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.

December 26, 2009

Pensioner pleads for doomed stray dog

A Hamilton pensioner is on a crusade to save the life of an impounded dog on death row because of its breed.

Ross Penn rang dog control at Hamilton City Council on Sunday after the young bitch followed neighbourhood children home to his Nawton street the day before.

The dog followed the wrong guy home... what' a shame :(

But the 68-year-old dog owner was appalled to find out several days later the "delightful little dog" had been classified part pit bull terrier, which under council bylaw meant she would be destroyed in seven days if the owner was not found.

It also prevents the council from re-homing the dog because pit bulls are considered dangerous dogs.

Now how do they determine the breed of the dog? DNA tests?

Mr Penn argued the dog was part Weimaraner and should be able to be adopted. He also wanted a review of the council bylaw.

"She had such a laid-back attitude. She played with the kids all day."

And he has the support of Hamilton West MP Tim Macindoe who suggested the council show some festive spirit and give the dog a chance.

Why only during Christmas?

Mr Macindoe wrote to the council this week requesting a stay of execution to allow Mr Penn a chance to get a vet to classify the dog in mid-January. In the spirit of Christmas please give the dog the benefit of the doubt and give Mr Penn a chance to prove his case," Mr Macindoe said.

"But of course they are faced with the cost of looking after it." Why do you have to wait until mid-January?

Despite admitting it was "quite a nice dog" and not aggressive, the council said its animal control officers had already determined the dog's breed as part pit bull. Life isn't black and white... there are shades of grey, and there are moments of ''oops, we got it wrong!"

Spokeswoman Monica Holt said dog control officers had to follow the bylaw and without registration tags, a microchip, or anyone reporting the dog lost, it was proving difficult to find the owner. Well, with no picture allowed in the newspaper, it's going to prove even more difficult!

She said the dog was a bit thin, which led staff to believe it had been wandering for some time and that Mr Penn had no rights over the pooch. Miss Holt said it was not the first time Mr Penn had rung the council to complain about dog issues. So, what does that have to do with anything? Mr Penn sounds like he cares about the state of Dog in this country!

A request by the Waikato Times to photograph the dog was declined but the paper understands it is tan and white.

Now that's strange. Why shouldn't the Times get a picture of the dog??


  • At 8:44 a.m., Blogger APBTA Inc said…

    The reason they won't allow photos to be taken is because she doesn't resemble a Pit Bull enough to justify their actions. Just shows how determined they are to kill any dog they get their hands on.
    I spoke to Ross yesterday and he is prepared to go to court to plead for her life, but she is scheduled to be murdered by these dog-haters tomorrow morning.
    He was told by one of these nasty little control freaks "She's as good as dead. Get over it".

  • At 10:08 p.m., Blogger Natalie said…

    I certainly believe that Dog Pound officer can be heartless.

    That's what happens when society gives them this sort of power!

  • At 9:50 a.m., Blogger g said…

    pics are not published otherwise anyone could claim any dog by describing it as in its picture! this is common sense, owners must i.d. the dog before seeing it. Breeds are identified using the "New Zealand Standards" guide to dog breed id. Are you saying science is wrong as well as the entire regulatory enforcement system?? Power?? what power? every decision is accountable to law... as i have said before, put your hands in your pockets and fund dog rehoming if that is what you want... this guy had no plan to get a dog, he merely had his heart strings tugged.. do you even know if he is a suitable adopter?? no.. just banging your drums again rather than researching the in and outs...

  • At 2:57 p.m., Blogger Natalie said…

    Hi g,

    If pictures aren't allowed in the newspaper, how is it that the picture of the dog in Invercargill was accepted... the story about the pup/dog which a couple got pinned $750 for being good sammeritans(sp?)

    I understand what you say that anyone can claim the dog, but since it wasn't registered/microchiped, it seems to me that this dog was unwanted, and therefore, who cares if someone claims it... I mean, it was doomed to doggie heaven.

    Are you sure that this guy didn't want the dog? I don't know the story, but I would think that the person wanting the dog would care for him... just seems logical to me.

    You ask: " is science wrong as well as the entire regulatory enforcement system??"

    It seems to me that you can't really identify 'for sure' a breed of a dog without DNA. Of course, you can say that this dog appears to have some rottie, and collie, perhpas a lab, but we really don't know.

    Everyone thinks my dog is a lab, but it isn't. And apparently, it has beagle genes! i mean, you would never imagine beagle in him except that he loves to sniff.. and that isn't because he's trying to calm himsef :))

  • At 9:29 a.m., Blogger g said…

    the american pitbull terrier and its close cousin the american pit bulldog and indeed the american staffordshire terrier are "types" not breeds (and incidentally are classified as "types" in the Dog Control Act 1996) This makes DNA testing of no use in identifying them as they are a blend of many breeds. This is the reason there are international guidelines on the measurement of pertinent bones and structure to identify the type of dog. Fighting ability is a trait they were bred for, just as a collie rounds things up instinctively, a fox terrier is an inquisitive ratter, a Maremma has guarding instincts then so the Pitbull types will display dog aggression if allowed to. I have witnessed many thousands now and yes some are lovely gentle playful dogs, but an equal amount seem to have an inherited dog on dog aggression.
    i think you will find that the finder of the dog published pictures in Invercargill, not the City Council.. Another point that i just had arise, ..kindly person took in stray pup(4months), let it play with her dog etc for a couple of days before calling Animal Control... stray had mange(she thought it just sunburn?) and it also contracted Parvovirus 3 days later. Her dog was vaccinated luckily and as for the mange... wait and see!!


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