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.

February 27, 2010

Police dog puts innocent man in hospital

A 63-year-old who chased an intruder at his property was savaged by a police dog that attacked the wrong man.

Dogs shouldn't attack, they should hold the person down....

"It was a dirty big black German shepherd that came screaming towards me, with 12 foot of lead hanging off it, no dog handler ... and chewed the living Christ out of my left leg," Brett Abraham said from Auckland City Hospital yesterday.

Man, that would have been scary!@

Last night, Mr Abraham was recovering after two hours of surgery to open up and clean out the bite wounds - one on his upper left thigh, the other his lower leg.


Inspector Mark Hall, of the Auckland dog section, said a dog handler saw the intruder cycling towards him and ordered him to stop.

"He failed to do so and the dog was released and commanded to apprehend the offender," he said. "Unfortunately, the offender swerved away from the dog and the dog has continued on and bitten the victim."

So what does apprehend mean? Bite the crap out of the offender's leg or arm?

How many offender's DO get caught by a police dog, and what are their BITES like?

An Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry is under way.

And we'll be watching. That would be two inderway, I'd say... because there's another police dog that bite an innocent man. How many are there that don't get reported?

Mr Abraham has been told he will have more surgery on Monday. He had to cancel flights and motel bookings for a nine-day South Island holiday that was due to start yesterday.


Mr Hall said the officer involved was an experienced dog handler with a mature dog, which was under control before and during the incident.

So does the dog die? It's a loaded gun that doesn't have training. This is actually a dangerous dog. If this is called "under control'', man o man...

February 25, 2010

Puppy rescued from teapot

This made national news....

A small storm brewing in Gisborne has been calmed by the Fire Service.

They were called to a house, where a curious mastiff pitbull cross puppy had his head caught inside a porcelain teapot.

Firefighters assessed the situation, before carefully breaking the antique to free the distressed pup. They report the dog just has a slight cut on its nose.


February 23, 2010

Dogs shot and dragged away

Police are trying to locate the bodies of two pet dogs after their distraught owner found blood, shotgun casings and one of their collars in the middle of the road.

They believe the dogs were accidently hit by a car and shot by the driver.

But no motorist has come forward and the driver could face charges for not reporting the incident.

The dog owners would want closure, but too bad the threat of being charged will keep that door open for them.

Chevy, a 10-year-old foxy-Labrador cross and Toby, an 8-year-old boxer, were asleep in their kennels at Rachel Watson and partner Roy Ellis' Morrinsville home when they went to bed about 11pm on Friday.

When the pair awoke on Saturday morning the dogs were missing.

Ms Watson left her Quine Rd lifestyle block to look for her pets. About 2km down the road she found pools of blood and smeared blood indicating the dogs' bodies had been dragged.

There were two shotgun casings among the blood.


He believes the dogs may have been hurt by a car and that someone put them down "out of concern for their well-being".

It was unlikely the animals had been attacking stock because of the type of breed they were and they wouldn't have been stolen to be used as hunting dogs, Mr Sneddon said.


The mystery continues....

Tim Shadbolt makes news as dog of an issue has its sequel at standards authority

Remember when the puppies were killed in Invercargill?~

Karen decided to do something about it, and complain to the TVNZ complaints

[4] Karen Batchelor made a formal complaint to Television New Zealand Ltd, the broadcaster, alleging that the item had breached standards relating to controversial issues, accuracy and fairness.

[5] The complainant argued that the item was inaccurate, because the lineage of the euthanized puppies was unknown. She noted that the item’s introduction stated that Mr Shadbolt had said that the puppies were a cross between the Rottweiler and Mastiff breeds. She pointed out that, when footage of Mr Shadbolt was shown, he referred to the puppies as being a cross between Pit Bull Terrier and Rottweiler.

[6] Ms Batchelor contended that Mr Shadbolt did not know the breed of the puppies and that the SPCA had told her that its “best guess” was that they were a cross between the breeds Rottweiler and Huntaway.

[7] With respect to Standard 4 (controversial issues – viewpoints), the complainant noted that the issue had been discussed during an episode of Close Up the evening before and that both Mr Shadbolt and a representative from the SPCA had been given an opportunity to speak. She said that the news item had repeated Mr Shadbolt’s “unsubstantiated claims” that the puppies were Pit Bull crosses, which inferred that they would grow up to be dangerous. She argued that the item should have included the SPCA’s view expressed by its representative the evening before that no breed of dog was born “bad” and that, due to their age, the puppies were harmless.

[8] Ms Batchelor also contended that, because Mr Shadbolt and the Council were “unaware of how the puppies were bred”, it was unfair of the item to allow Mr Shadbolt to cast aspersions on Pit Bulls and Mastiffs and vilify the breeds. MORE>>

I would like to thank Southern Squall for alerting me about the sequence of events.

Toxic algae blamed for death of two dogs

A toxic algae is being blamed for the death of two dogs in Mosgiel and has prompted warnings to parents and caregivers.


This was news a few weeks ago (see post) but it seems that the algae is still killing dogs. Please be vigilant around these waters....

February 22, 2010

Bystander seeks $20,000 after police dog attack

An innocent bystander hospitalised for three nights after being bitten by a police dog chasing a burglar is seeking $20,000 damages.

Cedric Lawrence required two lots of surgery after a police dog named Stone bit him in the calf, causing seven puncture wounds, while chasing some burglars in Manurewa on October 17, 2006.

Mr Lawrence said Stone did not release him even when his handler, Constable Hamish Chapman, called on the dog to do so.

Police dogs are scary! I mean, they are trained to attack, and release when they damn well please themselves. Good on Mr Lawrence because it is HIGH time to question the training methods of the police.

Mr Lawrence is seeking civil damages from the Attorney-General, representing police, on one of two alternative counts, negligence and battery. He says there is a duty of care owed by police to ensure the dog was safe and properly under control.

If the public has this duty of care, any other handler should as well.

He told a hearing before Judge Peter Spiller in Manukau District Court that he was visiting his partner's place in Manurewa and was washing some clothes when the incident happened.

Mr Lawrence said he was walking around the back of the property in a normal fashion and not making any sudden movements.

"I didn't see the dog, it just nailed me from behind."

Mr Lawrence said he tried to pacify the dog and told his stepdaughter, who kicked Stone in an attempt to break the contact, to stop as it was making it worse.

He said Mr Chapman emerged about 30 to 40 seconds later and told the dog to stop but Stone did not and he only released him after Mr Chapman physically struggled with the dog for about 30 seconds.

Under cross-examination he said it could have been 15 to 20 seconds, but that it felt like longer.

He was taken to Middlemore Hospital, where he required two operations to deal with the injuries and had to stay three nights.

Mr Chapman told the hearing that he and Stone were pursuing some burglars and at one stage the dog decided to take off down a bank, forcing him to slip and lose control of the dog.

Shortly afterwards he heard some screams, and he was "incredibly upset" when he saw the dog attacking Mr Lawrence, who he knew was definitely not the offender as he was older than the suspects.

He agreed Stone did not release when commanded to, and that he needed to physically remove the dog from Mr Lawrence.

Mr Chapman said it took him 15 seconds after he heard the scream to reach Mr Lawrence, and 15-20 seconds to free Stone.

He said the only time the dog had bitten before in the six months they had worked together was on his command, and that this action surprised him.

Oh really ?! that's not good enough! That dog should be put down like any other dog

However, the dog bit somebody without being ordered to the next month and he was taken off operational duty for a time after that.

Mr Lawrence's lawyer, Jeremy Sutton, said the dog section of the police training manual "clearly states a police dog should bark when an offender is located, and should only bite on command by its handler".

"Once Stone had bitten Mr Lawrence, he did not release, even on command from his handler. Stone clearly acted outside the manual's guidelines."

Mr Sutton said police had a duty of care to control lethal weapons they can use such as firearms and batons, "and accordingly should be under a duty to control a highly charged weapon such as a dog."

He also said Mr Chapman didn't have him properly under control that day, and that the dog had a propensity to bite, as it showed in the incident the following month.

The lawyer for the Attorney-General, Austin Powell, said there was no evidence prior to the attack on Mr Lawrence that the dog had a propensity to bite. WHAT!

Mr Powell said it was an unfortunate accident.

He said the risk of inadvertent contact between dogs and the public was minimised by good practice and training, "but it cannot be excluded". But it should be...

Mr Powell said it was not accepted there was a legal duty of care either by a dog handler to people in the vicinity while they were at work, or by police as a whole to all people when police dogs were trained and evaluated prior to being put into service.
The hearing is due to conclude tomorrow.


Update on story No concerns' about police dog 23/02/2010

Spotlight on dog laws

Wellington vet Allan Probert has joined the debate over dog policies, after six serious dog attacks around the country in the past three months.

Dr Ian Dunbar UK Vet/Dog Behaviouralist (living in the USA) came to New Zealand and gave two weekend seminars. He was interviewed by Kim Hill.

Interview online

Too bad that the TV interview was cancelled. What a lost opportunity!!

Former All White Stu Jacobs, who was mauled by a dog last month, has called for all dogs to be muzzled.

Mr Probert, who has announced his intention to run in this year's Wellington mayoralty race, said such a policy was not necessary.

You'd never get voted in if you had such a dumb policy. Don't forget, there are more dog owners than non-dog onwers... and dogs vote~!

"People like Stu Jacobs see muzzling all dogs as the answer, but it's over the top. It's unrealistic and reasonable," he said.

"There clearly is a need to muzzle dogs on the restricted list or ones that have behaved aggressively, but I don't see a need to ban all dogs."

Instead Mr Probert would prefer the introduction of owner licences, fenced-off dog parks and incentives for good owners.

Apparently, Wellington has hardly any dog parks! It's a crime under the Dog Control Act to not adequately exercise your dog. And if your dog is a border collie, ... he needs off-leash runs.

"You should have to have a licence to keep a dog, and sit a test.

And who's going to be the examiners? Which dog training methodology will this country adopt? The Dominance, throw your dog to the ground until he surrenders (then bites you later), or the positive no-force dog training which Ian Dunbar espouses, and is quite successful.

Will vetenarians still espouse the wrong information that dog's shouldn't go to puppy classes until the are 5 months old >! You have just missed their window for socialisation?

Will you tell the breeders, and back-yard breeders that when they sell a 8 week old puppy it should already be toilet trainerd? And when you do, will you give them the education on how to do this?

"Also registration should be made significantly cheaper and in the first year if you provide evidence of neutering or spaying your dog, you should get your first year's registration free."

The myth that neutering or spaying your dog will turn down the aggression? Where's the scientific proof that this works?

Wellington City Council's dog policy spokeswoman Iona Pannett said there were already incentives for dog owners.

Owners who abided by council bylaws, had their property fenced and had a dog for a year or had undertaken dog training could apply to the council for "responsible dog owner" status, she said.

This entitled the owner to a discounted registration fee.

Will part of the registration fee go towards research on the best practice of dog policy- taking, of course, an evidence based approach?

Mr Probert would also like designated fenced-off dog parks introduced, so dog owners can exercise their pets safely.

Well of course!! where o where does all that registration fee go to?

"We should follow Christchurch's lead. There are exercise areas in Christchurch and other areas that work fantastically well. They've got agility areas and picnic areas that are fenced off where you can interact with your dog off the leash. We're very slow to do that," he said.

definitely a great place for this! too bad we can't take our dogs on buses in order to get to some of these great dog parks.

Ms Pannett said the council looked at the option of introducing some dog-only parks when the dog policy was reviewed last year, but it was too expensive and there were issues with such parks near the Town Belt.

However, she agreed some dog exercise areas were not up to scratch and that it would be good to have specific dog parks. "One area I'm keen on as a dog exercise area is behind what will be the new SPCA [in Mt Victoria], if they move there. It is near the Town Belt, but we are looking at reviewing the Town Belt management plan at some stage."

Mr Probert wants those on low incomes or those who are not complying with dog microchip laws to be able to have their dogs micro-chipped for free. "This way they get something for free and in return we've got their details."

You do realise that those details are shared with the Justice Department. Don't you think that is breaching privacy issues?

He said it was likely more people would comply with micro-chipping laws if it was cheap or free.

But microchipping has not reduced dog bites like the politicians told us they would. And why don't SPCA get access to these details. Don't tell me ''privacy issues'' because I just don't buy it, especially when the Justice Department gets a crack at the city councils database.

Ms Pannett said it was good that dog policies were being discussed, especially as Act MP Rodney Hide intends to review dog laws.

And Rodney refused to meet Dr Ian Dunbar. He was invited. Oh boy... dog policy is not going to be research based, but voter based. What a damn shame!

Wellington City Council is also likely to review its dog policies next year.

Ms Pannett said the council would probably wait until Mr Hide's review.

Low-fat Cookie is slimmer of the year

Cookie the dog looked more like the Cookie Monster when his owners first laid eyes on him.

Weighing in at an impressive 63kg, the huge, fluffy Labrador had started to become a spectacle at the SPCA when Auckland couple Arthur and Jenny Chin arrived to adopt a new family pet.

"He looked more like a polar bear," Mr Chin said. "His ears were stretched and looked small compared to his gigantic frame.

"The first time he sat in his new kennel, we thought it would collapse under his weight."

Mr Chin said although they were shocked when they saw the oversized Labrador, something "clicked" and the couple knew that he was the one for them.

A strict diet of biscuits and fruits was immediately on the cards for Cookie - who was first called Norm, but was renamed Cookie by the Chins for being a softie. MORE>>

Dogs maul child, woman

A woman and a young child are recovering from serious wounds after being mauled in separate dog attacks in Auckland at the weekend.

Owners of both dogs involved have agreed to have them put down.

Yesterday afternoon, a 6-year-old boy was set upon by an American bulldog in the West Auckland district of Waimauku while he was playing at a friend's house, reported.

So the dog wasn't put away while children were playing! Who's fault is that?

The attack left the child needing stitches to the top of his head.

On Saturday, Jo Rammer was walking with her boyfriend in Manukau when a pit bull pushed past its gate and attacked her.

Lack of boundery training. So easy to teach! However, lack of overall training is really quite frightening.. Sounds like this dog had something to guard.

Ms Rammer suffered injuries to her stomach and foot. The bites narrowly missed her vital organs. The owner says he wrestled the dog off her.

February 18, 2010

High achiever

Tinker was rehomed from a dog rescue service in Wellington for her zippy, curious nature,making her an ideal candidate for training in urban rescue work.

Wanganui vet nurse Karen Thompson she said could see the 15-month-old border collie/german shepherd cross was a "high drive" dog right from the start.

"Which is perfect for a search and rescue dog because they need to be tireless workers and always keen and interested." MORE>>

February 17, 2010

Animal cruelty Bill introduced to Parliament

The existing penalty for wilful ill-treatment of an animal is up to three years' imprisonment or a maximum fine of $50,000, or both, for an individual.
The bill increases that to five years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $100,000, or both.

A new offence of reckless ill-treatment is being created, which the bill says will enable prosecution of cases that might otherwise fail to meet the threshold for wilful ill-treatment.

It would have to be proved that a person knew or appreciated that serious harm to an animal could occur, and unreasonably ran the risk. The Bill will go on Parliament's agenda for a first reading.


Lonely Dog show at Alveridge Hall

Queenstown artist Ivan Clarke is opening his brand new exhibition hall for locals and visitors to get a peek into the world of Alveridge and the Lonely Dog, before the artist's concept and paintings become transformed into a Hollywood movie.
The stories, characters and places in Mr Clarke's art are very much inspired by Queenstown and the surrounding landscape.

The first painting of the Lonely Dog was inspired by the sad look on his dog, as Mr Clarke was leaving to go on vacation.

As Mr Clarke walked around the exhibition hall, his face lit up when describing the inspiration found in the hills and views around the building, and when he shared some of the stories of the inhabitants of Alveridge, a fantasy world populated by cats and dogs.
"There are new story ideas coming up all the time. It is still a work in progress."

February 16, 2010

Man accused of dragging dog behind scooter

A disabled 70-year-old charged with ill-treating a dog has been excused a court appearance because his mobility scooter is in for repairs.

John McPherson, of Christchurch, faces a charge under the Animal Welfare Act of ill-treating a dog by dragging it along the footpath behind a mobility scooter last November, Christchurch Court News website said.


February 10, 2010

Politics of Dog Training, Aggression and Policy

The politics of Dog are are mainstream again with animal experts calling for improved education of dog owners following several young folk being seriously injured. It is easy to forget that 600,000 dogs never bit anyone today.


Usefully the upcoming talk 'on canine aggression' by visiting Veterinarian and Internationally acclaimed Canine Behaviourist Dr. Ian Dunbar will help bring some of that required discussion to the public and political ear, and hopefully to NZ media always so eager to report. Dr Dunbar's research in hierarchical social behaviour and aggression in domestic dogs broke new ground in challenging dominance theory in the domestic dog and in pioneering off leash dog training.

Man charged after alleged dog beating

An Invercargill man is expected to appear in the Alexandra District Court tomorrow charged with disorderly behaviour and cruelty to an animal after an incident in Cromwell on Saturday.

Sergeant Steve Watt, of Cromwell, said the 35-year-old man was arrested after he ran from the Cromwell Speedway grounds into a neighbouring vineyard, where he allegedly used a stick to repeatedly beat a jack russell dog.

Earlier, the man had allegedly used a water pistol to spray spectators at the event, he said. The man was asked to stop but continued to spray water before security asked him to leave, Mr Watt said.

The man picked up a stick and threatened spectators before running off, evading security staff and making his way into a neighbouring vineyard, he said.

Police arrested the man and charged him with disorderly behaviour, possession of an offensive weapon, possession of cannabis and cruelty to an animal.

Now, this is the type of title that is making the media... anything to do with dogs..

Why not something like Man charged after alleged spraying spectator with water pistol ?

This would still turn heads, but because it involves a dog....

I'm just pointing out how the media is Dog Hungry !! I hope they interview Dr Ian Dunbar who is coming to New Zealand !

Pigs' agonising deaths add to list of animal shame

A crossbow killing of a pig and piglet, the suspicious death of several hens, the seizure of a dog and three puppies due to their neglected condition and the abandonment of at least 10 cats and kittens by vacating tenants.

That is a list of shameful recent animal mistreatment in Hawke's Bay, the local SPCA says.

It comes at a time when Auckland-based SPCA spokesman Bob Kerridge, has pointed out violent abuse of animals in New Zealand is growing and more bizarre cases are being reported. MORE>>

Are there really more cases, or is it that it's being reported more? It's the chicken or the egg question!

Dogs' deaths blamed on toxic algae

The deaths of two dogs in Mosgiel is being blamed on toxic algae.

Toxic algae has appeared in a number of areas around New Zealand this summer, prompting warnings to parents and pet owners, and during the past few years it has claimed the lives of many dogs.

Otago Regional Council director of environmental information and science Dr John Threlfall told the Otago Daily Times last night he was still awaiting the result of tests.

However, it was probable the dogs had swallowed the algae Phormidium while drinking from the low-flowing Silver Stream.

The black, shiny algae gives off a toxin and Dr Threlfall said it could be harmful to humans.

"Caregivers should supervise young children playing close to the Silver Stream to ensure they don't touch or eat any algal material.

"Dog owners should also keep their pets clear of the river." MORE>>

February 08, 2010

Farmer wants pitbull killed after lamb attack

A farmer is demanding that a pitbull terrier that attacked 30 of his lambs be destroyed.

Shane Anderson fought the crazed dog off with a broom and a bucket at his Warkworth farm on Thursday. His paddock is protected by a 1.5m fence that includes barbed wire and electric fencing but the dog crawled underneath.

The farmer did every thing right to protect his stock, from what I've read.

Eight of the seven-month-old lambs were injured, and three had to be shot. "It's only because I was there that I didn't lose all 30," said Anderson.

During the struggle, the dog's owner Jillian Taylor, her teenage daughter and a friend tried to call it off. It was eventually returned to Taylor's car. But Anderson was angry police and Rodney District Council dog control officers allowed it to be taken home.

I'm a bit curious too. I mean, I thought that farmers were allowed to kill dogs on the spot if caught killing stock! This will be an interesting case.


Anderson wanted it destroyed immediately, but owner Jillian Taylor said it was a 10-year-old family pet. She described the incident as an "unfortunate accident" and accused Anderson of wanting to make "a big drama" out of it. "It's not a vicious dog, it's not a vicious attack."

Really? I could have sworn that killing a bunch of lambs could be called vicious, and attack, and maybe even vicious attack.

Why didn't this woman ask to pay for the lost lambs that the farmer incurred. I mean, that's the least she could do instead of denying that this even occurred and making as if it's 'nothing'. No wonder farmers get fed up with 'city-types'.

The incident follows a string of pitbull attacks on humans. And blaming the breed won't help. A lot of dumb people own all sorts of dogs could have done this to the lambs.

A Tauranga man attacked at home by his own dogs in the latest incident remained in a serious condition in Waikato Hospital yesterday. The 34-year-old man was savaged by the "pitbull-type" animals on Friday. I rest my case!

Man who fed kittens to pitbull 'an animal lover'

A man who fed live kittens to his pitbull claims he is "an animal lover".

But SPCA national chief inspector Charles Cadwallader says Te Ahu Aaron Mankelow is "lying his teeth off".

The incident, which was videoed on a cellphone, happened at a party in Gisborne last year.

Mankelow, 31, eventually pleaded guilty in Gisborne District Court on January 25 to five charges of wilful cruelty to animals after he recorded himself on a cellphone tipping out five kittens from a box for his dog, and urging his dog to eat them.

You have to wonder why anyone would record themselves doing this... hello?!~

And he's a father... oh boy!

The charges of wilful cruelty were brought by the SPCA and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. But in an interview with the Sunday News, published today, Mankelow said he loved cats.

"I love all animals big time. Anyone who knows me knows I love animals," he said.

Father-of-three Mankelow claimed the killings were an accident and he simply admitted the SPCA's version of events in the hope he'd be punished and his dog's life would be spared.

My question is... did he put the recording on You Tube? Did he think that others would find this funny?

The dog has since been put down. Why? He pays for the crimes of his human owner?

He said after being told his dog was off its chain he discovered it had savaged several of the kittens.

Chained dog! well.. that explains things

Mankelow said he fed one kitten to his dog because it was almost dead and he didn't have the strength to finish it off himself.

Oh, come on!

"It might sound stupid but I just thought it would be faster my dog would just finish it off. "I didn't want to pick it up or whack it on the head.

Why? because that's cruel?

"I'm sorry for what's happened, I'm sorry to all the animal lovers," he said.

He's sorry he got caught!

Mr Cadwallader said Mankelow was "lying his teeth off" and the cellphone video clearly showed Mankelow feeding at least four of the cats to his dog. MORE>>

February 06, 2010

Killer pit bull found

The pit bull that killed a pet dog in a Christchurch home has been found.

Jo Lethbridge and her family could not stop the pit bull from mauling and killing their pet griffon-shih tzu cross called Bizza in their Bryndwr lounge last weekend.

Christchurch City Council inspections and enforcement manager Gary Lennan said dog-control officers caught the pit bull after it was spotted near the Lethbridge's house by a resident.

He said the pit bull was in the council's animal shelter while officers tried to find its owner, who could face prosecution over the incident.

Lethbridge said she was happy the dog's been captured. "It's good to know that no-one else has to go through that pain and terror again."

She said she wanted the dog put down.

If the owner was not found, the dog would be killed, Lennan said. MORE>>

February 05, 2010

Odd names for a dog

Compared with his canine peers Aeroplane Ears and Puss Puss, Wellington the dog can hold his head high when called.

Wellington is a seven-year-old English springer spaniel and among the dozens of dogs registered with councils around the country last year to have quirky names.

Alfred Popsicle, Warrengale Sir Brian, Castro Kennedy,, Stolen, Snoop Dog and Aeroplane Ears all feature on Wellington City Council's list of dog names.

And the owner of Maxwell Smart Agent 86 could end up out of breath trying to call back the dog if it is refusing to bring back a stick.

While naming children after liquor may be a no-no, the same taboo evidently does not apply to canines. Budweiser, Rheineck, Merlot, Bourbon, Budweiser, Cider and Clicquot are all monikers held by capital canines. MORE>>

Tauranga man attacked by his own dogs


"He was in a pretty bad way when they (ambulance officers) got there."

And by the time police arrived the man was "pretty well on the verge of unconsciousness."

The man had yet to be interviewed because he was still heavily medicated.

He said the dogs had not calmed down when police arrived and they had to be shot.

"It appears the gentleman had been able to get the dogs corralled into a part of the house so when the guys got there they were able to very easily, just by closing some doors, make the scene safe and secure the dogs in one part of the house while they attended the man in another part," Mr Glencross said.

He said the damage pitbull dogs and pitbull-type dogs could do was "quite horrific".

It was not known if the dogs had been trained for fighting.

Police said they were not yet able to determine why the dogs had attacked the man.

... blaming the breed of dog again... what about the owner?! Another sad case for Dogs

February 03, 2010

Penalty for cruelty to increase

Animal rights supporters are applauding the Government's move to increase punishment for animal cruelty, but say stricter penalties should also be imposed on owners of attacking dogs.

I'm not sure how this will reduce the number of attacking dogs? Send a 'clear message' ?! this only works if people are listening. What do we do?

....fill our jail with people, or educate people how they should interact with animals?

The Government announced yesterday that it would take over a member's bill by Tauranga MP Simon Bridges aimed at increasing the maximum sentence for animal cruelty from three to five years in prison.

SPCA national chief executive Robyn Kippenberger said the move was long overdue, especially as animal cruelty cases were increasing in number and severity.

And why is that? Why don't we fund research to understand why this might be so?

In the past few months, there have been some high-profile cruelty cases, most recently the shooting of 33 dogs in Wellsford, north of Auckland.

Yes, all in the backyard of people's home... muzzle dogs at home now? or teach people how to recognise when a dog has had enough and wants to be left alone.

Last month an Aucklander was jailed for twisting the head off a kitten in front of his young children and a Gisborne man pleaded guilty to feeding live kittens to a pit bull.

Why did these people do this? do you think that increasing the penalty of jail would have stopped this?

In December, William Campbell, of Porirua, was jailed for 10 months and banned from owning a dog after stealing an old ridgeback and using him in a dogfight. Now this is a crime! theft

Wellington SPCA is investigating the case of a dog found drowned last month in Titahi Bay with a 10kg weight tied around its neck.

Perhaps the they rang the SPCA and they refused to rescue them? Perhaps there needs to be funding for desexing animals? Perhaps we should have a Humane Society in which they will rehome your dog/cat... and yes, it takes government funding. So does putting someone in jail!

Although the existing Animal Welfare Act gave animals rights, judges still seemed to view animal cruelty as akin to property crime instead of violent crime, Ms Kippenberger said.

"We've been getting sentences where you would get more if you took someone's couch and burned it. It's certainly not related to the suffering of the animal itself."

She said the proposed sentence increase sent a clear message that animal cruelty would not be tolerated. But it's NOT tolerated now?!? Let's get creative and fix the problem instead of putting a band-aid on it.

However, Ms Kippenberger said the owners of dogs that were trained to attack also needed to face stiffer penalties.

Wellington vet Allan Probert agreed that the owners of attacking dogs – who were normally just fined by the local council – needed stiffer penalties as a deterrent. He also proposed removing dogs' aggressive instincts through desexing. When it's ingrained, its ingrained. Desexing might help, but it might not too!

The animal cruelty provisions will be put into Agriculture Minister David Carter's Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, to be introduced to Parliament this month.

Dog owners go barking mad

This story is 2 years old, but just found it....
It's a dog parade, and the costumes are just outrageous.

It's not recommended to put costumes on your dog because it does stress them out. But again, who knows.. some dogs love being on display. Just watch for those stress signs that your dog gives to make sure that he/she's still loving it!

February 02, 2010

Govt backs animal cruelty bill

The Government has decided to back a bill increasing penalties for animal cruelty.

The decision followed a National Party caucus discussion this morning about adopting Tauranga MP Simon Bridges' member's bill to increase maximum sentences for animal cruelty offences from three to five years as a government bill.

I'm sorry, but how will this help reduce the number of cruelty cases? Another knee jerk reaction...

Agriculture Minister David Carter issued a statement that he would introduce the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill 2010 into Parliament for referral to select committee.

"I will also be considering whether we can widen the scope of the bill to make the Animal Welfare Act work better," Mr Carter said.

"The adoption of this bill will complement a range of work that the Government already has under way in the animal welfare area. Increasing incidences of animal cruelty are horrifying many New Zealanders and the National Government wants to see stronger measures in place to deal with this issue."

Before caucus Justice Minister Simon Power said he supported the idea of increasing sentences for animal cruelty offences but was concerned that proportionality for crimes against people was kept.

"It is important that proportionality remains. And I will be making sure that's factored into any decisions."

He is reviewing Part 8 of the Crimes Act which covers offences against the person and is doing work on increasing sentences for offences against children.

Asked if some criminal sentences might be increased to preserve proportionality, Mr Power said: "If the bill goes to a select committee I am sure all of that will come out."

There have been recent high profile cases of cruelty to animals, including the slaughter of 33 dogs near Wellsford, north of Auckland, last week.

The Labour Party says it supports the bill in principle and the Greens are also in favour of it.

Green Party MP Sue Kedgley said yesterday the Government should also make cruel practices like keeping pigs in crates and chickens in battery cages illegal.

YES! if that isn't animal cruelty, I'm not sure what is?!? But that won't win votes....

"We need to make certain that any legislation covers all forms of animal abuse, including institutional abuse such as keeping pigs and hens in cages for the duration of their lives - those practices are legal," she said.

Farmers also should be punished for individual cases of cruelty, she said.

There had been several cases of farmers starving cattle but escaping with fines or community sentences.

Very few cases of animal cruelty have resulted in prosecutions - about 1 per cent of cases - and only 3 per cent of that group get jail sentences.

National is holding an all-day caucus meeting today at Premier House, Mr Key's official residence.

MPs will be told about the Government's plans for the year and its thinking on issues like changes to the tax system.

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