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 29, 2009

Companions For Learning Life Skills

A generation ago young folk walked to school and roamed over a territory measured in square miles. It was common to see groups of unsupervised children at parks or just about anywhere with someone’s unleashed dog. Few came to harm. Children were dog savvy.

They learned this from parents, peers, extended whanau’s family pets, and popular literature. It has been said that dogs and kids go together like marmite on toast. Henry Ward Beecher was right to suggest." The dog was created specially for children. He is the god of frolic." It is unsurprising to find that empirical research clearly shows just how valuable dogs are to pre-teens and adolescents in promoting self esteem and empathy for others. MORE>>

Dog takes off with $1.3 million lotto ticket

A Christchurch man who won $1.3 million in Saturday's Lotto draw nearly lost his chance to claim the prize when his puppy snatched the ticket.

"We had the ticket on the sofa, and our puppy grabbed it and took off with it, so it was a little sticky, but not too bad," the man, who wanted to remain anonymous, told The Press.

He said he had no immediate plans for the $1,306,235, but that his family would be the main benefactors.


September 24, 2009

Watery walkies work wonders

Walking the dog takes on a whole new meaning - and for a one woman, a whole new vocation - when a treadmill and hydro tank are added to the mix.

When Vicki Cordier isn't working her day job in IT, she's indulging her passion for animal rehabilitation at Active Paws, a hydrotherapy centre and gym for dogs (and the odd game feline). It operates from the New Zealand Kennel Club in Elsdon, near Porirua, Wellington. It features the first Hydro Physio underwater treadmill for pets in the region, and one of only a few nationwide. MORE>>

Only on her salary could she afford the equipment !! However, great investment :)

Auckland Conference A 'Must' For Animal Lovers

Next month's NZ Companion Animal Conference in Auckland has been described as a 'must' for animal-lovers.

The conference, which takes place on 5th and 6th October, at the Stamford Plaza (22, Albert Street), will bring together top international and local experts, to focus on key issues concerning animals and how they're treated. MORE>>

We'll be there!

Police officer, dog hurt in knife attack

A police officer's stab-resistant vest probably saved him from serious injury when he and a police dog were attacked by a knife-wielding man early today.


One officer suffered minor cuts to his leg and chest and police dog Koal received cuts to its head. But the dog got his own back by biting the offender.

"I have no doubt we'd be looking at potentially more serious injuries if he (the officer attacked) had not been wearing the vest," said Senior Sergeant Rob Patterson. MORE>>

(NZPolice) Police dog Koal and his handler are also recovering well and will now enjoy a month's leave which had been previously arranged.

September 22, 2009

Best paw forward

No dog and no owner can fail to benefit from canine obedience training, an enthusiastic supporter believes. Ann Evans might well add that no distance is too great to get that experience - she, after all, thinks nothing of the two-hour return drive she has undertaken from her family's backblocks Ohingaiti sheep farm to Feilding almost every Monday evening for the past four years.

It's not just her, of course.

Always passengering in her RAV4 will be at least one of her three Golden Retrievers - pack patriarch 11-year-old Toby, three-year-old Sophie and the promising young gun, 18-month-old Oak.

Feilding Dog Training Club regulars are presently brushing up their skills for a special dance display they'll present at the Eukanuba National Dog Show at Manfeild on October 1-6, as well as at the Feilding Rural Day tied into that event. MORE>>

September 19, 2009

Dog dies after blunder

The Christchurch council pound which put down a beloved family pet in a microchip mixup is unrepentant. Animal control officers have apologised for the "unfortunate" death of family pitbull Ruby, but said they were following procedures.

Ruby's Christchurch family is devastated. Lyn Owen said Ruby, less than a year old, had been microchipped "because we loved our dog and if she went missing we wanted her back".

But unknown to Owen, and her son Ali Nicolson, 28, their phone number had been entered incorrectly. The Christchurch city council had also attempted to contact the family by post, but they had moved house after the microchip was inserted so the letter arrived late. MORE>>

Yes, it is unfortunate... and I can see both sides. But at the end of the day, why did she wait 9 days to ring the dog pound? I would have thought that the Dog Pound and the SPCA would be the first places to ring...

And she didn't change her address. So I suppose that the microchip database is the same at the city council''s database? just wondering ....

September 18, 2009

Dog festival confined to streets

Because of recent health scares concerning dogs on North Shore beaches, this year’s Champ Wag ‘n Walk festival is sticking to Milford Reserve and nearby streets.

Last year about a third of the walk was on the beach.

But in late July and August this year dog owners were told to keep their pets off North Shore beaches after some died and others became ill. The cause was identified as a potent tropical toxin found in sea slugs.

Three further dogs got sick this month after walking on beaches but the cause hasn’t yet been identified. MORE>>

September 17, 2009

Dog attack victim wants owner fined, not jailed

A woman badly mauled by eight pig dogs six weeks ago wants to see the owner fined, not jailed.

Margit Christensen, 36, suffered extensive injuries to her head, body and limbs on August 3 when she was attacked for about 15 minutes by the bull terrier-cross dogs while running near her Arapuni farmhouse.


Mrs Christensen said yesterday she did not want Tuhakaraina to be given a jail sentence. "I don't bear any grudges towards Tara. She has made a mistake and the best outcome would be a monetary fine, and not to be put in prison."

Tuhakaraina should not be able to own a dog for five years, she said. MORE>>

That's the sad reality of a lack of dog education that is out there.

I'm happy that Margit doesn't want to see a prison sentence, because, well... what's done is done, and we all have to live in our community, and the one she's living in is pretty small. There are others ways that Tuhakaraina can ''do the right thing'', and being in prison isn't really one of them. Restorative justice would work here...

Community service in which Tuhakaraina learns about dog behaviour, and helps out at a rescue group, or a dog club would be great to see... helping care for Margit in some way while she's recovering is another.

It takes a community to raise a dog and a child...

September 16, 2009

Dog drives car into cafe

A family pet drove into a Cromwell cafe after being left alone in a running vehicle.

Wilco, a staffordshire ridgeback cross, was sitting by himself in his owner's ute when he pushed down the column gear change about 5.30pm yesterday.

The vehicle rolled forward 15 metres before crashing into the front bifold doors of Fusee Rouge cafe. MORE>>

September 15, 2009

Mercy flights save animal lives - SPCA

The SPCA says a new policy of flying animals around the country to find them homes rather than putting them down will be supported by the public and those who donate to the animal welfare organisation.

The SPCA adopted the "Saving Lives" strategy in May and has so far flown between 40 and 50 animals around New Zealand.

This included flying an abused dog from Whangarei to Wellington and 13 cats from Wellington to Whangarei.

The longest distance travelled to date was chalked up by a cat flown from Oamaru to Auckland for $120. Air New Zealand has supported the plan by offering the SPCA discounts on animal airfares.


About 25,000 of the 53,000 animals taken in to SPCA shelters around New Zealand last year were euthanased and 21,000 found new homes.

Euthanasia was a last resort and would be considered only if an animal was dangerous, sick, too young or too old, Ms Kippenberger said.

It would cost more to keep the animals than to move them, she said.


Why only the SPCA? There are other animal resuce groups around the country....

September 11, 2009

Dog illnesses spark fresh alert

Health authorities have renewed warnings to take care on Auckland beaches after three more dogs became seriously ill with symptoms of tetrodotoxin poisoning.

One dog was sick after walking on Narrow Neck beach and another two became sick after walking on Takapuna beach, with what authorities believe to be the same toxin that killed five dogs and made at least 10 others ill. MORE>>

Nikolai has work to do

If you’ve seen a wolf towing a man on a cart around Otahuhu don’t worry – your eyes aren’t completely playing tricks on you.

The wolf is called Nikolai and he’s actually a large arctic dog called an Alaskan malamute.

He’s representing Manukau at the National Sled Race and Weight Pull event in Rotorua on September 19 and he’s training hard.

Forget climbing through tunnels and weaving around poles, Nikolai’s working out in Ardmore to beat his personal record of pulling 480kg several metres for the weight pull section. MORE>>

It's be really nice if news stories actually provided a means of finding out more about this event. I googles "National Sled Race and Weight Pull" and got a website which isn't updated, and blah!

More sick dogs renew beaches warning

Three more sick dogs have prompted Auckland health authorities to renew warnings to take care on the city's beaches.

The seriously ill dogs showed symptoms of tetrodotoxin poisoning.

One dog became ill after walking on Narrow Neck beach and another two became sick after walking on Takapuna beach. Authorities believe they they have the same toxin that killed five dogs and made at least 10 others ill last month. MORE>>

Deaf dog rescued from behind rock wall

A deaf dog called Scooby has been rescued after five days trapped in a cave.
The spaniel went missing in Australia's Hunter Valley on Sunday, wedging himself behind a rock wall.
Rescuers used state-of-the-art cameras to locate him, poking food and water into the rocky space - but Scooby made no effort to find his own way free.
Scooby was returned to his grateful owners after rescuers bored through solid rock.

September 10, 2009

Animal officer attacked by dog owner

A Rotorua animal control officer suffered serious head injuries when beaten while investigating a complaint.

The 60-year-old was taking control of a dog on a Kawerau property, 54km northeast of Rotorua, on Monday, when allegedly attacked by the owner.

Kawerau police Senior Sergeant Warwick Morehu said a couple of neighbours heard the men fighting and came to the rescue.

"They intervened to firstly talk down the alleged offender and then gave support to the officer who was now lying on the ground, bloodied and barely conscious," he told the Rotorua Daily Post. MORE>>

I wonder what this was all about... there's always a story behind a story. Pretty sad when it comes to this type of violence.

September 08, 2009

Pitbull pack on the prowl

Worried residents of an isolated community are carrying rifles to hunt and kill a marauding pack of wild pitbulls.

A spate of dog attacks has been reported at Mahuta Gap, 12km southwest of Dargaville.

Antje De Boer said her neighbours' teenage daughter had been chased by the pack and last Sunday a pet Rottweiler had been badly mauled.

The problem has become so bad that locals are hunting the dogs, and armed Environment Northland dog control teams are patrolling the area daily.


Thompson said official efforts to control the problem had been stymied by locals taking matters into their own hands and not reporting earlier attacks to his office. He was only told of the problem last week.

The reason that they don't report it is the same reason why they don't report a lot of things... A mistrust of law and order. I mean, hello... it's Northland ! You do know what grows there, and it isn't just dogs!


Woman in court over dog cruelty

The woman found guilty of locking her ridge-back cross under her home to starve for five weeks will be sentenced in November.

Paulette Taki made a voluntary appearance today in the Auckland District Court after being almost a year on the run. MORE>>

September 02, 2009

Dog chews through gas pipe

A dog with a biting habit was lucky she didn't blow up her owner's home after munching through a gas line.


Kathleen O'Hare arrived home in Plimmerton about 3pm on Monday to find the house filled with the smell of gas. "It was a really strong smell. I just thought, 'Oh my God'."

She checked on Jura, a 10-month-old labrador boxer cross, who was tied up outside. "She'd broken the gas line, and was kind of wrapped up in it."


She was only out for 2 1/2 hours, but the high-spirited dog got bored when left alone. "She's a lovely dog, very happy, very friendly."

Jura had also chewed a computer keyboard, the garden hose, and her own bed, said Ms O'Hare's daughter, Maia O'Hare Quirk, 7. "Sometimes she's good and sometimes she's bad."

You mean... sometimes her behaviour is bad, not the dog... very important distinction.

Jura had just started behaviour classes, Ms O'Hare said. "She's not at the top of the class, but she's not at the bottom either."

As much as those classes are good, it will not help with boredom. You need a bit more advice on how to keep a dog entertained when home alone.

It was hard to stop dogs chewing, but owners could provide other biting options, such as cardboard boxes, a rolled-up newspaper with food inside, and toys.

The only problem I have with a newspaper being used as a toy is that ALL newspapers will be perceived by the dog to be fair-game, and when your Saturday newspaper is chewed up, the one that you made a nice coffee and was just going to settle down to have a quiet 2 hour read... please don't blame the dog when he chews it.

Much better if you moisten some kibbles and stuff a kong and let them 'go for it'.

September 01, 2009

Family of dog killer spat at, abused

The family of convicted Dunedin dog killer Jeffrey Hurring say they are being punished for his crime, as they face a wave of threats and abuse on the street and via the internet.

Robin and Jennette Hurring yesterday told the Otago Daily Times they had been spat at, abused and insulted since their son was sentenced for animal cruelty in June.

Their son had also received anonymous death threats posted to him in prison in Christchurch, and the family were aware of a flood of vitriolic and threatening comments posted on social networking websites.

"People point the finger, they spit at you, they call you names. "It was our son that did it, but we are getting all the [abuse]," Mrs Hurring (54) said. Perhaps people know that someone who abuses animals were themselves abused.... I'm not saying that this guy was abused by his parents. I don't have a clue, but it may be the reason why people are finger pointing the parents.


"The attack was out of character for their son and due to "the alcohol more than anything". MORE>>

Then we wonder why alcohol is still legal while other drugs like cannabis are demonized when there is no correlation between cannabis and violence, apart from the consequences of the law.

Interesting how people feel that dog abuse is worse than child abuse. Do child abusers get the same treatment? I'm a little miffed about this. We've got the worse child abuse in the Western world, and 1.4 million people in New Zealand say it's okay to smack a child.

(For those reading this from overseas, we''ve just had a referendum about child smacking.)

900 unclaimed dogs ordered to be destroyed

Nearly half of all dogs impounded in Rotorua have to be destroyed because their owners never collect them.

A whopping 900 dogs were put down at the city's pound last year - that was nearly half, or 45 per cent, of the more than 2000 dogs impounded.

Rotorua has one of the highest rates of dog destruction in the country. Latest figures released for 2008 show there were 2128 dogs impounded by the Auckland City Council with 629 (29 per cent) destroyed. In Christchurch, 1657 were impounded and 266 (16 per cent) destroyed, while Invercargill City Council impounded 500 dogs and destroyed 250 (50 per cent).

Rotorua animal control supervisor Kevin Coutts, who has had to have thousands of dogs put down since he began the job, said only a few were destroyed because they were dangerous. Most had to be put down because their owners either couldn't afford them or had simply not bothered to claim them.

"People either just don't care or they are irresponsible dog owners," he said.

"If they can't afford to get their dog out of the pound, then they can't afford to have a dog in the first place."

Destroying dogs was a part of his job he hated, said Mr Coutts, a former police dog handler.

All dogs at the dog pound were humanely put down, then buried.

"I hate it - but if people don't pick them up, what other choice do we have?


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