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.