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.

October 31, 2007

Dogs looking for their day

New Zealand dog trialists are in no mood to lose against the winning Australians when the two teams meet today in Ashburton for the first leg of the trans-Tasman test.

The competitive Australians have beaten the Kiwis in the last two series, but the latest match-up is on home soil and will use heavier romney hoggets which are more suited to New Zealand trialling.

The home advantage should swing even further to the Kiwis because the hoggets will come from the Westmere property of Mark Copland, the New Zealand captain. MORE>>

Review has crosshairs on deadly crossbreeds

The owners of crossbreed dogs are expected to face tougher controls after a review prompted by the killing of Murupara woman Virginia Ohlson.

Associate Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta will unveil plans today to strengthen dog control laws after the six-month review, ordered by Prime Minister Helen Clark days after Ms Ohlson's death on April 21. MORE>>

Ban on dogs outrages Woodend campers

A ban on dogs and a new fee at the Woodend Beach Holiday Park has upset several regular campers.

The new management has sent a newsletter to campers saying dogs will be banned from November 23. From tomorrow a $700 fee will apply for people who leave their caravans on-site year round.

In return, regular users would get 15 nights free for two adults.

Those who do not use the sites over the Christmas break or long weekends will have their caravans stored for $10 a week.

Pippa and Graeme Tait of Woodend, who have camped at the park for the past four years, said to ban dogs and increase the fees just eight weeks before Christmas was a "disgrace".

Their two poodles were their family, and if they had to leave them behind it would ruin their Christmas holiday.

They have opted to sell their two caravans.

Pippa Tait said kennels were already fully booked for Christmas, so they had taken their South Shore bach off the market and would use it as their "bolt-hole" instead.

"Camping is magic, but our dogs are the most important thing in our lives and we do not want to holiday without them," she said.

She said dog owners were being discriminated against because people who lived at the park all year round were allowed to keep their dogs. Other campers upset at the ban and the new fee did not want to comment yesterday.

Proprietors Jan Reid and Wendy Campbell, surprised by the backlash, said the ban on dogs was aimed at making the park safe and family-friendly. Ask any dog owner, and tell them that their dogs isn't family friendly !!

When they took over at Labour weekend there were nearly more dogs than people. What does THAT tell you? perhpas there is a need for camping with one's dogs.

"There are lots and lots of children here. This is a family camping ground and we are responsible for any consequence that may occur regarding dogs," they said. Oh come on!! Educate instead of prohibitate (if that's a word, but sounds like a good rhyme)

They had allowed long-term campers to keep their dogs, provided they were not classified as dangerous and were not replaced when they were sold or died. Pretty sad indictment of society ..

Hound's ears torn by staffie

Clarice Ford is warning residents to be on the lookout for a staffordshire terrier cross dog that mauled her beloved pet basset hound Peggy.

She rushed to help and found Peggy being dragged by the neck and ears across the balcony by the staffordshire terrier who would have had to jump a fence to get on to the balcony.

Ms Ford couldn't force the dog to let go of Peggy so she started calling for help and her neighbours phoned the police.

But a few seconds later a young man, believed to be the dog's owner, arrived and starting hitting the staffordshire terrier about the head.

"The guy thumped and thumped and thumped but it wouldn't let go."

After what seemed like a few minutes to Ms Ford, the dog released Peggy and as soon as it let go the young man picked it up and ran off down the street with it.

Ms Ford's neighbours gave chase but lost track of him when after he ran down an alleyway.


Kiwis in animal shame list

Two cases of cruelty to dogs in Christchurch and the slaughter of a sheep in North Canterbury are on a national list of shame highlighting poor treatment of animals.

The Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals released its fifth annual list yesterday.

Cases ranged from drowned puppies later found pickled in a jar to a kitten with its ear tips cut off and hens which died from heat after being crammed into a car boot. MORE>>

October 25, 2007

Wanted: Dog minders for some puppy love

They will one day be leading the blind, but for now some young pups are looking for good homes.

The New Zealand Foundation of the Blind, the long-term guardians of up-and-coming guide dogs, is appealing for Christchurch families who can foster the pups for the first year of their lives.

Too young for core training, the freshly weaned canines need to find their feet in the company of dog lovers who will be able to give them up after 12 to 13 months. MORE>>

Dog incident an accident

Craig Forster was sick and tired of being burgled so he adopted a dog to protect his property.

He built a six-foot fence around his Mangere home, adopted a pitbull cross and had it registered immediately.

For six years Mr Forster says he had no complaints whatsoever about his dog Coco. But that all changed recently.

Mr Forster left his Manston Rd home about 10am on July 27 to sort out his passport and some other documents to prepare for moving to Australia.

He decided not to take Coco with him because she had two four-week-old puppies so he made sure he securely bolted the gates behind him.

When he arrived home later that afternoon, an Animal Management Services van was parked up the driveway and Coco and her puppies had been detained.

Mr Forster was told that someone had complained about Coco and she had to be removed from the property.

I betcha if the dog was a border collie, noone would have complained. But being the dog which everyone is now left to fear,... well, that draws complaints. Too bad we can't talk to each other like civil members of society rather than having to have a third party involved..

"I was told a lady was walking a dog past the section and my dog came out at her dog," he says.

"But my first question was: 'Who the hell opened my gates'."

Mr Forster says his dog would have been extra protective of the property because she had puppies so that may have led to the alleged attack.

Manukau City Council sent Mr Forster a letter on September 6, telling him it had received a complaint regarding an incident with Coco. Remember the dog had the complaints on July 27th. Why did it take so long ?

On September 25 he was sent another letter saying he was going to be prosecuted under the Dog Control Act for owning a dog that attacked an animal. Then another 2 weeks !! Can't they get their act together?!

He is now waiting to be summonsed to appear in the Manukau District Court.

Mr Forster's daughter-in-law has written to the council telling it she accidently left the gate open after picking up her washing.

"It was an accident the gate was left open," Mr Forster says. "I should not be responsible for someone else's actions. I am a victim of circumstance."

Mr Forster says Coco was generally a well-behaved dog.

"She was a good dog, she'd never bite anyone. I presume my dogs are dead but I can't even find that out." Gee, that's really sad .. no communication ?!

Mr Forster is in the process of selling his home and moving his family to Brisbane where he was born.

Coco was to be adopted by a family member when Mr Forster left New Zealand.

Manukau City Council would not comment on the case since it is before the courts.

October 19, 2007

Police sting ends dognapping

Sherree Ransom is overjoyed to be reunited with the family Staffordshire bull terrier Buddy but she's learned a painful lesson about offering rewards after he was allegedly dognapped twice by the same person.

A police sting on Monday caught two men just after Sherree Ransom had paid them $600 and Buddy was handed over in a car park. Police charged one of the men with theft of a dog and both with demanding money with intent to steal. MORE>>

He must have been a heavy dog to hold up for the camera !!

Police need new dogs like Urban

Police have em-bark-ed on a new recruitment drive for dogs.

With a lack of german shepherds and a surprise retirement this month, police are asking anyone with a suitable german shepherd to consider signing them up.

Senior Constable Peter Greenland said the ideal recruit would be between eight and 18 months old, with an "outgoing, bold personality".

"We're looking for anyone who has a german shepherd, preferably male, which has lots of character, drive, is not afraid, and, to be honest, is probably a bit of a handful for the owner," he said. MORE>>

October 17, 2007

Fine for starving dog

The fine imposed on a Taita woman whose starved dog was 50 per cent below its ideal weight when rescued by Wellington SPCA is a good start, an animal welfare inspector says. MORE>>

October 15, 2007

Dog put down after attack on toddler

The owners of a dog that attacked a two-year-old girl yesterday are not taking any chances and have had the dog destroyed.

The toddler was bitten on the face by a labrador-border collie cross, which had to be pulled off the girl by a relation.

Christchurch police and council dog control were called to a house on Wainoni Road about 11.45am yesterday, and the dog, Coco, was taken away to be destroyed at the owner's request.

Coco's owner, Catherine Bills, said the toddler was her great-niece.

"I was at the other end of the house with a vacuum going, so it was lucky my daughter was there."

Bills' daughter pulled Coco off, and the dog turned and tried to bite her, she said.

"It all happened so fast but as far as we know it was unprovoked," Bills said.


Unprovoked?... one would never know unless someone was actually there with the toddler, which is what is advocated.

Apparently they had the dog for 8 years with loads of children around.

Perhaps the dog had an undiagnosed illness .. could have been a medical issue. But we'll never really know. Too bad we just can't ask the dog what happened !

Does the owner get fined?

Designer dogwear hits town

Eat your heart out, Paris Hilton - Hollywood Boulevard is not the only place to buy funky outfits for Tinkerbell.

Ikypopuppies - Casual Canine Apparel & Accessories supplies all that could be imagined in doggie couture at New Plymouth's SPCA Saturday market in The Mill car park.

Owner Sonya Daly (51) came up with the idea for Ikypopuppies after looking for oufits for her own dog, Gennae, who accompanies her at the market every week

"I bought some outfits for my own dogs, and friends wanted outfits for theirs, so I decided to have a go at selling it." MORE>>

October 13, 2007

A dog's life can be a bitch

Dogs are called man's best friend, yet too often are treated as anything but.

Every day the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals deals with horrific cases of mistreatment: from physical abuse and torture to starvation.

Once in a while a case makes national headlines, such as that of Job, who was found locked in a vacant Auckland home and so emaciated and sick that inspectors couldn't make out his breed.

Thankfully there are more responsible dog owners than bad. They faithfully feed, water and walk their dogs, treating them as they deserve to be - as part of the family.

Though the draft Animal Welfare (Dogs) Code of Welfare is written as a guide for all dog owners, the good ones already know and meet the requirements.

The document will be used by the SPCA and other authorities to prosecute those who don't meet minimum standards of dog care.

They will soon have something with which to gauge specifically how a dog should be treated - and use it to try those who fall short.

What is the code?

The draft Animal Welfare (Dogs) Code of Welfare was issued last month by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee.

The code outlines minimum standards for the welfare of dogs and is intended to ensure owners are meeting their obligations under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

The code covers all dogs, from pets to working animals.

It looks at 21 aspects of ownership and care including food and water, shelter, sanitation, breeding, health and behaviour.

It includes diagrams and descriptions of dogs in various conditions from emaciated to ideal and grossly obese.

One of the more contentious parts of the code is likely to be the banning of tail docking, expected to draw criticism from breeders.

It states that docking must be done only for medical reasons and must be carried out by a veterinarian.

Ten other animal welfare codes exist, including ones for pigs, cats, circus animals, zoos, chickens and deer. They are written by various animal welfare groups and must be reviewed every 10 years.

The dog code was written by the New Zealand Companion Animal Council, in consultation with other animal welfare organisations, breeders, local councils and vets.

Members of the public have till November 1 to have their say before the code is reconsidered by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, then recommended to the agriculture minister to be issued.


"It actually becomes a benchmark for the courts in the event somebody is prosecuted," Mr O'Hara says. "It takes the subjectivity out of it."

The code will also be a useful tool for every dog owner, Mr O'Hara says.


Mr Boyd says part of the problem is an over-population of dogs because people do not think about the implications of getting them.

When he was a child growing up in Rotorua there were only three dogs in his street with 57 houses.

"Today there are 56 dogs in that street," Mr Boyd says.

"What has changed is the population of dogs has increased dramatically over the years.

"I remember my parents saying, `Can we afford to have this dog?' - that was a serious consideration. "Today things are so much easier that people just get them."Are the penalties tough enough?No, according to SPCA senior inspectors in Wellington and Auckland.


"Dogs are living sentient beings.

"They feel the same pain we do, they just can't express it the way we can. If you own an animal you have legal obligations to that animal just the same as you do to your children. I think the sentences could be a lot harsher but this is where we're at."

Auckland inspector David Lloyd-Barker says we haven't "got anywhere near" the maximum sentence for cruel dog owners.

He says it would be better if we did, especially because there is a direct correlation between violence toward animals and violence toward children.


But we also need minimum standards to ensure that dogs are well kept, he says.

"Dogs are like people, they need certain things like warmth, shelter, food, water and company.

"The code brings in a bottom line. It underpins the law and lays down a standard where if you fall below that standard you're open to prosecution."

Ross Blanks is a member of the New Zealand Companion Animal Council and a Christchurch vet.

He is hopeful that the legally binding code will make a difference to dog welfare.

"I'm sure it will get better but it's not an easy road."

Dr Blanks says New Zealand became a leader in animal welfare when the first codes were introduced about a decade ago.

"It certainly enhanced New Zealand's reputation as placing animal welfare in the front of our attention. It's like that old adage that you can measure a society by how they treat its animals.

"The way people used to look after their dogs - when they used to chuck them a bone - those days are gone."


October 10, 2007

Dogs at the centre of action on Rural Day

The social whirl, the waiting for events to start, and the pressure to perform to perfection in front of large crowds all proved a little too much for some of the canine contestants in Feilding.

The fox terrier Manu put his best paw forward, but he couldn't cut it with the big huntaway farm dogs, their style and their barks.

Hundreds of people made their way to Feilding on Friday as town and country rubbed shoulders at the annual Rural Day. .

Alan Irwin and his dog Oscar won first prize for the dog's big bark and good control in the Huntaway Big Bark competition.


The winner was the police team, which was neck and neck with another team until the final leg. Then officer Lee Oudenryn, a former winger for the Warrior's rugby league team, won the final sprint.

Team manager Neil Martin, a rural police officer, swore the team had no practice, but planned to go for a debrief at a Feilding bar.

The first women's team home was Fisher print. The green-wigged Manawatu District Council team won the best-dressed award.


Dog ownership rules tightened up

Franklin District Council has tightened up its urban dog control policy to protect residents from the threat of dangerous dogs roaming and ultimately attacking in packs.

From the beginning of this month, council staff are automatically refusing multi-dog permits to owners of menacing and dangerous dogs. Menacing breeds, classified under the Dog Control Act 1996, are the prohibited imports Brazilian Fila, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa and American Pit Bull Terrier. Dangerous dogs can be any breed, the dog having been declared a threat to people or stock, after a dangerous deed, for example biting.(...)

The strict new rules stem from concerns raised by councillor Sue Jackson, herself an expert on dogs having bred and showed Rottweilers for a number of years. "If people are going to live in town and have a dangerous dog, they should only have one."

She says that's because dogs, such as the fighting breeds mentioned, are more likely to attack if they get out in a pack.

"It's about preventing packing," says Ms Jackson. "If they get out and there was just one of them, I guarantee I could do something about it, but if there is more than one, it's a whole different (situation)."

FDC's director of regulatory services, Peter Thom, says: "The council believes that the policy changes reinforce the Dog Control Act 1996 in focusing on public safety and addressing the issue of menacing and dangerous dogs."

The full policy can be viewed at

Why would anyone want more than one menacing dog?

What do they have to protect? These dogs are not pet dogs, they are used as protection. Why don't we question what they have to protect, and remove it...

October 07, 2007

Dog Heaven: the legacy of Footrot Flats

Dog is dead. Long live Dog. Thirteen years after Footrot Flats was laid to rest, the repackaging of New Zealand's favourite agricultural fantasy continues. But will anyone be able to afford (or even lift) the latest gargantuan compilation? Cartoonist Murray Ball talks to Adam Dudding about farms, sex, and the problem with women.

October 06, 2007

Owner of child-mauling dog charged

The owner of a dog which mauled a two-year-old Christchurch girl, leaving her with 290 stitches, has been charged.

And who does this benefit? All the money going to lawyers and courts... Sad day especially when the family of the little girl didn't want the dog owners charged..

However, Christchurch police today said the owner had been charged with owning a dog which caused injury. The charge carries a penalty of up to three years imprisonment or up to a $20,000 fine.

A date for the owner's appearance in Christchurch District Court had yet to be set.

October 04, 2007

Dog listener gives sound advice

A visiting English dog expert says the owners of aggressive dogs should look no further than the mirror when deciding who is to blame.

Jan Fennell is speaking in New Plymouth tonight about her life as a "dog listener".

"Certain breeds attack certain people and certain people should not be dog owners," she says. "When dogs are treated badly, they will react in one of three ways - compliance, fear or the clever ones will retaliate."

"Some people want their dogs to be aggressive because they think that's clever but it isn't - it's stupid." She says putting a dog down after it bites someone is the worst solution and most dogs can be rehabilitated. "The human makes all the mistakes and the dog dies - that's not fair."


"People like the idea of dog listening because it is about no fear and no pain," she says.

Miss Fennell is speaking at the New Plymouth District Council chambers tonight at 7pm. A donation made from ticket sales will go to Hearing Dogs for the Deaf.

I saw Jan in Christchurch. She must have taken lessons from Marcel Marceau. She was animated, and a real pleasure to listen too! I just wish she spoke at the Christchurch City Council to teach them how to make laws and/or enact by-laws for the good of society...

NZ police draw guns on dog

New Zealand police have been criticised for discharging pistols at the scene of a domestic dispute for the second time in less than a week.

In the latest incident, they drew their weapons after being attacked by a dog.

They WEREn't attacked by the dog... the dog was charging at 'em. Words are really important when using them... oh journalist

A volley of shots rang out in a suburban Wellington street after police were called to a domestic dispute.

A man held them at bay by throwing logs of wood, bottles and a tomahawk before releasing his rottweiler on them.

Police fired shots but none of them hit the animal.

So why did the bullet in Christchurch hit the man !! (and quickly died!)
Why couldn't the cop have the same courteous behaviour towards humans that they do towards dogs ??

Not sure about MY use of the word "courteous", but... ya know what I mean.. they KILLED a man, in cold blood.

They then turned their own canine force loose and subdued the man, who faces a variety of charges relating to the use of weapons, including the attack dog, and for damaging a neighbour's car.

And again, why didn't they do this in Christchurch... use dogs to subdue. At least this guy is alive.

Police have again defended the use of weapons in this case, as three separate investigations continue into the fatal shooting by police of a man in Christchurch, who allegedly tried to attack officers with a hammer.

And we know who's investigating the police !

October 02, 2007

Code targets dogs' wellbeing

A new draft code for the welfare of dogs has been released for public consultation and it says all dogs should be fed at least once a day.

The code highlights minimum levels of feeding, watering and shelter for pet and working dogs. It also gives recommended best-practice guidelines.

Anyone interested in making submissions on the draft code have a month to get their thoughts to the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) at MAF.

The draft code has regulations on buying or adopting, feeding, housing, desexing, breeding and euthanising dogs.

NAWAC's chairman Peter O'Hara says the draft dogs code was written by a group convened by the New Zealand Companion Animal Council, in consultation with NAWAC. Animal welfare organisations, breeders, farmers, local councils and veterinarians were consulted during the development of the draft code.


Submissions must be in before 1 November.

The draft code for the welfare of dogs is available on MAF's website at consultation/draft-code-of-welfare- dogs.pdf

Microchipped pup returns from far north adventure

Benji is one smart dog. He's lucky to be alive after being stolen and left to tough it out on the streets of Moerewa, more than 300km away from his Massey home.

Benji's tale started back in July when his owner Ruth Brown left him and his sister Lucy at her parents' Glen Eden home.

The two dogs managed to escape under the backyard fence.

Lucy thought better of the escapade and returned home but Benji had other ideas.


A passing motorist had spotted the small runaway on State Highway 1 in Moerewa, picked him up and delivered him to the dog pound.

Whangarei Animal Control manager Keith Thompson says Benji was brought in looking dirty and dishevelled and without his collar.

He scanned the dog to see if it was microchipped and was surprised to find it was.

"It's the first time we've ever had a hit," Mr Thompson says.

October 01, 2007

The chips are down . . .

Owners of half the city's menacing and dangerous dogs have not yet microchipped the animals, a year after Government regulations made it compulsory.

About 250 dogs, some of which are dangerous breeds and some of which repeatedly roam or have minor biting records, have not yet been chipped, according to Palmerston North City Council records.


"We're having to spend a large amount of time carrying out this regulation and have been relying on the co-operation of owners. After writing to them and not getting a response we now have to take the next step and knock on all doors."

Did you know that in Britain they removed registrations fees as they found that more money was wasted in trying to get people to register their dog, exactly what's going on here... That applies to Ottawa, Canada too.

Microchipping did not replace registration. It was a one-off procedure, and the dog's details were recorded in the national dog database. The data was used to find owners when dogs were picked up wandering or behaving dangerously.

Why doesn't microchipping replace registration?? The yearly fee is astronomical! It's not as if the dog gets a WOF !

Registering a dog that is not desexed costs a first-time owner $97 a year in Palmerston North. This drops to $49 a year when the owner has a good record of paying registration fees and the dog is desexed.

And you wonder why people don't register their dogs ?!?
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