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.

August 28, 2008

Treat children like dogs, says animal behaviour expert

....because young children and dogs are unable to speak, they both need to be shown how to behave properly.

"Neither puppies or toddlers can be expected to immediately know how to behave in certain situations and need clear, consistent guidance. They key is to use more simplified verbal communication and distinctive body language. The tone of voice is key along with your facial expressions," she said. MORE>>

Watch the BBC video for an interview with both the good doctor and the good child psychologist

August 27, 2008

Avalanche dogs training at Snow Farm

A sniff may be the typical hello between your average canine chums, but that certainly doesn't compare to the kind of greeting reserved for specialist avalanche sniffer dogs.

If you are ever in need of an avalanche search dog - you know you're in trouble.

"That's why they get such a huge welcome from people lost in the outdoors," Wanaka Search And Rescue (SAR) dog handler Matt Gunn said.

Mountain safety instructors often joke the safest thing one can do about avalanches is to avoid them all together.

Mr Gunn thinks the advice isn't wide of the mark.MORE>>

Home detention for beating dog to death

A Chinese student has got four months' home detention for punching and stomping a little black terrier dog to death.

Dingshan Xiao killed the terrier belonging to a woman flatmate at a flat in Deans Avenue, Christchurch.

Christchurch District Court Judge Phillip Moran said today he did not accept that cultural factors could explain the attack, which left the dog cowering under a table where it died.

He described the attack as callous and cruel. "This animal must have suffered considerably before it died." (...)

He also ordered Xiao to pay $1000 for emotional harm to the flatmate who owned the dog, and he made an order that he is not allowed to own a dog or exercise authority over one for five years.

Xiao had pleaded guilty earlier but disputed some of the details of the attack and a disputed facts hearing was meant to be held today. The police wanted to call evidence from an eye-witness who saw the attack from a neighbouring property. MORE>>

August 24, 2008

SPCA officer facing prob

An SPCA inspector under investigation for alleged cruelty to animals says the "spurious" accusations are part of a smear campaign to discredit him before a major court case.

High-profile inspector Jim Boyd is known as a national "troubleshooter" who has successfully prosecuted 200 cases.

He once spent five years cracking a dog-fighting ring and was last year awarded the SPCA gold star for outstanding contribution to animal welfare.

But the Ministry of Agriculture and Fishing has hired private investigators to question alleged breaches of the Animal Welfare Act, including accusations he shot the muzzle off a horse and let it run around a paddock for 20 minutes, and unnecessary euthanasia of animals.


August 22, 2008

Billy the dangerous mastiff pit bull cross put down after 13 months on death row in Tauranga; unable to be tamed

Tauranga City Council won the right to move ahead in the High Court in Rotorua yesterday. The mastiff pitbull cross called Billy was put down this morning.

The dog had attacked a veterinarian and a person who was looking after him. Animal control offers says he was the most fierce dog they had ever encountered.

Tauranga Council's John Payne says the dog posed a real danger.

Chisel is no threat: dog owner

Inconsistencies and short-comings in New Zealand's dog control legislation have been highlighted in a dispute over the "menacing" classification of a Te Kowhai dog.(...)

Council animal control manager Nicole Collins told the hearing she did not dispute the fact Chisel was of good temperament or purebred, but under government legislation the council had no choice but to classify "according to schedule".

Mr Brinkworth said "amstaffs" such as Chisel were a show dog, and completely harmless. "It is very unfair that you can classify a dog on its breed, and not its history," he said. "If we did this with people it would be called racism."

Mr Brinkworth tabled a list of 19 councils which did not categorise the breed as pit bulls.

Hearings sub-committee councillors Dynes Fulton and Graeme Tait have reserved their decision.

August 19, 2008

Dog seized due to registration expiry

An Auckland dog owner is up in arms after animal control officers broke into his fenced backyard and took his dog.

The family pet was seized because its registration had expired but the owner believes the council overreacted.

Ya, I do too! Give 'em a uniform and they think they're god!

Jamie Broderick, the dog owner, says he had no idea Animal Control could seize your pet pooch just because of an expired registration. Pretty sad... it just makes you want to NOT register your dog. What they don't know, won't get your dog seized (not that I'm advocating this... but it makes you understand why some people don't register their dog, apart of the rising fees!)

Animal control officers seized the family pet Stanley from the back yard while he was out.

Now THAT is illegal entrance !

"We were essentially 18 days overdue and it seems like a really radical step," says Broderick.


'It may seem as heavy handed but it is something that responsible owners have to pay their registration. That's something that we have to do and we have to be consistent with how we apply the law to everybody," says Chris Horan from the Auckland City Council.

Now THAT is really sad. One law for everyone @!! Oh come on. We know that we live in the grey. If police officers can be discrete when they issue tickets/fines, why can't they?

Councils in all of New Zealand's major cities have the same policy, but Auckland City admits it should have sent out a warning letter first.

"We won't be seizing any further dogs until our reminders have gone out," says Horan.

Since ONE News got involved, the council has agreed to refund Broderick's $300 fine and it will do the same for the owners of six other dogs seized this week.

Pretty sad that the media had to get involved. The council should have accepted the dog owner's grip, and do something.

August 18, 2008

Farewell to a faithful guide dog

She would walk her young master to school each morning, wait in a basket in a classroom before guiding him back home in the afternoon.

She was as well known for her friendly, eager-to-please nature, as much as her master's matter-of-fact outlook – they were always a team.

Now she is only a memory of faithfulness and love to a young man whose life is challenged by blindness.

Ming Ming Edgar, now 18, said goodbye to his faithful friend and guide of the past seven years, eleven-year-old golden Labrador-Retriever cross, Hannie.

After a battle with cancer the gentle canine was put to sleep in front of the fire at the teenager's home, while he placed his hands on her side.

Hannie was five years old when she came to Dargaville as a guide dog for Ming Ming.MORE>>

August 16, 2008

Animal comfort door to door

Pets forced onto the breadline by the worldwide credit crunch will be offered food parcels.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) will begin trialling a meals-on-wheels service for pets in Auckland and Napier within the next month to help pets hit by the recession.

"This has come out of a little bit of communication with the media about how animals fare in this current climate and recession," said SPCA chief executive Robyn Kippenberger.

"For a lot of people it is becoming harder and harder for them to manage their animals. One thing we can do is drop around dog or cat food."

She said some people had been forced to give up pets they could no longer afford. MORE>>

August 13, 2008

Dogfight over beach

Changes in how much freedom dogs have on Kapiti Coast beaches have sparked concerns for preschoolers and young families.

Kapiti Coast District Council's new draft dog bylaw simplifies rules to allow dogs to be without leashes on all beaches from Paekakariki to Otaki on weekdays for more than nine months of the year.

They will have to be on leads only at weekends and on public holidays from March to mid-December.

Waikanae mother Lisa Parrish said it was not an anti-dog issue, but a matter of public safety.

"We just want to retain the small area on Waikanae Beach where we take our kids and know they'll be safe from the risk of being approached and chased by unleashed dogs.

"Kids are brought up to have fun on the beach - run around, throw their arms in the air, dig in the sand, splash in the water, kick a ball, fly a kite, which dogs may misinterpret and find threatening," Mrs Parrish said. "What about fish and chips on the beach for dinner?" MORE>>

August 12, 2008

Massey bans student and dog from campus

Massey University has served a trespass order against a student who says she needs her dog beside her to help her with disabling panic attacks.

Melanie Donne has been barred after taking her dog on to the Palmerston North campus despite an earlier warning that to do so would breach university rules.

Ms Donne says she has a brain injury as a result of a car crash, and that her dog Rica can pre-empt disabling panic attacks. But Rica is not a registered disability dog.

Last month Ms Donne ignored Massey's warning and took Rica on to the campus for an extramural open day. She has now been served with a trespass order banning her from the campus. MORE>>

August 11, 2008

She's an amputee but still works like a dog

"If I asked my dog to run up that hill right now, she would do it," said farmer Dave Grafton, indicating a lofty peak near his farm in Glentui, North Canterbury.

"She would never give up. She just loves to work."

Even among a group renowned as the workaholics of the canine world, Grafton's dog, Stacey, is special she only has three legs.

An accident meant the four-year-old bitch's left hind leg had to be removed last November.

It has not stopped her covering big distances on the farm, or winning nine awards at a recent dog trial in nearby Loburn.

"Within a fortnight, she had pretty much forgotten about it. She didn't once fall over. She's pretty resilient," said Grafton. MORE>>

August 09, 2008

Flight is worse than their bark

Three Waikato families have been stung with a $33,000 bill after the Autism Assistance dogs they spent two years fundraising for were blocked from boarding a Qantas flight at Los Angeles Airport.

Sonya Ewens, whose six-year-old son Sloan received one of the dogs to help with his autism, said the families were "devastated" by the incident.

"We were still fundraising the final $6000 for the original fare. The thought of another two years fundraising is really too much."

The three trained service dogs from the 4 Paws For Ability centre in Ohio, had already flown alongside their handlers on two American Airlines flights when Qantas Airways staff refused to let them board at LAX on July 13.

Ms Shirk pointed out her tickets did not state the flight was code-shared and she could not have known to call Qantas about its service dog travel policy.


A dog that has known hell

Ben Lakomy could not believe his eyes when he saw Toby the dog.

The SPCA animal welfare inspector has seen his share of skinny animals, but picking up the 18-month-old English bull terrier from Petone, Lower Hutt, on Wednesday he saw a new level of abuse.

"This is definitely the most underweight dog I've seen in three years as an inspector. There's nothing to him. He's literally skin and bones and he's lucky to have survived the recent bad weather." MORE>>

August 08, 2008

Deaf dog finds new home

Flo is a dog with no hearing, but she does now have a home.

After being featured in an article in The Marlborough Express last week Flo the four or five-month-old deaf mixed breed has been adopted by a Blenheim girl and her family.

Natalie Wye, 15, saw the story about Flo and was able to convince her parents to adopt the puppy.

"I have wanted a dog ever since I was about eight, and she was cute. I felt sorry for her," Natalie said. MORE>>

She thought Flo's deafness would be a good challenge.

August 06, 2008

Woman sells house to buy cloned puppies

The loss of Booger the pit bull terrier was almost more than Bernann McKinney could bear.

Now she is happy, minus $US50,000 ($NZ70,000) and her house, and owner of five cloned Booger puppies.

"It is a miracle for me because I was able to smile again, laugh again and just feel alive again," McKinney told a news conference in the South Korea capital to show off the week-old black puppies – all of whose names include the word Booger. MORE>> click to see her picture

Some one just doesn't understand 'rescue dog'... shame that she had to spend so much to feel it's a 'miracle'..

August 03, 2008

Porky pooches leave SPCA speechless (+vid)

Auckland SPCA staff were speechless when they first saw morbidly obese dogs Bert and Ernie.

The two fox terriers were handed-over to the animal haven on June 17 by their owners who could no longer care for them.

On arrival Bert weighted a whopping 32kg and Ernie weighed 20kg. But despite their weight problem the eight year dogs were happy, and had been generally well cared for since they were puppies.

SPCA operations manager Tracy Dunn said the team were speechless when they saw how overweight the dogs were.

She said the SPCA often sees malnourished and underweight dogs and cats, so it was unusual to have two very overweight dogs handed in at once.

Dunn said animal obesity is becoming a major problem in New Zealand.

"The nation's overweight people are in turn overfeeding and supersizing their pets." MORE>>

August 01, 2008

Busta barking mad after storms

He has been on anti-depressants since last year's tornadoes left him shell-shocked - but nothing seems to be helping six-year-old fox terrier Busta Cleary recover from his fear of storms.

I'd like to know what they mean by 'nothing seems to work'. What exactly did they try?

When rain drums on the tin roof of his New Plymouth home, or thunder and lightning strike, Busta - usually a confident and lively dog - turns to custard.

His owners have borne the brunt of Busta's blubbering, winding up in bed with a hairy, hyperventilating, dribbling, shivering wee mess until well after the weather has cleared.

Busta's mum Heidy Cleary said Busta didn't bat an eyelid over anything blustery before last July but they were now paying $50 a month to keep him on Chlomacalm, a canine version of Prozac.


While Busta whines and sweats, the rest of the family have to pretend there is nothing wrong. Otherwise Busta may think he is being rewarded for his "naughty" behaviour.

There are CDs designed to train dogs who have irrational fears and Mrs Cleary and her family will look in to them once the Chlomacalm has kicked in.

But haven't they been using it for a year... I mean, when is it suppose to 'kick in'??

For now, however, poor Busta has to get through the turbulent winter - fingers crossed the drugs will soon have him back to his old tricks.

There are ways of treating it. I do know that some natural remedies help, but training is important. It's like taking antidepressants without going to see a councillor.

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