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.

September 30, 2007

Dog saves 80-year-old owner

He may be slightly overweight and a little long in the tooth, but Sam the fox terrier could give Lassie a run for her money.

Sam is being hailed a life saver after raising the alarm for 80-year-old owner Keith Marsh, who crashed down a steep bank on a remote King Country road and spent the night trapped in his vehicle.

Loyal Sam, thought to be aged between 12 and 14, kept his best mate warm in freezing conditions overnight, before climbing a steep bank to raise the alarm.

Two schoolteachers thought it odd to see Sam "in the middle of nowhere" about 8.30am on Friday and stopped to investigate. He promptly led the way to his elderly owner and an ambulance was called.

Yesterday, Marsh was still recovering and was not up to seeing visitors. His daughter Jenni Cox told the Herald on Sunday her dad was not badly hurt but had been severely shaken. MORE>>

September 29, 2007

Dogs Could get Paris Hilton Treatment

The City Council is having to get tough with about 50 percent of dog owners who haven’t microchipped their animals.

That's a high number of non-compliance... like a lot of things in our society. I wonder if there's a link?

This suggests that there was no will in the community if you have to coerce and bully compliance, there's something wrong with the by-law. Have you asked your candidate that is standing for council these elections what THEIR view on this is !! you should.

Government regulations imposed just over 12 months ago required all first time registered animals, dogs identified as menacing or dangerous or those that have been impounded twice to be microchipped within two months from July 2006.

However a year later about half the 500 dog owners have not complied with the regulation and the City Council’s animal control team will, from the start of October, visit all of those addresses.

Is this a great way for the City Council to increase their coffers?! New laws = A new form of tax!

Senior Animal Control Officer, Peter Broughton, says if the owners don’t cooperate then they will face a $200 infringement notice and ultimately their animal could be impounded until they have it microchipped.

Dog loving communities we are!

“We’re pleased with the dog owners who have obliged but there are others who have ignored our correspondence,” Peter says.

Do we get a pat on the head?!

“We’re having to spend a large amount of time carrying out this regulation and have been relying on the cooperation of owners. After writing to them and not getting a response we now have to take the next step and knock on all doors,” Peter says.

So who's paranoid now? I didn't vote for this!

He points out that microchipping does not replace dog registration but is a one-off procedure to allow the animal’s details to be recorded in the national dog database.

I don't understand why microchipping CAN'T replace registration. I mean, they got our number, our name and our fregging date of birth! Why charge per year? It's not as if they get a warrant of fitness or something!

It's NOT a 'national dog database', it's a Labour/Progressive Job Creation Scheme

“This database is valuable to us because if a dog is found wandering and has been microchipped then the information is immediately available and the owner can be found,” Peter says.

And they can get $500 for doing this 'service'!

“It also gives us a much clearer record of dogs that are in our city.”

And... what does this give us? How can that help?
So you now know who to target... yippe!

The animal control team is giving urgency to chasing up the 50 percent of owners who haven’t complied because, in the last 12 months, another 240 dogs that need to be microchipped are now resident in the city.

These are first time registered animals or dogs, like Paris Hilton, that “have a done a little time” since the regulations were introduced.

I've never heard Paris Hilton described like this before !

“We are notifying these dog owners and they have two months to have their dog microchipped. They can either take the dog to their own vet or the City Council can arrange for the procedure to be carried out,” Peter explains.

For those who don't know, microchipping should be FREE. The people who go around and 'check up' on the dogs should just be given a microchip, and let sleeping dogs lie. Why make a freaking issue out of this!

“However if their own vet implants the microchip the owners must bring proof to the Council so we can enter the details in the database.”MORE>>

Veterinarians welcome a new microchip database for lost pets

The New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) has welcomed the launch of the New Zealand Companion Animal Register, a user-friendly identification and retrieval system for all microchipped companion animals resident in New Zealand.

"Veterinarians and SPCA Inspectors will now have 24-hour access to a database that will assist in reuniting lost pets with their owners," says Dr Ross Blanks, Veterinary Association spokesperson on urban animal management.

So long as the animal has been microchipped and recorded on the database, the veterinarian or the SPCA can retrieve information from the database at any time of the day or night." MORE>>

September 28, 2007

It's a dog's life and he's worth every last cent of it

Council dog registration fees are a small price to pay when you own an escape-artist jack russell, writes DEBBIE ROOME.

Nelson was one of our first purchases on arriving in Christchurch: an adorable jack russell puppy to soothe the pain of leaving three dogs and a cat in South Africa.

Our first shock was discovering what mutts cost in New Zealand. Four-hundred dollars for a dog? And that was a cheap one? We only paid $50 for our jack russell back home. The second shock was the cost of registering him with the city council.

"Eighty dollars." We moaned: "whatever for?"

Nelson's puppy-hood passed peacefully enough, but when he reached 18 months, he hit doggy adolescence and his brain overdosed on testosterone. His new mission in life was to break out of home and go looking for company.

He started off small – unauthorised walks to the cemetery, a visit to the neighbour's dog, a jaunt up to the local shops. We patched the fence and warned our five adolescents to shut the front door behind them. We didn't realise that worse was to come.

He quickly mastered the art of escaping. A regular Houdini. As a visitor walked in, he would sneak out. He broke through the wall of the wood shed, he squeezed through gaps in the fence, he seized every opportunity to flee.

As he grew bolder, the phone calls started. One day he came home minus his collar and tag. It later appeared in our letterbox, courtesy of the council.


"I've got your dog in my van. He was lost on Burnside Crescent." I'd forgotten he was micro-chipped. What a relief. I arranged to drive down to New World on Memorial Avenue to retrieve him. Mr Animal Control was a big burly man who was not impressed with me or my renegade hound.

And $300 later... I would imagine. All these lovely stories, but the Council nabs you in the pocket!


A week later, just as my nerves were starting to settle, his new collar and tag disappeared. Again we searched the house and garden, and again we found nothing. I asked my husband very nicely if he would pop into the council service centre at Fendalton Library and get another tag for Nelson while I went to the pet shop to get a collar. He came back rather disgruntled.

"That was embarrassing. The lady wanted to know how we could lose two dog tags in the space of one week."

"That," I replied, "is why I sent you."

I would like to say that I have changed my attitude about paying the council $80 a year. The service they provide is amazing and I am truly grateful to them. We are fortunate to have a system in place that works and works well. The residents of Burnside who have baby-sat my dog, animal control and the council staff in Fendalton have done a great job in keeping Nelson safe.

What?? no dog fine !! Let me move to Nelson!

Oh, and if anyone in north- west Christchurch should ever see a lone jack russell with a curly tail and a brown spot on his shoulder, wandering down the street without a care in the world – he's probably mine.

Read the whole story.. real cute.

September 26, 2007

John loves his dose of pet therapy

"I first heard about it through an American website and that put me in touch with Canine Friends based in Wellington. I'm the only registered volunteer in Blenheim," Ms Robinson said.

Canine Friends president Eileen Curry, arguably the doyen of golden retriever breeders in New Zealand, started the voluntary organisation 17 years ago.

There are now dozens of dog owners registered to provide pet therapy from Invercargill to Auckland.

Mrs Curry says resthomes in Blenheim are constantly asking her to find more dogs for visiting duty. MORE>>

When I was back in Ottawa, I volunteered at the Humane Society, and we went out to old folks home, and also the Women's Refuge Centre, and the Mission. It was amazing how some people just opened up and talked about their dog that they used to have.

September 25, 2007

Welfare code to protect canine workers

Don't discipline the farm dog with a stick, use a rolled up newspaper instead.

That's the recommended practice in a draft code of welfare for dogs released last week for public comment by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC).

Verbal scolding was usually sufficient to control a dog, but for the "most severe" punishment, a firm non-bruising blow with a soft object like a rolled-up newspaper may be appropriate, the code said.

NAWAC chairman Dr Peter O'Hara said while it may be difficult for farmers to lay their hands on a newspaper at the back of the farm, they could still discipline their dogs without harming them.

"Often verbal noise will get their attention," he said.

Palmerston dog trainer and farmer Lloyd Smith laughed at the suggestion of using a newspaper to discipline a dog.

"It's like throwing a handkerchief at someone," he said. MORE>>

Good read the rest of the article.... gives one something to think about when submitting their ideas.

Prisoners may help train mobility dogs

Inmates could be used to help train mobility dogs for disabled people.

A Corrections Department spokeswoman has confirmed officials had met Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust to discuss the possibility of placing mobility dogs in prisons.

Talks were at an early stage but it "has the potential to be a very positive initiative".(...)

Wellington Multiple Sclerosis Society president Jan Kelly said the initiative was an excellent idea because animals had a positive influence on people.

Of course they do, but I would imagine that dog training in prison might be better for the dogs on death-row.

But Canterbury University sociology lecturer Greg Newbold said the initiative was probably not a starter because of practical problems. "There is a lack of appropriate people in New Zealand's prisons," he said. Well, that I can agree for the specialized dog training, but not the day-to-day dog training

"You'd have to hand-pick your trainers. You might get one or two dogs out of it. "The dog might get out into the real world and be completely bamboozled."

September 24, 2007

Charge laid over lost dog

An Auckland vet has been charged with theft after allegedly stealing a pet dog from a family near her clinic.

This is a weird story...

The woman pleaded not guilty in North Shore District Court last week, but fears she will be struck off by the Veterinary Council after official complaints about her behaviour.

"I can see the headlines now: 'Vet on theft charges for trying to find owner of a stray dog'," she said.

The vet said she was only trying to save the dog's owners from a $500 fine from Animal Control officers who were "out of control".

However, the explanation did not wash with Fran Allison, who scoured the neighbourhood with her family looking for family pet Ollie, every night for a week.

I wouldn't really believe the story either. I am supposing that the dog was known to the vet, and that the dog had a tag with a phone number, and not only the animal control's number

"It was a really awful week, horrendous. I am extremely pissed off with her for what she put my family through," Allison said.

Ollie the "foodle" - a cross between a fox terrier and a poodle - went missing the day before Louis Allison's 13th birthday, apparently wandering away from the Allisons' Grey Lynn property after the front gate was left open.

Another nice dog on the loose by accident... Under the District of Gore (or proposed), the dog would be shot on site or sight!

I can understand the vet not wanting the family having a $500 fine, if that were the case.

The vet told the Herald on Sunday that a friend had found the dog, recently castrated and scruffy-looking, wandering the streets and brought it to her nearby clinic. She took Ollie to her North Shore home to care for and said she could not reach the owners.

Meanwhile, Allison and her family were frantically searching the streets around their home, posting flyers in the nearby park and placing advertisements in the New Zealand Herald.

Five days after the foodle went missing, Ollie escaped from the vet's house and was sent to the West Auckland pound after a neighbour called animal control officers.

Boy this dog would have been shot twice if he were in Gore!
(you have to read my blog to understand what I'm talking about)

Waitakere Animal Welfare scanned Ollie's microchip but no data came up because the registration was too recent. The vet claimed the dog back a day later and, according to Allison, Ollie would never have come home if not for a stroke of luck.

The story is sooo strange...

Allison visited the kennels the same morning Ollie was released and gave his microchip number. "They said, 'we had your dog here last night'," said Allison. "There was no question it was him, the microchip is like a set of fingerprints. If he hadn't been microchipped, we would never be able to prove he was ours."

Horray for microchips for this reason, ... but I thought that they just said that the registration was too recent, and therefore couldn't 'read' the chip?!? This is a bit weird too, hell the whole story is..

Animal Welfare then called the vet and asked her to return Ollie. When she allegedly refused, the kennel told Allison to file a complaint with police, who then obtained a search warrant for the vet's home.

The vet heard someone "thumping" on her door but could not immediately answer the door because she was in the bath. By the time she found a robe, the police had smashed the glass on her front door.

Inside, police found Ollie and another missing dog, a beagle called Billy, owned by lawyers who have declined to comment.

Well, that vet needs some help!

The vet has pleaded not guilty to one charge of theft and is due to appear again in court in November. Fran Allison has complained to the Veterinary Council.

September 22, 2007

Doggie days

We're a country obsessed with our ever-expanding waistlines. I can sit and watch mine for hours.

And now, we've extended that obsession to the waistlines of our pets with the new TV3 series Downsize My Pet, Tuesdays at 7.30pm, a spin-off from the original Downsize Me! Stern veterinarian Sasha Nowell and pet personal trainer Alexis Banas take over the expert roles and go in to help worried families with their porker dogs and cats.

As humans we have little excuse for not getting off our butts and eating only bad foods.

We open the fridge and pantry for ourselves, so make the choice every day. For our pets, however, it's harder.

They don't have opposable thumbs for one, and so can't open the doors for themselves.

They rely on their humans to feed them, exercise them and keep them in a state of relative health. And given that most people owned by cats or dogs are big softies, we're inclined to give in to them more often than not, so you end up with dogs like Blackie, the debut dog for Downsize My Pet.

(...) Blackie was put on a new diet, and a new exercise regime and in a matter of weeks, was a new dog altogether.MORE>>

September 21, 2007

1080 pellets kill second dog in regional park

Another dog has died of 1080 poisoning after pellets were illegally tampered with in two Wellington regional parks in the past week.

Dog reunited with family

Lydia Gruenwald is happily seeing double again. On Monday the Herald ran a story about the Timaru woman losing one of her beloved eight-year-old huskies, Tolkien.

The dog has since been located, in a neighbour's garden shed. It had been shut in the building by a gardener.

Tolkien's twin sister Mishka was "very happy" to see her sibling back again.

Manurewa tops complaints

Manurewa residents make more noise, dog and graffiti complaints to Manukau City Council as a percentage of population than anywhere else in the city.


The council's dog contractor, DSS Animal Management, has always been kept busy in Manurewa, managing director Barry Gillingwater told the community board.

Records since 1991 show Manurewa has generated a higher number of dog complaints per capita compared with other wards, Mr Gillingwater says.

But for the past five or six years, the number of dog complaints has been dropping across the city, and Manurewa has followed that trend.

Hum... i wonder why?

Mr Gillingwater told the board his company blitzes Manurewa two-and-a-half times more often than in other wards.The animal shelter at Wiri can be filled up from just one day's blitz.

Am I to presume that the dogs are picked up for wandering?

Community board chairman Daniel Newman asked Mr Gillingwater how Manurewa's dog issues could be improved.

It would probably be more useful to know WHY they complained-- easier to manage

Mr Gillingwater said his company could put more resources into the area but with current funding from the council it would be at the expense of the rest of the city's dog problems.

The number of dog service requests for Manukau city wards in 2006-2007: Botany-Clevedon 577, Howick 535, Manurewa 2415, Mangere 1151, Otara 736, Pakuranga 555, Papatoetoe 754.


September 20, 2007

Police dog credited with saving life

Police dog Ryka Junior may have saved a woman's life when his bite halted a brutal domestic bashing at a New Brighton house.

That's the view of Judge Lindsay Moore, who told a man being sentenced that he "owed a great gift of thanks" to the police dog handler and his dog.

"If they hadn't intervened I would have thought your chances of spending much less than the next decade in prison would have been remarkably small."

Judge Moore jailed Jason Lee Ramsay for 18 months on charges of intentionally injuring his partner, assaulting her with a weapon, and breaching a protection order that had been in place for years.

For YEARS... what hell she has to live in. I'd probably move out of NZ!


September 19, 2007

Dogged boarders create new sport

A cross between dog sledding and wakeboarding has been voted New Zealand's top new sport in SPARC promotion the Weird World of Sports.

Bruce Boarding, named after the entrant's pet dog, Bruce, is a take on wakeboarding.

Instead of using boat power, Bruce's owners harnessed him up to tow them along a stretch of shallow surf.

The competition, led by Pulp Sport's comedy duo Bill and Ben, asked entrants to invent weird new sports, and post videos or photos of them on the internet. MORE>>

Two new dogs on the beat

Timaru's once again a two (police) dog town.
Aucklander Za Maberly, his family, and dog Anzac have made the move south, while Timaru police officer Kevin McGartland has been appointed as a trainee handler.


Code sets guidelines for good dog owners

Title: Code sets guidelines for good dog owners

I really think that it should be written for bad dog owners since the good dog owners would do the right thing for their dog.

The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (Nawac) has released a draft of a new code outlining minimum standards for the welfare of dogs.

The code, which covers all dogs, from pets to working and sport dogs, also recommends the best practices for anyone responsible for dogs.

It looks at all aspects of dog ownership and care, including sanitation, breeding, training, tail docking and euthanasia.

Chairman Dr Peter O'Hara said the committee was seeking public feedback on the code before it was finalised.

Doglinks will surely put in our submission, and we will ask to talk to it too. Are you submitting?

"Nawac has not made any decisions yet. We want to know how people feel about the issues in the code and welcome submissions," he said.

I HOPE that loads of people out there DO submit...


Christchurch dog owner Dawn Dadswell supported the proposed code, particularly for new owners.

Yes, new dog owners can be at a loss as it is a different world of body language, status, etc etc

"I think a lot of people that have not had dogs before should have something like that because they don't realise the work involved, especially with bigger dogs," she said.

She has two dogs, an 18-month-old mastiff and a smaller mastiff-cross, which have grown up with her young children.

The mastiff, called Rusty, needed obedience training and had to be exercised daily to keep him in good condition.

But even with good care, including proper fencing, Rusty has spent the last few days in the council pound after escaping when the Dadswells' house cleaner opened the gate as she was leaving their North Beach home.

Thankfully he's got a good dog owner who will do the right thing and socialise the pooch. Dog's DO escape, ... perhaps 'escape' isn't the right word as it makes it sound like he doesn't want to be there.. they want to sniff and mark their territory. It's a doggie thing to do. So we need to manage this as well as we can.

Dadswell was keen to look at the proposed code, but suggested a further step requiring dog owners to know basic dog welfare rules when registering their pet.

I would suggest that it goes even further than that. But that'll be in my submission..

Dog death shows depth of feeling

The death of a dog following the deliberate distribution of poison in the public area of Kaitoke Regional Park shows the extreme position being taken by some in the hunting community, Forest & Bird says.

Forest & Bird is calling on the Deerstalkers Association and other hunting groups to denounce these actions and to do all they can to assist the police in catching those responsible, Mr Hackwell says.

"This week extremist elements of the hunting community have shown their disregard for the law, for pubic safety, for endangered species and for the rural economy," he says.

The hunting community is doing a real disservice to their organisation. I can't even feel sorry when they kill one of their own... I'm sure that once they get a riffle in their hand, they become another person, and do things that they regret. And maybe not. I've never hunted, so...

What'da i know? I'm just a dog lover!

September 17, 2007

Minimum care standards set for dog owners

The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) has today released a draft of a new code outlining minimum standards for the welfare of dogs.

The code, which covers all dogs from pets to working and sport dogs, also recommends the best practices for anyone responsible for dogs.

It looks at all aspects of dog ownership and care, including sanitation, breeding, training, tail docking and euthanasia.

NAWAC chairman Peter O'Hara said the committee was seeking public feedback on the code, before it was finalised.

"NAWAC has not made any decisions yet. We want to know how people feel about the issues in the code and welcome submissions."

The topic of tail docking, which the code opposes, was likely to attract interest, Dr O'Hara said.

"Essentially, the potential for pain might not be outweighed by non-medical reasons for removing the tail."

Body condition could also be contentious as it varied between individual dogs, breeds and the rate of work or physical activity, he said.

"NAWAC recognises that owners' opinion will vary in what they consider their dog's ideal condition.

"Nevertheless, NAWAC considers that the welfare of dogs will be compromised if they are maintained in a `thin' condition."

The code was intended to encourage all those responsible for the welfare of dogs to exceed the minimum standards and adopt the best practices of husbandry, care and handling.

People can access the draft code and details on the consultation process at

Submissions are due by November 1.

The New Zealand Companion Animal Council wrote the draft code in consultation with NAWAC, animal welfare organisations, breeders, farmer representatives, local councils and veterinarians.


September 15, 2007

Hoping for debate

Gore district councillors this week stuck by their tough stance on dog control, hoping their suggestion for the mandatory euthanasia of wandering dogs would at least stir up debate in Wellington.

The council has advocated mandatory euthanasia for wandering dogs in the community and mandatory sterilisation for certain breeds in a submission to the Department of Internal Affairs local government and community policy group, which was looking at options to improve public safety around dogs.

I read keep watch on dog news, and I don't seem to have read much about Gore's problem with roaming dogs. I mean, if it was such a big issue, why didn't the media pick up on it. Hell, they love these type of stories.

The submission acknowledges there needed to be some discretion to waive the mandatory requirements, such as when an owner showed they had taken all steps to prevent a dog's escape from their property.

But how would they do that? I mean, didn't you say IMMEDIATE death?? Where's DUE PROCESS?

Cr Mervyn Hellier said the education of dog owners was a major issue and often it was the dog owners who were at fault and not the dogs.

And how much money is the council spending on educating dog owners?? probably ZIP

He suggested mandatory euthanasia for dogs and their owners.
(YES,YOU'VE READ THAT RIGHT... "mandatory euthanasia for their owners."

I suggest that when his under 14 yr old wanders the street unsupervised, they get the same fate. I mean, perhaps they are the ones terrorizing the public in tagging, and unwanted social behaviour?

Chief executive Steve Parry said that unless councils had the armoury in the act they could not deal with the problem.

BUT THEY DO !!! Didn't they read the Act?

Or didn't they read the July 2007 Issue of the Listener.

It was the hot topic... researched, and well presented.

"I know it sounds extreme," he said.

No shit!

The council's submission was a "desperate plea" not to dismiss such measures when dog control reform was considered by government.

Too often reform tended to be watered down, Mr Parry said.

such as...??

Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks said he realised some of the council's ideas were unpopular but roaming dogs should simply not be allowed to terrorise communities.

Nor are young kids be allowed to terrorise communities.

Doggie daycare proves a success

It sounds like any other daycare. The charges start the morning playing with friends and learning new things. MORE>>

More media coverage for them... hey, there's one in Christchurch, ya know!! Anywhere else??
Use the "comment" link..

So, hence... from the post below... about pet's helping with health of their owners, my question is: who, from a health perspective, benefits? the dog owner, or the owner of the daycare ? :)

Dog dies after 1080 spread in two parks

Anti-1080 activists have forced the closure of two Wellington parks after the poison was scattered in public areas, killing a pet dog.

How do they know it's anti-1080 activists? Doesn't sound like it would come from a group of people who, I can only guess, like animals???

Kaitoke Regional Park and Tunnel Gully were closed to dogs earlier this week but after one animal was killed, Greater Wellington regional council closed both to the public.

Council officers found the poison pellets in picnic areas and on tracks where the public and their pets could find it.

I'm sorry, but this sounds more like a group of anti dog activists. Let's continue to read the article. I'm commenting while I'm reading...

Meanwhile a second dog's death at Upper Hutt's Trentham Memorial Park is being probed amid fears it may also have been poisoned.

1080 is extremely toxic to humans, causing vomiting, convulsions, and eventually cardiac and respiratory collapse.

Apparently, I heard, in and around the New Plymouth area, 1080 is thought to cause birth deformities...

The closures are the latest of several malicious 1080 incidents, including threats by deer hunters to release dogs in a Tongariro forest kiwi sanctuary this week, where a sign was nailed to a tree reading: "DoC 1080 deer, we will dog your kiwis".

Sheese... fregging arsh es... don't want to swear here... but

I guess they aren't animal lovers like I thought...

Conservation Minister Chris Carter was appalled by the Wellington activists. "I understand there is no way the pellets could have got into those areas without some help from a human hand and I'm appalled and saddened that people who opposed 1080 would go to these lengths to make their point."

But how do they know...? I suppose there's a history ~

The poison's use has sparked controversy. However, after a series of public meetings the Environmental Risk Management Authority ruled last month its use could continue.


Hugh Barr, from the Deerstalkers Association, said hunters had tried to negotiate with the regional council and Conservation Department to place deer repellent on 1080 pellets in both parks, but felt they had been ignored.

"There's a significant level of frustration in the community," he said.

No shit! It's like, I suppose, terrorist attack, but at a local level.

Has your dog been poisoned? Email us:

(NewsTarget) According to a recent study, dogs may be man’s best friend in more ways that previously thought.

(Not in the New Zealand newspaper)

The study, written by Dr. Deborah Wells of Queen’s University, Belfast, for the British Journal of Health Psychiatry, found that dog owners tend to suffer less from ill health, have lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.

Until, of course, they get a dog fine :)

... just being light hearted....

Citing a 1995 study, Dr. Wells stated that dog owners who had suffered heart attacks were 8.6 percent more likely to be alive one year following their heart attacks than patients that did not own dogs.

I definitely agree with this. Although I have not suffered a heart attack, I do agree that one look from my dog just melts away all the angst I may have had from my day...

“It is possible that dogs can directly promote our well-being by buffering us from stress,” said Dr. Wells. “The ownership of a dog can also lead to increases in physical activity and psychological human health in a more indirect manner.”

I would LOVE to know how city councils and health boards measure this up against their annual budget plan, and their analysis of health indicators.

Perhaps dog annual registration fees should go to the health board!

Dr. Aaron Katcher, emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, has found “much evidence that social support is a critical variable in the recovery from many serious biological disorders, including psychiatric illness,” during the course of his studies on human and animal interaction. MORE>>

September 13, 2007

Walking the dog a healthy job

Michelle Skinner is a one-woman professional dog-walking service and it's a good thing she's fit.

"At the moment I'm doing 150km a week," she says.


Lack of physical and mental exercise are primary causes of dogs' misbehaviour and boredom, Ms Skinner says.

She compares owning a dog with the responsibilities associated with having children.

"No one deserves to own a dog uPublish Postnless they're fully prepared to put the dog first."

Here, here!

September 12, 2007

Debate on dog control review heats up

Whangarei's dog control review has jumped over its first fence but still has a long way to run before dog owners see any changes.

In response to mounting public protest by dog owners about unfair treatment, the Whangarei District Council set up the dog control review in May.

The comprehensive report from the review says dog control is largely well handled but agrees there is cause for complaint.

It criticises both the contractor Environmental Northland and the council for not ensuring the dog control contract is properly carried out.


Councillor Robin Lieffering - who previously raised concerns about the review being a witch-hunt - asked for the report to not be received.

She said staff should look over the recommendations and report back in a professional agenda item.

The very suggestion of not receiving the report got review chairman councillor Crichton Christie so hot under the collar that he walked out. MORE>>

Don't let dogs roam, says bitten girl's mum

Arrowtown parents Rae and Mark Williams want dog owners to take more responsibility with their animals and stop them roaming in the town.

Their daughter, Brehna, 7, was bitten by a red heeler on Saturday while she was playing with friends at a reserve near Isabel Crt.


The dog was apparently known for its aggressive behaviour towards children and cyclists, and dogs that displayed that type of behaviour should not be in Arrowtown, she said.

Mr Williams said dog owners should not take risks with their animals.

Can we set the record straight here. Can people stop labelling ALL dog owners as BAD.

Can people start to understand about dog behaviour and how socialisation or the lack of it plays a HUGE part in dog attacks. If this THIS dog wasn't socialised and was known to to attack, then YES, get the damn dog off the streets. But don't put ALL dogs in the SAME basket when you talk about WANDERING, or ROAMING dogs.

Like I said before, if dogs were all socialised, then nobody would need to fear about roaming dogs. It is the UNsocialised roaming dogs that are THEE problem.

Sergeant Andy Grant said it had not been decided if the dog would be destroyed or charges laid.


Farmers plagued by dog attacks

Chris and Margaret Allan have suffered a spate of dog attacks this year.

About 15 lambs and ewes have been mutilated and killed in a series of attacks on their Tramway Rd property since May.

There have been about six or seven separate incidents to date, all involving different dogs, Mr Allan said.

In attacks earlier this year, sheep suffered broken legs, had their ears torn off and throats attacked.

"The way they've left them mutilated I've been disgusted," Mrs Allan said.

The attacks also traumatised the flock and cost about $1000 to $1500 in stock losses.


who let the dogs out?

September 11, 2007

Girl's face stitched after dog attack in Arrowtown

A seven-year-old girl is back with her parents in Arrowtown after a dog attacked her in a park on Saturday afternoon, biting her face.

Sergeant Andy Grant, of Queenstown, said the girl had been playing with friends at a reserve near Isabel Crt when a red heeler cattle dog rushed at her, jumped up and bit her jaw and temple.

The dog had been barking in its kennel when the owners took it out and tried to shut it in the house to keep it quiet, Mr Grant said.

It appears that this house didn't have a fence!

Another dog owner not understanding 'dog' and its needs. Who pays? those that do.

However, the dog bolted, ran to the reserve and bit the girl, he said.

(...)Police would liaise with dog control officers today to decide if the dog would be destroyed and charges laid against the owners, Mr Grant said.

September 08, 2007

Important Annual Animal Welfare Conference

5 September 2007

New Zealand’s Most Important Annual Animal Welfare Conference Imminent

Hailed as New Zealand’s most important annual animal welfare conference, the Eighteenth NZ Companion Animal Conference 2007 is being held in Queenstown on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 September.

Appropriately themed ‘The Summit’ the conference and workshop has attracted a stellar collection of speakers from around the world to discuss vital topics relevant to animal welfare. Never before have so many notable animal welfarists come together to share their knowledge and discuss the issues facing animals, their owners, and communities globally. The inimitable Auckland SPCA CEO, Bob Kerridge, will facilitate the conference, and is delighted that prominent international experts have acknowledged the importance of the annual event by attending. Key speakers and hot topics include: Check SPCA website for more details

No-nonsense dog stance

The mandatory euthanasia of dogs caught wandering and mandatory sterilisation of certain breeds are being advocated by the Gore District Council as the Government looks at tightening dog control legislation.

Well, I guess I won't be moving to Gore !

The extreme measures were included in a letter to the Internal Affairs Department's local government and community policy group after the council was invited to comment on legislative and non-legislative options to improve public safety around dogs.

Huh? How to you improve public safety?? sheese. why don't you castrate all pedophiles!

In the letter, chief executive Steve Parry says mandatory euthanasia may sound harsh but dog owners would soon get the message. The infringement systems had its merits but did not work with repeat offenders. So you are going to destroy perfectly good dogs because you can't manage bad dog owners? So, this is suppose to make sense?

Wandering dogs were the scourge of just about every community in the country, the letter says.

And so... why don't you make sure that wandering dogs are socialised

Local authorities should be able to seize and immediately euthanase a dog caught wandering without going through the lengthy and arduous process with its owner.

Holy shit!! democracy and civil liberties destroyed. The tip of the iceberg. Sounds more like, guilty before proven innocent.

As well as advocating the steril-isation of certain breeds of dogs, the council also wants to include any dog with an element of an offending breed.

And how do you envision doing this?

Other changes included requiring dogs to be on a leash at all times in public and wiping council's obligation to hold unregistered dogs for seven days.

Who wrote the letter again?

Smart dogs tell epileptics when they're going to fit

For most of us, owning a dog is about having a companion and games of fetch. For epileptic Belinda Simpson, however, owning a dog is about much more than walks in the park.

The 34-year-old was diagnosed with epilepsy 11 years ago and now relies on her assist dog, a golden retriever named Bradley, to let her know when she is going to have a seizure.

Yesterday Ms Simpson was at the Armitage Hotel to give a presentation about the assist dogs as part of this week's Epilepsy New Zealand's awareness week.


Ms Simpson said Bradley had changed her life. She now helps train epilepsy assist dogs in Auckland and wants others with epilepsy to know just how helpful dogs like Bradley can be.


Anyone interested in getting an epilepsy assist dog can contact Epilepsy NZ Tauranga branch on (07) 579 6091.

September 07, 2007

Pooch's owner in dog box with SPCA

But this picture of a pampered pooch by Auckland City Harbour News photographer Jason Oxenham on the corner of Queen St and Mayoral Drive last week did just that.

"This is the most amazing photo but it sends a mixed message," Mr Kerridge says.

"The dog is dressed for winter, lying on a bed with a bowl of water, so someone obviously really cares for this dog.

"What worries me is the wee thing is vulnerable to theft or the traffic."

While Mr Kerridge is concerned by the dog's situation, he says some people could learn a thing or two from the mystery owner.

"It's so well cared for and loved - I wish everyone did this for their animals."

When transporting animals in vehicles, Mr Kerridge says the comfort and safety of the animal is the most important thing.

"We never want animals in the boots of cars.

"In this case, if the dog does travel in that bag on the side of the motorbike and it's zipped up, it's probably okay."

Mr Kerridge says while leaving a dog tied to a motorbike near a busy intersection is 'certainly not something I would recommend', briefly tying up a dog up in public is acceptable.

"It's a risk people take but sometimes it's necessary," he says.

"Generally, people don't tie them up for an hour or two while they go away." BUT they leave them in CARS and that's okay !! Hell, my dog stays willingly in our car even though it's in the driveway. That's his kennel for him... He loves the car...

What do YOU think??

Neglected dog needed leg amputated

Bobby the rhodesian ridgeback now has three legs and the owner who neglected his care and feeding for months faces 75 hours of community work.

Ming Huang was an unemployed beneficiary when the dog was found, but he is now a student learning English to improve his job prospects.

A Mandarin interpreter was needed for his Christchurch District Court appearance before Judge Lindsay Moore today, when the 53-year-old admitted charges of failing to ensure the dog's physical, health and behavioural needs were met, and failing to get it treatment to "alleviate any unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress".


The woman was shocked. The dog was walking on three legs because the front left leg was wrapped in a towel and tied up around its neck in a sling type arrangement.

"It had a strong smell much like that of rotten meat and the strap tying the leg up was clearly digging into the dog's skin," said Mr Raymond. Huang agreed to give Bobby to the woman to let her find a new home for it and she took it straight to a veterinary surgeon.


So the boat guy in a wheelchair gets a $500 fine, and this guy gets 75 hours !!

Sheese, where's the fairplay in this??

Chch man fined for having dog in national park

A District Court judge has sprung to the defence of New Zealand's national bird, sounding a warning for people to keep their dogs out of national parks.

Judge Lindsay Moore fined a wheelchair-bound Christchurch man $500 for having a dog in a boat on Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson Lakes National Park in January.

He noted that the dog had since died, but told 29-year-old Samuel Robert Bennett that his dog could have been taken and destroyed.

There were documented cases of dogs killing 20 kiwis at a time, the judge told Bennett. "It's a lapdog, sir," said Bennett. (...)

Bennett told the judge he was wheelchair-bound for life because of a broken neck, and he was a beneficiary and "pretty poor". He said the dog had been on the boat and was going to be taken back to the camper van.

Because of Bennett's circumstances, Judge Moore imposed a fine of $500 but said he did not want that to be seen as a precedent.


the dog was in the BOAT !! I didn't know that kiwis could swim?!

Dog Food In New Zealand Recalled Due To Metal Fragments

Auckland-based Mars New Zealand said it was recalling its Pedigree and Optimum brand "dog roll products" due to a possible metal fragments contamination. The recall includes Pedigree brand beef and liver, lamb and vegetable, ... MORE>>

September 06, 2007

Laughs turn to screams as dog bites party girl

An investigation is under way after a 10-year-old girl was bitten by a dog at a friend's birthday party on Saturday.

Kaylee Bird was enjoying Singstar with her friends when she was bitten above the eye by a Jack Russell terrier.

Not all dogs are the mastiffX that bite !!


Ms Brown did not blame the dog for the incident but had laid a complaint with Tauranga City Council.

"I just want people to know and realise they are animals," she said. "You can love them to death but they need to be treated like animals. They're animals and animals need to have boundaries."

Tell your kids that too!

The owner of the dog refused to comment but there are differing accounts of what happened leading up to the attack.


In Kaylee's case it did not matter what had happened leading up to the bite, he said. "The bottom line is the dog has bitten her face and that's not good."

Well, that's not good enough to NOT consider what went on before the dog bite. I mean, perhaps the dog would want to complain about the kids teasing it to death!


"It doesn't default to legal action. It's about what's the best thing in the interests of the community? And can we arm the owner with some knowledge? We have a lot to offer in terms of knowledge and education." Mr Payne said face bites often resulted from direct eye contact with a dog.

How about arming the kids too!

"Even with your own dogs we discourage that. Dogs can see it as a threat or a challenge." He cautioned people to ask an owner's permission before they approached a dog and should not treat a dog like a toy or child.

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