New Zealand Dog News

Reviewing the dog news in New Zealand with editors comments. Someone needs to keep reviewing how our dogs are doing in society.

July 30, 2008

Pooch found after two-week ordeal

Two weeks in the wilderness has taken its toll on 4-year-old Baby Love but her owners are just pleased to have her back.

The bichon frise was found on Monday afternoon after running off in a panic when the car she was travelling in crashed near Clinton on July 19.

Owner Adam Love, of Invercargill, said family members and farmers in the area had been scouring the area for Baby.

"We've been searching every day since then." The Love household had been inundated with calls after placing advertisements in The Southland Times and distributing flyers asking for help to find the dog, he said. MORE>>

I'm glad they got back together. I'd love to know where dogs go. You can get a GSP collar and follow their trail !

July 29, 2008

Researcher builds picture of farms' hardest worker

University researcher Amy Jeram says she wants to build up a picture of some of the hardest workers on the nation's farms – the working dogs.

"The farm dog is New Zealand agriculture's hardest worker," said Ms Jerram, whose parents farm at Ongaonga, in Central Hawke's Bay. "They work really hard, spending all day trying to please you."

There had not been epidemiological studies on the health of farm dogs, though there were many studies undertaken throughout the world on pets and commercial livestock.

The amount of work farm dogs did varied, she said.

"It totally depends on where the dog is – on a station they might be covering huge kilometres every day, in other instances they may be covering only a small distance. MORE>>

July 24, 2008

Dog owner meets mauled victim

The owner of four pig dogs which badly mauled a young Waihou boy has met the 13-year-old victim and his mother to apologise.

Stewart Witeri, 37, visited the family at their farmhouse near Te Aroha on Tuesday night, just after the boy was discharged from hospital after surgery to his legs, arms and buttocks.


Mr Witeri said the visit to the family had lifted a load from his shoulders.

"It was a good meeting ... The boy was rapt and his mum was pleased to see me."

Mr Witeri is due to appear in Morrinsville District Court next week on the charges.


Another dog added to banned list

The government has added another dog breed to the banned list in New Zealand.

The Perro de Presa Canario can no longer be imported, after being responsible for two known fatal attacks in the United States since 2001.

However, the Department of Internal Affairs isn't aware of any of that breed of dog being in New Zealand.

They say the move is precautionary, because the dogs tend to be bred to exhibit aggressive behaviour and they could inflict serious injuries.

Other dogs on the banned import list are the American Pit Bull Terrier, the Dogo Argentino, the Brazilian Fila and the Japanese Toso.

July 19, 2008

SPCA raises price of pups, kittens

"Crippling" petrol prices have contributed to a dramatic increase in the cost of adopting kittens and puppies from the SPCA.

Wellington SPCA, which runs shelters in the capital city and on the Kapiti Coast, has increased the cost of adopting a puppy from $250 to $400 and a kitten from $150 to $210.

Kapiti shelter manager Lloyd Warren said they had been forced to raise fees.

"We have been crippled by petrol costs. We just have to have more income to cover our costs," Mr Warren said.

Since an SPCA inspector in Levin had resigned, Kapiti shelter staff were clocking up thousands of kilometres a week covering that district as well, he said. MORE>>

Big cats owe lives to dogs

A "shepherd dog" called Kiwi is helping save Africa's most endangered big cat, the cheetah.

Kiwi is an anatolian guard dog specially trained to roam with stock to scare off predators like cheetahs, which means African farmers are less likely to shoot or trap them.

The Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund has helped support Cape Town-based Cheetah Outreach which runs the anatolian livestock project and in acknowledgement named one of the guard dogs Kiwi.

The Kiwi connection to cheetah conservation in Africa came to light yesterday with the visit to the zoo of Annie Beckhelling, the founder of Cheetah Outreach.

Ms Beckhelling is in New Zealand for about a week to highlight the plight of the cheetah, the world's fastest land mammal which in South Africa now numbers only about 850. MORE>>

July 18, 2008

Dog owner haunted by victim's look of fear

The owner of four pig-hunting dogs that attacked a 13-year-old boy says he is haunted by the look of fear he saw in the boy's eyes as the dogs tried to tear him apart.

Stewart Witeri's four cross-bred bull terrier and greyhound pig dogs pulled the boy off his bike as he cycled past the keen hunter's Waihou farmhouse on Monday evening.

During the five-minute attack the boy suffered more than 100 bite marks to his legs, buttocks and arms.

Mr Witeri told The Dominion Post he had not slept since the attack, and that he would never trust a dog again "not even a poodle".

"[The boy] yelled out, 'I'm going to die, I'm going to die'," the 37-year-old said.

"I looked into his eyes and there was this terrible look of fear that he was going to die."


Prisoners get chance to train mobility pups

Four female prisoners serving life sentences will be the first in the country to train puppies so they can assist disabled people in the community.

Corrections Minister Phil Goff shook hands with a trained mobility dog yesterday before launching the pilot "Puppies in Prisons" programme at the Auckland women's correctional facility in Wiri.

Mr Goff said it was a unique way for inmates to develop skills while doing something for the community and repaying a debt to society.

The trained puppies would be used in a mobility dogs programme, where the pets could perform up to 90 different functions for disabled people like bringing in the paper, pushing buttons and opening doors.

Barry Matthews, chief executive of the Department of Corrections, said the programme involved four prisoners caring for and training two puppies.

"This is an initiative that is working well in many forms overseas, and is something that we have been looking to do in New Zealand for some time."

Mr Matthews said the low-security prisoners had been carefully chosen.

The four selected were "lifers" but were not child abusers. However, he did confirm child abusers might be involved in the programme as they could possibly benefit the most.

Mr Matthews said that in the training, they would have support to care for the puppies - possibly the first support they would have ever had.

"It is a first step towards self-respect and responsibility."

Mr Matthews said puppies needed fulltime care and training for their first 18 months, and finding people who could commit that much time had been a major obstacle in the number of puppies being trained.

"Prisoners are ideally suited to provide this care and basic training as they are able to spend the full day with the puppies."

He said there was a more than 10-year wait for a mobility dog.

"Considering the difference they make to people's lives it is clearly desirable that this waiting time is reduced."

Bradley Mark, chief executive of Mobility Dogs, said it had been shown that puppies in prisons trained faster and learned faster than those trained in the community.

Mr Mark said research had also shown the rate of recidivism for the prison-based trainers was reduced.

He said the puppies would stay in the prison from Monday to Friday but at weekends would be sent out to homes where they could socialise and experience the sights and smells of a typical community.

Mr Mark said any problems with the puppies would be quickly picked up.

Auckland University student Amy Hogan said a mobility dog had changed her life.

Ms Hogan, who is confined to a wheelchair, said her dog Bonnie would pick things off the floor, take off her socks and shoes and act as a brace for balance.

July 17, 2008

Dog poisoned as battle over 1080 heats up

The campaign on the West Coast against 1080 poison has taken a sinister turn after a dog belonging to a Greymouth pest control officer was allegedly poisoned.

It is believed 1080 pellets were poked through a ute canopy as the family pet sat inside. Senior Sergeant Tom Firmin, of Greymouth police, confirmed they were investigating an incident involving the use of 1080 to kill an animal.

He was appalled at the killing, which he said was "totally unacceptable". He would not comment further while inquiries were continuing.The dog owner was also reluctant to comment publicly.

The man had left his 10-year-old huntaway, a family pet as well a working dog, in an enclosed ute at a supermarket car park. MORE>>

Owner admits leaving dog five weeks without food

The owner of a dog left to starve under a house for five weeks has been formally stripped of ownership of the pet after one of the country's worst cases of animal cruelty. Pauline Taki of Glen Innes admitted failing to provide her ridgeback-cross dog with adequate food and water and failing to protect…MORE>>

Woman drags boy from savage mauling

A boy who suffered a savage mauling by four pig-hunting dogs while cycling home in the Waikato is traumatised but recovering in hospital.

And a woman who risked her own life to save him is being praised as a hero by police.

The 13-year-old boy was passing through Waitoa, near Te Aroha, when the pitbull-greyhound crosses attacked him about 5pm on Monday.

The dogs knocked the boy off his bike and tore his clothes off.

The frenzied attack lasted several minutes and left the boy with more than 100 wounds - many bone-deep - in his arms, legs and buttocks.

Sergeant Rod Smart of Morrinsville police said the dogs' owner was unable to free the helpless boy, who put his arms up to keep them at bay.

The owner desperately waved down a passing local motorist, Jenny Robinson. With the aid of two other women, she managed to get the boy into her car's front seat. MORE>>

Abused pup marks one year at SPCA

he Wellington SPCA is marking a bittersweet occasion today as it throws a party for a dog who has been at the shelter for a year.

Paddy, a Labrador cross, was seized by one of Wellington SPCA's Animal Welfare Inspectors as a four-month-old puppy after neighbours saw him being punched and beaten by his owner.

The owner pled not guilty to ill-treating him and it was seven months before she was found guilty by the courts. Paddy was then awarded to Wellington SPCA to re-home.

In the past 12 months Paddy has had a couple of trials in homes, but his ability to leap fences has led to him being reluctantly returned.MORE>>

July 15, 2008

Dogs expected to be in demand

Fewer sheep dogs will be offered at the 51st annual Gore dog sale tomorrow.

And while many sheep farmers may be exiting the industry to go dairying, demand was still expected to be strong for the 33 heading dogs and 21 huntaways on offer at the Charlton saleyards.

PGG Wrightson agent Nicol Gray believed the good dogs would fetch upwards of $3000.

"The quality is pretty high — just as good as last year — and we will be expecting good prices," he said.

Each dog would give a make-or-break two-minute demonstration working a mob of sheep under the watchful eye of potential buyers. MORE>>

July 13, 2008

Conviction won't keep dogs away

One of the owners of the dog that mauled Carolina Anderson has been collared walking a similar animal in the park where the young Auckland girl was attacked five years ago.

So? Why is this news?

But Brian Hill is making no excuses for potentially inflaming an already volatile situation, proclaiming yesterday: "I can have 10 dogs if I like."

In 2003 Hill, 50, and former partner Thomas Owen, 60, were jailed for two months after their American Staffordshire terrier, Joey, attacked Carolina in Auckland's Cox's Bay Park, leaving the then 7-year-old permanently disfigured. The men hid from police for days and later denied owning the dog that had inflicted the injuries.

Of course, you had to be there to realise how the real situation was. Imagine this for a second... you get out of your car, you are about to put a lead on your dog, can't find your dog, and then you hear a little girl scream. You rush to see what's going on. You see a man holding your dog (with no signs of blood, or struggle) and the man accuses your dog of biting his girl.

You are in shock, can't think straight, and being accused of owning a dog that has attack a girl... viciously attacked. It's dark, can't see much, and you are scared for yourself, your dog, the girl, the situation.

What would you do?

this is the version of the story that this man gave to Close Up or some other TV interview programme.

If you weren't here in New Zealand at the time, you won't understand how EVERY dog OWNER in the country was being attack by the general public. ANY ONE owning a dog was like you were potentially walking a gun. Personally I got screamed at from people driving by.. and I gave they the old salute. But frankly you really didn't want to be seen walking your dog, or any dog.

Dogs not walked get funny a bit... wouldn't you?

Now it has emerged Hill has been spotted regularly walking a Staffordshire terrier cross through the park and along Auckland's busy Ponsonby and Jervois Rds. The Herald on Sunday last week spoke to several people who said they often saw him being "dragged along" by the dog through the suburban streets of Ponsonby.

Now THAT comment about "dragged along" is AN OPINION ! I see MANY dogs walking their owners...

Yesterday, Hill was again out walking the dog and when confronted said: "If you had children would you give them up because someone said there was something wrong with them?"

Exactly! you wouldn't understand unless you were a dog lover.

He said he was not the legal owner of the dog, which is registered and which he calls Texas, but conceded he took it on daily three-hour walks.

Now that is a well cared for dog, well exercised dog, and a happy dog walker. What's wrong with that? He "conceded" ... what KIND of language is THAT !!

Hill said yesterday that all he was guilty of was "walking dogs for other people. She is absolutely not a risk. She is a lovely dog. This dog has to be walked. There is nothing worse than a dog that is caged up."

He couldn't understand opposition to him having a dog under his charge because he had been punished for what had happened to Carolina.

He's being treated like a peadophile... how crazy is this ?!

And despite his guilty plea he said it was impossible to say that Joey had been responsible for the injuries inflicted on Carolina.

What emerged after he did plead guilty is that there was a video tape from a corner dairy which spotted him at a certain time, which meant that it COULD NOT have been his dog at the park. But because he pleaded guilty, he was convicted without this evidence (it emerged later, but not much later.... )

The lesson here is NEVER EVER plead guilty. Have your day in court.

He also questioned why she had been in the park at 10pm on the night of the attack and not at home.

"Children shouldn't be playing in the park at that time of night," he said.

I ALWAYS thought that. I always wondered why she was there. But the attack buried this, and because the father was such a political animal, he brought changes to the dog laws immediately WITHOUT politicians have a TRUE debate on the issue. Wrong, wrong wrong... now we've ended up with people AFRAID of dogs because the media and politicans GOT IT WRONG!

Carolina's father John Anderson told the Herald on Sunday that while it was legal for Hill to have a dog, he questioned the appropriateness of the breed he was walking.

WHAT? and the SPCA says the same thing. They are the last ones to pigeon hold this breed!

He declined to comment further on the matter and said Carolina was on holiday in Italy for three months.

What's she doing away from school?

SPCA chief executive Bob Kerridge said Hill had served his time and was entitled to own a dog, but he would be happier if it wasn't an American Staffordshire terrier cross.

New Zealand Kennel Club president John Perfect agreed and said it was of "great concern" that Hill was regularly out in public with another dog, especially as he appeared to show no contrition for the events of five years ago.

July 09, 2008

Botched tail docking leaves pup fighting for life

The SPCA says a puppy which had its tail hacked off in "rough, backyard butcher fashion" may not survive without surgery.

Versace, a three-month-old rottweiler mix, has been in SPCA care since it was found in severe pain wandering the streets of Silverdale, Hamilton, last week.

Vanessa, a volunteer at SPCA who would not give her surname, described the incident as "absolutely horrific". "It is up there as one of the most horrible things we've seen come in here," she said. "When he first came in, he was a cowering mess."

Versace, who was named by SPCA staff, had its tail docked in a way that made it unlikely the wound would heal on its own.

The action is viewed as a severe offence under the Animal Welfare Act of 1999 and is punishable with up to six months in jail or a fine of up to $25,000. MORE>>

Sounds like abortion when women went to get them done in their backyard. When it's made illegal, it goes underground... sounds like drugs, prostitution, et c.. etc.. it's better to regulate than to ban.

July 05, 2008

Dog skin on NZ auction website

A floor rug made from a skinned saint bernard dog has been seen on he New Zealand internet auction site TradeMe.

The disturbing image featured in an advertisement for a wrought-iron bed imported from China and was removed after outrage from traders. But not before it was downloaded by Tauranga woman Elly Maynard, president and founder of the Sirius Global Animal Organisation, and circulated to millions of people worldwide.

The Auckland seller, who replaced the photo and posted an apology, has given the assurance that the offending rug was not in New Zealand. MORE>>

Winterfestival in Queenstown-

Check some of the news and pictures here

Event draws 100 barking-mad entries

From the smallest terrier to Boss the german shepherd, they all made a hell of a racket.

The Winterfestival Speight's Dog Barking at Queenstown's Village Green yesterday had nearly 100 contestants, with owners trying everything from treats to playfights to get their dogs to bark.

Dogs who refused to utter a noise left owners to fill in with their best barking effort.

In the end, Mike Jones, of Wanaka, and his huntaway, Butch, took the top prize for the second year running. MORE>>

July 04, 2008

Pooches, piste and powder in the mix

It was a dog's day out at the Queenstown Winter Festival yesterday as record numbers of canines and their carers, such as Corey McKarthy and Toa, hurtled down Coronet Peak's slopes in the Dog Derby.

The winner of the derby was the first person to reach the bottom with their dog in tow. The title was won by Steven Joyce and his pooch, Fall.

While most of the participants were usually experts at keeping their faithful hounds at heel, the race descended into pandemonium as 85 teams hurtled down the slopes amid yelling and whistling. MORE>>

July 03, 2008

Distressed dog bites man in face

July 2-- A distressed pitbull terrier bit an off-duty ambulance officer in the face after he stopped to assist at a road accident last night. MORE>>

July 3-- victim doesn't blame the dog-- Ambulance officer Justin Lowcay feared he had lost his eye after he was bitten by a pitbull as he went to assist at a car crash. (... the inside bits of the story)

"But I'm not angry at the dog. It could have been worse. It could have been my throat," he said.

Sergeant Shane Hurliman said the dog would be returned to its 55-year-old owner, who was uninjured in the crash.

Dog control officers had done a very good job in rapidly getting the growling animal under control at the scene.

The investigation was still under way but it was possible the dog had caused the crash in the first place by moving around in the car, Mr Hurliman said. It was also possible alcohol was a factor in the crash.

New Plymouth District Council enforcement manager Lloyd Crow said the dog, which was licking people's hands and wagging its tail yesterday, showed no sign of the aggression it showed after the crash. "It's a different dog today than it was yesterday."

He expected it would be returned to its owner but the council was having trouble in tracking him down.

Probably the owner thinks that he'll or she'll get fined !! or worst that the dog would be destroyed. That's how the dog laws operate in this country..fear of getting your dog removed or getting fined. Hope though that the owner does read the paper and sees that he/she won't get either, but the dog back.

July 01, 2008

SDC inaction frustrates farmer

An Otapiri farmer has hit out at the Southland District Council for what he sees as a lack of action over a series of dog attacks that have decimated his sheep flock.

Roger Stevens has lost more than 30 sheep in three attacks since April 15, with many more of his stock left injured.

With stock losses from the attacks totalling more than $2500, including a prime ram worth about $800, Mr Stevens has had a gutsful.

I surely would too !!

(...) He believed the dog responsible came from a neighbouring property.

Repeated calls to the Southland District Council had brought promises of a trap to catch the dog or dogs responsible, but so far that trap had not eventuated.

"They promised me the trap over the weekend," Mr Stevens said.

"If we'd had it (the trap) we could've caught the bloody thing." Mr Stevens said the council had told him that two traps were available for Southland but one was out of action awaiting repairs.


d spoken to Mr Stevens about the situation and explained that the traps were being used.

"We can't go in there guns blazing without knowing where the dog is coming from." However, he said a trap was likely to be delivered to Mr Stevens' property yesterday afternoon.

I hope we hear the outcome...

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