.

March 30, 2007

Grandmother unhappy with court's dog-attack ruling

The 81-year-old West Coast victim of a pig-dog attack says the sentence handed to the dogs' owner is too lenient.

In the Greymouth District Court yesterday, Judge Dave Saunders ordered freezing worker Ian Stewart Fitzpatrick, 35, to pay $2000 to his neighbour, Edna Thomas, for the injuries and emotional harm she suffered from the attack on October 19 last year.


Fitzpatrick's lawyer, Richard Bodle, said the experience was harrowing for both parties. Through no fault of his, Fitzpatrick had found himself in the position of owning dogs that uncharacteristically attacked.

Thomas had entered the property through an entrance the dogs did not expect visitors. She carried an umbrella which the dogs could have perceived as a weapon and waved it offensively. The dogs were restrained at the time of the attack.

Bodle said the dogs were trained only to find and corner pigs, not attack.

Fitzpatrick was remorseful and had co-operated with police and was concerned about Thomas, Bodle said.

The judge said that without the umbrella, Thomas might not have been mauled. He said the dogs were secured in Fitzpatrick's backyard.


"I think he (Fitzpatrick) should have got more for what I've been through," she said.


This must have been hard for the judge. In a sense, she entered the dog's property. She entered in the wrong entrance. The dogs were restrained. The dog owner did the right thing, and called the authorities, and was really feeling bad.

But at the end of the day, she entered the dog's property, and the dog only did what dogs do... protect what's theirs.

I don't know the whole story about him and the pig hunting dogs, and if they barked, and she wanted something done about the noise, and/or whatever... it's just really sad that it came to this.

Car window smashed to save Taupo dog

Demelza Teddy, 27, of Hastings, admitted one charge of animal neglect and another of refusing to provide details to police. She was fined $400 with court costs of $130.

Police were called to her car on March 5 in Taupo after bystanders became concerned about a chihuahua locked inside. The car was in direct sunlight in heat of 23 degrees celsius. MORE>>

Loss of faithful servant dreaded

Palmerston North employment mediator Paul Hutcheson is facing the prospect of life without his beloved guide dog Jessie.

The german shepherd who has travelled extensively around New Zealand with him is 11 years old, one of the oldest working dogs in the country, and the time is approaching for her retirement.

"Rationally I know it's the right decision. But try telling that to my heart. I don't want to imagine how hard it is going to be to say goodbye and be on my own."

The separation means Mr Hutcheson will join 19 other blind, deaf- blind and visually impaired New Zealanders who have known the independence a guide dog has offered, with no immediate prospect of getting a replacement. MORE>>

March 27, 2007

Grandmother unhappy with dog-attack ruling

he 81-year-old West Coast victim of a pig-dog attack says the sentence handed to the dogs' owner is too lenient.

In the Greymouth District Court yesterday, Judge Dave Saunders ordered freezing worker Ian Stewart Fitzpatrick, 35, to pay $2000 to his neighbour, Edna Thomas, for the injuries and emotional harm she suffered from the attack on October 19 last year. MORE>>

Life's a beach for dogs at Ascot Park

Switching to sand track racing and the likelihood of more race meetings next season herald a new era for the Southland Greyhound Racing Club.

"The dogs are enjoying it and it's not too hard on their legs," he said.

Eade believes the change to sand will improve the standard of racing in Southland, attracting new owners and some of the country's best greyhounds. MORE>>

Attack dog handed over

The dobermann that savaged an elderly wheelchair-bound woman has been handed over to dog control officers. MORE>>

March 26, 2007

Pamper your pooch at a doggy day spa

Linley Boniface finds her wheaten terrier Ruby is the perfect candidate for a pampering day at a doggy spa.

"My vision was to open a dog boutique that was clean, attractive, didn't smell of dogs, had great stuff to buy and was fun to visit. I wanted it to be like the kind of shop you'd go to in New York." She is a dog lover from way back (though once, treacherously, produced a book of photographs of cats). MORE>>

Kiwi animal lovers do their pets proud

"But having viewed these downsides of the way some treat animals, it was encouraging this week to read about the amount some New Zealanders are prepared to spend on keeping their pets healthy." MORE>>

March 23, 2007

Attack dog notorious in village

The dog that attacked a Matangi woman this week was involved in an earlier attack on a passing dog.

The partially blind and wheelchair-bound elderly woman who was attacked by a doberman in Matangi on Wednesday night is angry the dog had been impounded a fortnight earlier.

Seventy-five-year-old Dawn Brocket, who had to undergo surgery and a skin graft for the puncture wound in her arm, believes the owner should have better restrained the animal and another dog on the property after the first incident. MORE>>

March 22, 2007

'Here boy' makes dogs wag to the right

Dogs wag their tails to the right when they see something they want to approach, and to the left when confronted with something they want to back away from, say researchers in Italy. The finding provides another example of how the right and left halves of the brain do different jobs in controlling emotions.

Unfortunately, because dogs move about so much, the bias can only be detected using video analysis. It's not obvious enough for you to tell whether the next dog you encounter is going to lick your face or turn tail.

"After discovering this, I look at every dog I meet, but my impression is that this is difficult to check outside the lab," says psychologist Giorgio Vallortigara of the University of Trieste. But it could be used in animal welfare, he suggests, to help gauge an animal's state of mind.


A fascinating read...

Blind see red over guide dog funds

A charity funding some of New Zealand's hardest working and most expensive dogs wants the Government to help out with its costs.

And the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind (RNZFB) says its 280 guide dogs working throughout the country offer a real cost benefit to taxpayers. MORE>>

Epilepsy dogs can detect seizures

ogs who can sense the onset of a seizure up to 20 minutes before they occur are helping change epileptics' lives.

Andrea Hawkless, who founded the New Zealand Epilepsy Assist Dog Trust, says when the trained golden retrievers and labradors have been around someone who suffers from numerous seizures long enough, they can tell when one is coming and let their owner know.

Ms Hawkless knows of a dog that can tell its owner is having a seizure 20 minutes before it occurs. The dog runs around and licks the owner's face until the owner sits down.

She also knows of a mother with epilepsy whose dog rounds up the children before the mother has a seizure. The dog knows how to pull the plug from a bath and turn off the shower if there are children in there at the time, Ms Hawkless says.(...)

Stress and a lack of sleep are believed to contribute to seizures so the comfort of having a helpful and protective dog could sometimes reduce them, she says.

People who suffer frequent seizures can qualify for the dogs, which wear purple coats to show they are Epilepsy Assist Dogs and can be taken anywhere.


Australian guide dog mauls pedigree puppy

Something went terribly wrong last July when a guide dog golden retriever, River, lost control and mauled a puppy, Mistral, at a park in Australia.

Golden Retrievers are known as calm, loyal and intelligent dogs. It is for these reasons the breed, along with labradors and crosses of the two, are used as guide dogs.


She took the badly injured Mistral, also a golden retriever, to two veterinarians. The second, Dr Rob Zammit, advised her the 12-week-old puppy could be saved with surgery. But Ms Morrison chose to put the dog down.

"The pup after Dr Zammit's 'repair' would never move as a show dog should, would possibly have one leg shorter than the other and have a poorly fitting hip. I couldn't subject a puppy that had been as traumatised as that to a life of pain," she said.

"I still get very emotional about it."

Dr Zammit said he was "taken aback" by the decision to euthanase the dog.


Guide Dogs NSW/ACT offered Ms Morrison $2000 in compensation. She agreed, then reneged when she found there was a non-disclosure clause in the contract. She is now seeking $7200. "A golden retriever that will attack under those circumstances … should be a subject of discussion among breeders and in the breed clubs," Ms Morrison said.

So, she puts the dog down because it wouldn't be a 'show dog', then refuses compensation because it ain't enough !! Sheese... who's in the wrong now?

Teen perishes in bid to save dog trapped in sleepout fire

"I could hear Anthony screaming. I could hear him from the shed. I knew where he was. I saw the fire...from the front of the shed," Mrs Watson said in a statement read to an inquest into the death yesterday.

Unable to save Anthony, nicknamed 'Fridge', she gathered up the nine other children staying at the property.


Apparently there were no smoke alarms.

March 21, 2007

Martin LeFevre: Canine Consciousness

Though the weather was dicey this morning—windy, chilly, and threatening another storm—there was a break in the early afternoon. So, before a new series of storms roll in off the Pacific, I made the most of the lull and drove to Upper Park.

The gate at the entrance to the canyon has been closed since the last rain, and it takes me the better part of an hour, hiking upstream on the trail alongside the raging creek, before I come to the gorge. Along the way I pass three dog people. That turns out to be the theme of the day. MORE>>

Dog owners wait in line for review

Dog-lovers want a review of the rules covering off-leash exercise areas speeded up, but Auckland City Council says they'll have to wait.

A 2004 bylaw limits off-leash dogs to particular areas at certain times.

It's not due to be reviewed until 2009 but Hobson Community Board member Julie Chambers is among those calling for action sooner.

"With modern expectations of people walking and exercising more, and the need to walk and exercise dogs, I think it's reasonable for people to expect to be able to do it from their own home," she says.

"But there are large areas where people can't do this."

City councillor and former Dog Owners Group president Cathy Casey says dogs are the "forgotten population".

"For people with dogs, they're a part of the family - we want to take them to the same places.

"Dog walkers and owners are big park users. The council maintained we gained ground under the bylaw but we didn't."

"Any areas not designated off-leash can't be used as such, so we lost recognised areas that had been used through custom and practice over years."


When you read the whole article, you'll see that the dog owners are getting pissed off that there are no dog parks. And you wonder why people and their dogs go to a regular park and leave them off lead.

I'm not sure if people realise that the by-law REQUIRES that dogs are provided ADEQUATE exercise. That means that if you have a Border Collie or such a dog that requires high level of exercise, it is your DUTY as a dog owner to cater for their needs. Hence, the city council needs to get their act together and provide the space, otherwise dog owners will need to be 'criminals' and unleash their dogs in parks and beaches. Take that argument to the courts!!

March 20, 2007

More power to puppies in red

It costs $22,500 to breed, raise and train a guide dog in New Zealand.

The 2007 Red Puppy Appeal is all about giving power to the puppies that will go on to empower blind, deaf blind and visually impaired people.


After about six months of training most dogs will be ready to be matched with a visually impaired person and will work for eight to 10 years.

For more information on the Red Puppy Appeal or to volunteer to be a collector phone 0800 RED PUPPY (0800 733 787) or visit

March 16, 2007

Attacker dog to be destroyed after worrying sheep

Three sheep were mauled to death, one was so badly ripped up it was put down and a fifth ran away after the frenzied attack on Gillings Lane last Thursday. Two dogs were spotted eating the sheep by a witness at 3.30am.

Kaikoura District Council dog control officer Murray Devine said investigations were continuing into the whereabouts of the second dog which he believed to be a german shepherd cross. The dog which has been located is a siberian husky and will be put down.

The owners came forward after finding out what their pet had been up to and were distraught about the situation, he said. Mr Devine appreciated their responsibility and honesty.


Mr Devine said every dog had an instinct waiting to come out and the running of sheep around a paddock would have proved too much for the animals who might not have been used to being around sheep.

The owner of the unidentified dog would have had a fair idea their dogs had been out attacking sheep as the dogs had put their muzzles into the stomachs and they would have reeked of lanoline and fresh blood, he said.


Big honour for Whangarei hound

A former Whangarei SPCA dog has made the big time. Bailey, an eight-year-old scruffy brown canine has shown dogs don't need a pedigree to be models in America'.

Bailey, who is owned by Whangarei SPCA co-ordinator Sue McDonald, was spotted on a billboard in Georgia advertising a roofing company.

In her spare time, Sue takes photos for, a website selling pictures for advertising material.

Bailey is among her best models.

Sue says her pictures of Bailey are very popular and have been used on several websites but this is the first she has seen one on a billboard.


Max's miracle return

A family are over the moon with microchips after being reunited with their dog who had been missing for nearly a year.

After 11 months without sight nor sound of Max the Sweeting family from Manurewa had given up hope of ever seeing him again.

Then a phone call from the Auckland SPCA changed everything.

One of its inspectors had picked up the australian silky terrier in Clendon.

The microchip Selena Sweeting had implanted in Max when he was a puppy enabled the society to identify his owner.

Mrs Sweeting says she "squealed" with delight when she got the call and raced to the SPCA to see if it really was the family's pet.

She was greeted by a podgy dog who raced to climb around her neck and lick her incessantly. MORE>>

Pound lists its sad canine figures

An average of 14 dogs a week end up in the New Plymouth district pound, and of those, four are put down.

According to figures just released by the New Plymouth District Council, 741 dogs were impounded in the 2005-2006 year, 105 canines fewer than the year before.

While most dogs were returned to their owners or given new homes, almost 30% - or 218 - were euthanised.


Despite the figures being almost a year old - covering the 2005-2006 financial year - the council is required to release the dog control statistics under the Dog Control Act.

The vast majority of complaints to dog control in that year were for pooches on the prowl, with concerns about barking canines not far behind.

Just over 8100 dogs were registered during the year, with dog control officers receiving 2874 complaints - 1280 for wandering dogs, 729 for barking and 227 for aggressive behaviour.

Dogs attacking people prompted 66 complaints. MORE>>

Man ordered to pay $1000 over dog attack

A man whose staffordshire bull terrier attacked a young girl has been ordered to pay her family $1000 for emotion harm.


Tyler was visiting the property with her father when she was attacked, and her foot was severely damaged. It has needed ongoing treatment.

Auckland City Council service requests manager Jackie Wilkinson said Nikora had cooperated fully with council officers, and had agreed for his dog to be put down after the incident.

The terrier was registered with the council and had no history of aggression. A dog that never had a history... strange... but read below.

Nikora was not at home when the attack happened, and told dog control staff he always put the dog away when visitors came to the house.

"Although this was obviously done with the best intentions, it would have been better to socialise the dog to interact safely with visitors. By removing the dog every time, the dog was encouraged to act as a guard dog, so it treated all visitors as a potential threat to the family," Ms Wilkinson said.

Read this paragraph, then read the next paragraph. Do you see anything not quite right? So, you should socialise dogs (of course), but if your dog can create havoc, be aware and don't put the dog in that situation ?!

So how is the dog to learn if you don't put them in a given situation. The guy always put the dog away when visitors came, then BANG, dog has protection/ guarding issues, and gets put down because of it. HUM.... How do you socialise a mean looking dog? Just appearances, mind you. It's difficult because when I see a pit bull, I cringe... my dog has been severely attacked by one.

I would love to see free dog courses being offered by City Council. All city councils. I know that Wellington offers free courses, or used to. That's the way to go.... It would surely employ me !!

"I hope this sentence sends a strong message to all dog owners that if you own a dog, you need to be aware of the damage (they) can inflict and you must take the necessary measures to properly socialise them."

Sends a strong message... sheese I am really starting to hate those words. Politicians need to send "a strong message". Spending drivers need to be sent 'a strong message'. Kids with an attitude needs to be sent 'a strong message'. Students who smoke (whatever) need to be sent a 'strong message'.

Overuse of 'strong' becomes weak!

March 14, 2007

Lost dog turns up five months later - but may now be homeless

A pet dog has been reunited with his family four months after he disappeared, but could now be looking for a new home because his family have a new puppy.

The Haurua family had given up hope of seeing 2-year-old rottweiler Levi after he vanished from his Ponsonby home last November.

Repeka Haurua said the family were "beside themselves" when Levi went missing so they bought a black labrador puppy called Missy to cheer up the four children. A labrador means that the kids can actually walk the dog in public... that's the reality. Can you see kids walking a rottweiler... drag and drop (chuckle)

But last week Levi was picked up by an animal control officer in Papakura. He had lost his collar during his travels and was identified by a scan of his microchip.

Ms Haurua said the family had mixed feelings about Levi's return.

March 13, 2007

Putting a high price on keeping pets alive

How much would you pay to keep a sick dog alive?

How about a rat with cancer? Or a goldfish with a tumour? I thought rats were for scientific testing, and therefore no cost involved? doh!

Veterinary science is becoming increasingly complex with pet treatments branching into advanced surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, mood-altering drugs, and even alternative treatments such as homeopathy and osteopathy.

Bills are climbing into the thousands with one industry expert saying accounts in the $10,000 to $15,000 range are not uncommon for pet treatments. Gee, how many of us can afford that in New Zealand with New Zealand wages... or am I one of the under paid ones(chuckle).

Advances in human medicine were being mirrored in vet practices, said Christchurch vet Geoff Mehrtens. "The sky's the limit now." I guess they're happy now:)

Mehrtens had just finished repairing a torn cruciate ligament in a cat's knee.

"Pacemakers are fitted fairly regularly to dogs," he said. "I removed a tumour from a goldfish once." I can't beleive it.. in a GOLDFISH !! all he had to do was switch the fish (chuckle)

Mehrtens said the procedure was not uncommon: you just put anaesthetic in the water and operated in a shallow dish. It's NOT uncommon... heh? Do Kiwis have that much money to spare after spending all their money on their mortgages? I mean, where does this vet work?

Last year it was reported that a goldfish at the Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh had a tumour removed after visitors complained of its ugliness although New Zealand cases tended to be medical rather than cosmetic, he said. Society gone mad!

Mehrtens' partner at the practice, John Ingles, said rats were frequent patients.

"I think this year I've operated on five rats." Ingles said some rat bills were about $400. Gee, that would have paid for the dog fine I got for Holmes pissing on a neighbour's fence!!

The tumour-prone rodents were "quite enjoyable" to operate on as their little bodies required great skill. "It's just what presses your buttons." Different strokes....

Massey University veterinary science senior lecturer Kate Hill said with about 1.2 million cats and 800,000 dogs, felines and canines were still the mainstay of the New Zealand industry. Man, how about cows, and sheep??

"Bills between $2000 and $4000 are common. In Auckland you see bills between $10,000 and $15,000 for advanced procedures – multiple fractures, spinal fractures, the nursing that goes along with it."

Hill said human medicine procedures such as MRIs were increasingly being used for pets.

There are also pet homeopaths, osteopaths, chiropractors, and acupuncturists. Hill said the alternative therapies were "not scientific". Doh... that's why they are alternatives!!

Though the placebo effect did not work on animals, it worked on owners who thought their pets were being cured, she said. Ah, ha... that's the key to the whole article... the guilt of pet owners. Sounds rather catholic, doesn't it?

My dog got mauled by one pitbull, and another mean dog... he can't even jump on our bed. However, I wouldn't spend 10 grand on miracle cures because

1) he's eleven years old

2) I have the greatest faith in self-healing

3) even if I had the money, I believe that you should spread your skills and love with other dogs.

March 12, 2007

Fear on a dog day afternoon

A day off and a sunny afternoon lazing around the house with the dog looking at me with big brown eyes.

I did some odd jobs, watched by the dog probably puzzled as to my presence. I had a cup of coffee on the porch with the dog at my feet watching me.

I followed it up with a quick nap on my bed, with the dog again alongside me, watching me.

Every time I moved towards a cupboard where her lead lay the old girl dragged herself up and followed me. She would stand there waiting. I knew what she was thinking. Was this the moment when she got her walk?

Finally, I couldn't stand it any more. I clicked the lead on to her collar and picked up a plastic bag for her poo and we headed out the door. MORE of a great story! >>

Dog owners are virus conscious

Timaru dog owners are taking sensible steps to protect their pet pooch from a deadly disease.

Timaru veterinarian Bryan Gregor said Timaru dog owners were responsible when it came to vaccinating their dogs against parvo virus.

Many New Zealand regions have reported outbreaks of the highly contagious parvo virus.

Parvo Virus affected bowl tissue, causing dehydration, vomiting, diarrhoea, and severe depression. Infected dogs had a characteristic foul smell. MORE>>

March 09, 2007

Kittens happy with canine caregiver

Kittens at a Mairangi Bay pet shop are literally lapping up canine attention - their surrogate mother is a dog.

Ruby, a rough coated collie, has taken to feeding a number of la perm kittens as though they are her own.

Ruby, who belongs to Zoo Zone Pet Centre staff member Kelly Burt, could not bear to leave the kittens after helping clean them when they were born at Ms Burt's home.

Now at four months old the kittens are still enjoying the benefits of a lactating Ruby, who is due to give birth to puppies soon, shop owner David Crymble says. MORE>>

Dogs maul sheep

A dog which was involved in mauling four sheep in Kaikoura yesterday morning will be put down.

Three sheep were mauled to death and one was so badly ripped it was put down after the frenzied attack at Gillings Lane. Two dogs were spotted attacking the sheep at 3.30am. MORE>>

Dog owners warned to guard against disease

Veterinarians are warning that complacency about canine parvovirus may lead to another outbreak of the horrific, deadly disease.

An outbreak in Nelson in the last month has seen about a dozen dogs contract the disease (five were put down), and a smaller outbreak further south in Temuka saw four dogs infected.

Parvovirus is a highly contagious disease that strips the inner lining of the bowel, dehydrating dogs and causing continual vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and sometimes death.


It was a "hellishly expensive" disease to treat, and only 50 percent survive after up to $600 worth of treatment.

Even then the survivors' heart muscles were damaged and they did not thrive afterwards.

"I know quite a lot of farmers who don't vaccinate their dogs, or only vaccinate the pups and then forget about it."


Day at the races ... or is that the trots?

Pigs, dogs or couches – there will be no shortage of racing form at tomorrow's Mayfield A&P Show.

James Murdoch is chief piggy pundit and for the second year has been training his band of 10 piglets to race around a course of jumps, barrels and ramps.

Murdoch said this year's racers had come on a treat.

It is the 15th year of pig racing at Mayfield, in Mid-Canterbury, with punters able to bet on their favourite and collect a dividend. All proceeds go to the Southern Netball Club. MORE>>

March 07, 2007

Beloved dog put down

rief-stricken sickness beneficiary Nik Taylor faces life without his best friend after Auckland City Council animal control killed his dog Mahia.

The Otahuhu man's pet was impounded after he failed to pay the council's $159 registration fee. Shit! it cost $159 to register your dog in Auckland !!

He was also hit with a $750 fine for obstruction because he wouldn't let animal control take the dog. Officers later broke into his flat and seized the labrador-cross. WHAT !! that's breaking and entering !!

Mahia was put down on February 16 but Mr Taylor, who had been trying to find out where she was, wasn't told until March 2, after the Manukau Courier contacted the council. Bloody council..

"We are very sorry for Mr Taylor's loss and acknowledge this is an unfortunate situation," a council spokeswoman says. Doh! why don't you pay for damages and emotional damages. There are dogs out there bitting people and you put a muzzle on them, but this dog is loved, and you kill it??

The council is to look at improving its service so people on fixed or limited incomes "are offered greater flexibility" when paying registration fees and fines. That'll take a decade to improve, if at all. some idiots would say that 'these people' should own dogs if they can't afford it. Well, at least it is a dog and not a child.. Oh, I should be getting some comments about this..

Mr Taylor says his home "has no heart" since Mahia was taken.

Her absence has seen the 51-year-old fall back into the depression the dog had helped relieve. YES, Dog Therapy is a well known, documented medical intervention.

"I came out of my shell with her and when she left I retreated back."

Mahia meant the world to him, he says, and he spoiled her with unconditional love and care.

But living on only $130 a week he could not afford to pay the registration fee.

An animal control officer visited him on January 21 because the dog was unregistered.

Mr Taylor says she started talking of impounding the dog and he admits he became aggressive.

The thought of losing his "baby" upset him and he verbally abused the officer and stopped her taking the dog.

Mr Taylor, who also has a heart condition, says he tried to explain he was on a benefit and could not afford the fee.

He was then issued with the $750 fine for obstruction because he refused to pay the registration or allow officers to impound the dog. Or refuse to open the door, so they just kicked it in!

The dog remained unregistered so animal control officers returned to his property on February 7 with police and a warrant from a district court judge. ya know.. the law ISN'T and SHOULDn't be black and white. Life is about living in the grey areas.

Mr Taylor was out when the officers came.

They broke into his flat through the front door window, seized the dog and took her to Redvale Animal Shelter in Silverdale.

Animal control left a letter stating that unless Mr Taylor paid all the fees owing within seven days, the dog could be put up for adoption or euthanased. THAT is a THREAT... shame on them! That's called bullying in schools.

A neighbour gave Mr Taylor a cheque so he could pay the registration fee.

But when he went to pay, the cheque was not accepted. WHAT ??

The council spokeswoman says the cheque was for this year's and next year's registration fees but the council could only process the current fee and asked Mr Taylor to provide payment for only that. You gotta be joking...

He did not have another cheque and said he would have to return later. He did not.

On February 16 Mahia was assessed and deemed unsuitable for adoption and put down. I would like to know how they assess dogs. What test did they do, and what did the dog fail at?t?

The council spokeswoman says the letter to Mr Taylor clearly stated what would happen if he did not pay the fees and fines within seven days.

He was not heard from again and the dog was put down.

Mr Taylor says there was no way he could afford to pay registration fees and fines that totalled more than $1000.

He is having difficulty accepting Mahia is dead and says in his heart he believes she is still alive.

With his only family gone, he says he is finding it tough and his home is now lifeless.

"It feels like the heart has gone out of this place; the life has gone out if it."

Dog law lacks bite

Community leaders feel hamstrung by the law when dealing with problem dogs and their owners.

Papakura District Council last week considered two separate dog attacks, one on a social worker visiting a property and the other on a two-year-old girl playing in her backyard.

In the first case, a staffordshire bull terrier bit a Child Youth and Family social worker on the leg as he was leaving a Takanini home in October. Why are staffies always seem to be in the news??

The man suffered puncture wounds to his right calf muscle and needed medical care.

The seven-year-old dog that bit him has a long history of offending. It was caught wandering seven times in 2005 and three times last year. It was involved in a fight with another dog in July 2005 and also rushed at a person that month.

Deputy mayor Katrina Piggott told last week's meeting the dog should be put down. Hum.. so all it did was wander?? that's not really an offense. Being caught 7 times means that this dog is not too smart :) Who initiated the fight? If it was him, then there is a history of violence.

Not sure what 'rushing to a person' means because any dog can be considered doing that... Although I tend to over look some of the cases, and give it 'reasonable doubt' because I know that dogs aren't given a fair go... however, my dog just got mauled by two wandering dogs: one an american pitbull, and the other a staffie. So I am not too happy with staffies at the moment... nor is my dog. He kept his own, however he's on his 11th year, and won't be able to defend himself all his life..

"I was badly bitten by a rottweiler on Christmas Eve and that mongrel was dead within 24 hours. Gee, that social worker got bitten in December too!! Guess we know what clientele he's seeing.

"If it was up to me this animal would be dead within 24 hours."

Drury councillor Peter Goldsmith said it was likely the dog would attack again and it should be put down as soon as possible. I agree, but there are laws in place. Once they get the taste of human blood, that's it!

But regulatory services director Graeme McCarrison said the only option open to councillors under the regulations was to classify the animal as a menacing dog, requiring its owners to muzzle it in public and have it de-sexed and microchipped.

Hefty fines apply if an owner does not comply with regulations.

A council report says the dog has been de-sexed since the incident and should be less aggressive. That is a MYTH. The dog is seven. Too old for anything like that to calm him...

When questioned by councillors worried the council should be doing more, Mr McCarrison said classifying the animal as a menacing dog was the legally appropriate process.

"You're incorrect in assuming the dog control officers have not put pressure on the owners to have the dog put down but it is their right not to do it.

"If there is another offence, even if it is a minor one, we will be coming back to have the owner classified ." You will be sure that the dog opund guy will be keeping a close eye on the dog..

Councils can require probationary dog owners to take part in a dog owner education programme or a dog obedience course. Why doesn't this happen BEFORE owners get their first dog?

Probationary owners can also be disqualified from owning a dog for 24 months, although this does not apply to previously registered dogs.

Councillors also classified the staffordshire bull terrier who attacked a two-year-old girl in Rosehill in October as a menacing dog, despite some questioning the effectiveness of the move.

The three-year-old de-sexed female dog stuck its head through a hole in the fence and bit the girl's right arm as she ran past. She fell to the ground and the dog repeatedly bit her hand until her father kicked the fence and the dog let go. How awful!! Socialising dogs is SO important. There is a dog near where I live who live beside a corridor to the park. The fence is wooden and rotting, and you can see holes and patch up places on the fence. Every time we walk down that footpath, the dog marks, and tries to put his nose in the fence holes.

It is actually scary going down that path... my dog cocks his leg up to the fence and does his marking... I get my revenge knowing that my dog has marked our territory :)

The toddler was taken to an accident and emergency clinic for treatment. She suffered puncture wounds and cuts to her right hand.

The dog has no previous history of offending. He does now!

Drury councillor Peter Jones said requiring the dog to be muzzled in public would not make a difference and was a waste of time. The dog was already de-sexed and a microchip would not stop it biting. Correct... just confirmed what I said above.


March 02, 2007

Musterers gather for last high-country dog trials

The high-country dogs are ready for their last run.

So, too, are the dwindling number of musterers who work the tussock country up the Ashburton Gorge in Mid- Canterbury.

Tomorrow night, when the last event is over and the last dogs come off the hill at Hakatere Station, the gorge dog trials will be at an end, save for the storytelling and celebrations.

Musterers' dog trials have been held at Hakatere since 1946, introduced by Leo Chapman and Sam Chaffey as a way of getting musterers to hold on to their dogs. MORE>>

Dogs kept in 'putrid' conditions

Auckland animal welfare officers yesterday said there was no excuse for the "appalling and putrid" conditions in which a farmer kept his five working dogs.

Allan Smurthwaite, a farmer and tiler, has been fined $1200 after pleading guilty in Pukekohe District Court to five charges of ill-treating an animal. The SPCA prosecuted Smurthwaite after a complaint from a member of the public. MORE>>

March 01, 2007

Outbreak a threat to dogs

An outbreak of a deadly canine virus around Stoke has already killed numerous dogs, and veterinarians fear it could cause many more deaths as it spreads across the region.

Parvovirus is a highly contagious disease that strips the inner lining of the bowel, dehydrating dogs and causing continual vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and sometimes death.

Veterinarian Callum Irvine said the Stoke Veterinary Clinic had been seeing about one confirmed case of parvovirus a day since the outbreak started two weeks ago. About six dogs had been treated, and another five put down. MORE>>

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