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 29, 2012

Danger in the garden

Richard and Michelle Rankin want people to know about the toxic danger lurking in Auckland's parks.

The Rankin family's two-year-old English cocker spaniel Alonso had to be put down after he ate fallen berries from a neighbour's karaka tree a few weeks ago.

"Our neighbour had no idea they were poisonous and he's starting to take the trees out. He's been very good about the whole thing," Mr Rankin says.

"We really want other people to know that these berries are very toxic and they are a risk at this time of year.

"Our main concern is around other people suffering the loss of a pet due to these berries or, God forbid, small children eating them."

The native trees are common in parks, council reserves and private gardens across the city.

The seeds contain a neurotoxin – 3-nitropropionic acid – and the powerful alkaloid poison karakin.


Bob Kerridge: Council should think again on dog fees

Bob Kerridge: Council should think again on dog fees

Read all of the article online, but here is a bit of what he wrote: Accordingly the need to 'get it right' sits firmly on the shoulders of the city's law-makers, and Auckland dog owners will undoubtedly have their views on the subject.
Getting it right means catering to the welfare of the dogs, ensuring the responsibilities of dog ownership are understood and practised, and respecting the autonomy of those who do not wish to interact with dogs. That's one large diplomatic headache.

Cutting to the bare essentials the 'leash law' is the one that caters to all, with dogs required to be on a leash at all times in public places. This guarantees absolute control with any public nuisance element eliminated, and a happy dog in contact with its 'pack leader'. Off leash areas in some open spaces provide for times of freedom, although essentially these areas should be completely contained to avoid contact with the general public. Additionally the compulsory picking up of droppings eliminates a most offensive public nuisance.

However, lurking behind the question of appropriate bylaws is a sinister plan that will impact dramatically on dog owners, a plan the Auckland Council hoped would not surface at this time. It lies in wait in the Council's Long Term Plan, volume 3, on page 144, and it was approved by them earlier this month. It involves the raising of dog registration fees by up to 160 per cent." MORE>>

One of question that Bob forgets to write is about the cost- benefit analyses that the ex-Rod Hide promised us that the government would do... Rodney was in charge of Auckland. He failed to keep his promise.
How can you justify a hike in registration when they haven't proven that WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS RIGHT? 

Mrs Malfait is the proud owner of two desexed bichon frise dogs and is fuming over the proposed price hikes.
She faces a more than 100 percent rise from $94 to $240 and says responsible dog owners are being penalised for the actions of irresponsible ones.
"Every rule and regulation they have come out with we have followed," she says.
She is calling for all owners to front up to Mr Brown with their dogs at every public meeting about the long term plan and at his Mayor in the Chair events.
The first public consultation with Mr Brown over the draft plan is with the Papakura board tonight.
The meeting begins at 6pm at the Sir Edmund Hillary Library.
Mrs Malfait is encouraging other owners to let the mayor know how they feel.
Dog breeder Ms Goodger has 10 dogs on her 8.09 hectares in East Tamaki and faces an increase of more than $1000 in registration fees – even though she doesn't let dogs off the property.  MORE>>


Dog Fee Fury

A summary of the draft plan and a feedback form should be delivered to all homes by today. (29/02/2012)

The full plan is at, Waiheke library or the council service centre.

Submissions close on March 23 at 4pm.

PROPOSED LICENCE FEE INCREASES: The current standard licence fee for a dog is $104 if the early purchase date of August 1 is taken advantage of.

If the licence is bought after that date it costs $128.

The plan proposes to raise the early purchase cost to $160 from July this year, or $210 if paid after August 1.

A desexed dog licence for an owner who has taken the responsible dog owner test costs $47 and $70 if purchased after August 1, but Auckland Council is proposing to increase these rates to $120 and $170.

The cost for a non desexed dog for an owner with a dog owner licence, is currently $53 if bought before August 1 and $77 if purchased afterwards.

This will go up to $160 and $210.

For a non-licensed owner with a desexed dog, the charge are $75 if purchased before August 1 or $98 if bought after.

These prices go up to $120 and $170. Fees for a dog's first visit to a pound go up from $35 for the first occurrence to $60.

Repeat visits which were charged at the same rate will incur a $100 charge for a second visit and $150 for a third.

Club leads way with dogs

Rotorua's Jeanette Peacock grew up around dogs and she loves them.

The president of the Rotorua Dog Obedience Club has been a member of the club for close to 20 years and enjoys the friendship and the travel the club provides, as well as the promotion of the welfare and importance of dogs in today's society.

"They bring joy. They get people exercising and they bring unconditional love," Mrs Peacock said. MORE>>

Dog's death an 'accident' not a crime

A dog that died after being left in a car on a hot, sunny day was muzzled and unable to lap up water, the Crown says.

The prosecution presented its case at the start of a Christchurch District Court jury trial before Judge Colin Doherty yesterday.

However, the defence said the pomeranian dog, Midgey, was a cherished partner and the loved companion of the owner, Annabelle Victoria Quor.

"The defence says no crime has been committed here and that what's happened is a tragic accident," Andrew McKenzie said.

He explained that Quor, 75, had left the dog in similar circumstances without problems.

However, on this occasion she had forgotten to unclip Midgey's muzzle. Her doctor would give evidence about her "memory difficulties".  MORE>>


Owner fined after dog ""cooked" in car

A 75-year-old woman found guilty of leaving her dog to die of heat stroke in her car has been fined $2500.
Owner fined after dog 'cooked' in car

February 27, 2012

Dogs run amok

The city council is addressing the problem of unleashed dogs on a busy shared walkway between Northlands Shopping Centre and Mona Vale.

St Albans man Ainslie Talbot, 60, wrote to the city council to ask them to address the problems on the busy shared footpath and cycleway.

He was a regular user of the cycleway and was fed up with unleashed dogs causing havoc in the narrow parts of the route. "I ride my bike down there a lot and it's very busy, particularly on the weekends. I was cycling along once and a dog that was not leashed came out of nowhere right in front of me. I had to brake suddenly to avoid the dog. Another time, two dogs chased me, then when I complained about it, the dog owner told me I was the one who was out of control and should be on a leash. "


While Mr Talbot said he understood 90 per cent of dog owners were responsible, there were a few that were ruining it for the rest.

"It's unfortunate that some people take this attitude when the majority of dog owners are really good."

He also said he realised that there were some cyclists who acted irresponsibly as well.

"If someone is cycling up to 30km/hr it puts all dogs and people at risk for serious injuries, whether the dogs are leashed or not."

Have your say: Have you experienced problems of dogs on the walkway/cycleway from Northlands Shopping Centre to Mona Vale? Do you think dogs need to be under better control on shared walkways in Christchurch? Send us your thoughts to Include your full name and suburb. MORE>>

Court told of dog's death in hot car

A dog left in a car on a hot, sunny day was muzzled and unable to lap up water left for him, a Christchurch court has heard.

Annabelle Victoria Quor, 75, denies two charges of ill-treating, and recklessly ill-treating her dog, leading to its death.

The Christchurch District Court jury trial before Judge Colin Doherty, which began today, is expected to take one or two days.

However, the defence said the pomeranian dog, Midgey, was Quor's cherished partner and loved companion

"The defence says no crime has been committed here and that what's happened is a tragic accident," said Andrew McKenzie.

He said Quor had left the dog in similar circumstances without problems but on this occasion she had forgotten to unclip the muzzle. Her doctor would give evidence about her "memory difficulties".MORE>>

Dumped bags of dog poo a puzzle

A Stoke resident says she has fears about a dog poo dumping campaign after news of a second site of dog poo bag debris emerged.

The Nelson Mail recently reported a collection of poo bags had appeared along Bolt Rd in Tahunanui, next to the golf course. Several days later, Colleen Cotton-Merritt discovered about 30 bags of dog poo while walking along Stoke's Manson Reserve, off Manson Ave and Polstead Rd.

"It was disgusting, I reckon someone's going out there [deliberately]. There was dog poo everywhere."

Mrs Cotton-Merritt said the area where she found the bags was near a council rubbish bin. She said it looked as though the bags had been thrown.

"I'm sure all these poo bags wouldn't have come out of nowhere. Nothing's in the rubbish apart from poo bags."

She was "horrified" when she discovered the contents.

"I thought, `What a bloody mess'. I've never seen a dog poo bag anywhere there [before]."

Mrs Cotton-Merritt said she hoped it was not the actions of someone "trying to give dog people a bad name".

"There are dog people out there that don't pick up dog poo but the ones that do don't throw their bags around."

Mrs Cotton-Merritt, who walks the route most days with her dog, retriever-border collie Jed, said she was upset with the impression it gave of dog owners. MORE>>

Dog owners protest bylaws

Owners of dogs of all shapes and sizes came together to send a united message: they do not agree with proposed changes to the city council's dog control bylaw.

About 300 canines and owners gathered at the Church Steps in Nelson before marching down Trafalgar St to the council offices on Saturday.

Nelson resident and dog owner Elizabeth Dooley organised the event for a sign of solidarity to the city council and raise awareness of the issue. The proposed changes have generated a lot of talk in the community. If passed the new bylaws would see dogs prohibited from more areas and only allowed on leashes in public areas including the Maitai walkway and the Railway Reserve.

Before the protest set off, Ms Dooley warned dog owners they would not be able to gather if the bylaws were passed, because they were at the Church Steps.

She urged all dog owners and non-dog owners to put in submissions on the changes and let the council know how they felt.

Kevin Isherwood, owner of pugs Rollo and Eric, said he thought the proposed changes were "completely unnecessary", "silly" and "mean spirited". Mr Isherwood had moved to Nelson from England four years ago and regularly walked his dogs up the Maitai, and had never seen any signs of bad behaviour from dogs and he could not fathom why the changes were necessary.

"It just seems like a wooserish, mean-minded, pointless act to make people unhappy, to impinge on people's enjoyment."

Cynthia McConville said it was another example of the council not consulting with the public, and it had put the proposed changes out without talking to the dog owners.

Speaking at the end of the protest, Ms Dooley said she was "rapt" with the turnout.

"Three weeks ago we felt helpless, do we feel helpless now?" she asked the crowd.
Submissions close on March 5. For more information, visit
Ms Dooley is setting up an advocacy group on the proposed changes. For more information, email

Canine boom hits capital

Ruth Herbert reckons Wellington is a great place to own a dog – and it appears increasing numbers agree with her.

Wellington is experiencing a canine boom, with a big leap in the number of registered dogs.

More paws on the ground have brought more problems, with an associated jump in dog-related complaints and more than 770 dogs impounded in the past year.

There were 9635 registered dogs in the capital in 2010-11, compared with 8970 in 2009-10 – a leap of 665, according to a Wellington City Council dog control report.

Ms Herbert, of Karori, was surprised by the increase, but said: "There do seem to be a lot of people out there with dogs."

February 25, 2012

Governor-General to be hearing dogs patron

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People New Zealand is pleased to announce that the Governor-General of New Zealand, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, has become the organisation's patron.


Sir Jerry Mateparae said he was looking forward to his association with the Hearing Dogs Trust in the next five years.

"With one in ten New Zealanders living with hearing loss that affects their daily lives, the Hearing Dogs Trust provides a valuable service in our community. Having more Hearing Dogs in the community raises awareness about Deafness and helps break down the barriers that restrict Deaf people from better integrating into all aspects of society."

Hearing Dogs Trustee, Rob Davis said: “We are delighted to have someone of such stature support our organisation and help raise our profile. Hearing loss often affects the way a person relates to the world and the people around them. Because Hearing Dogs reduce the isolation Deaf people can experience, they also reduce their stress. Those who have Hearing Dogs say they get more freedom, independence, confidence and security from having a Hearing Dog.”  MORE>>

Law controlling dog-tracking devices 'too late

Legislation will do little to curb the use of illegal dog-tracking devices, a Timaru firearms dealer says.

The Government is clamping down on the devices, which hunters use to track their dogs in the bush.

The devices use a transmitter to notify the hunter where the dog is and authorities say they interfere with radio transmissions used by people working in rural and remote areas, including search and rescue crews.

But importers and hunters are continuing to flout the law, with more than 100 devices intercepted this summer, according to the Economic Development Ministry.

Gun City owner-manager Wayne Golightly says legislation will make little difference as he believes "the horse has bolted". MORE>>

February 24, 2012

Tougher penalty wanted for 27-year-old Glendene man who neglected his dog

Press Release – SPCA Auckland
SPCA Auckland Executive Director Bob Kerridge is bitterly disappointed that a Glendene man who severely neglected his boxer dog has not been fined or made to do community service.

Junior York, 27, pleaded guilty to “failing to provide … proper and sufficient food” for his dog and was sentenced by Judge Ryan in the Waitakere District Court on 16 February to two years disqualification from owning dogs and reparations of $491.12.

“Considering the serious neglect involved in this case, I am shocked and disappointed that the judge did not hand down a more severe penalty,” says Kerridge. “I would have at least expected a longer period of disqualification at least. This is tantamount to a slap with a wet bus ticket.

“With the recent increases in penalties under the Animal Welfare Act, I was hoping that judges might begin to hand down sentences to match....MORE>>

Family's fight to save attack dog

A West Auckland family battling to save the life of their dog after it attacked a man is hopeful the animal will win a reprieve.

Christopher Neubusch, who has already pleaded guilty to owning a dog that attacked a man, hopes that the "exceptional circumstances" surrounding the ordeal will save Chips' life.

He faces a maximum fine of $3000 when he is sentenced in April, and the court may order the boxer-cross to be destroyed.

Lawyer Scott Leith, who will represent Neubusch at sentencing, said the family is hopeful Chips will be saved after the unprovoked attack.

He said the attack occurred after a man who bought an item from Neubusch off Trade Me walked around the back of the house where the family's dogs, Fish and Chips, were kept.

"He was not entitled to wander around the back of the house, the front door was open and he ignored that," said Leith.

"The dogs started barking and it's believed he kicked them in the guts, which is when he was attacked."

After the attack, Neubusch apologised to the man and dressed his wounds. The man also needed 10 stitches in his arm.

The Dog Control Act says that any dog that attacks a person must be destroyed unless there are "exceptional circumstances" surrounding the attack.

But Leith believes that the "exceptional circumstances" will help save his client's pet.

"There is a grey area. On the one hand, you don't want children hurt and that's why that law is there. But what happens if someone enters your property unlawfully? It's unclear and that's why the circumstances are exceptional," he said.

While Auckland Council will not comment on the case as it is before the courts, Leith said the council has not filed papers opposing the decision to save Chips' life and "accepts that the circumstances are exceptional".

While he said they are "hopeful" in saving the dog's life, they will appeal any decision to have the dog destroyed.
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City unleashes dog fee hikes

Whenuapai resident Rachel Butler is taking action. Last week she got a tip-off from an Auckland Council employee warning dog registration fees are set to increase markedly in July, in some cases by more than 100 per cent.

The fee increases (see below) are listed in the revenue and financing policy chapter of the Auckland Council Long Term Plan, out for public submissions from tomorrow.

As the responsible owner of two dogs, Ms Butler was shocked to learn of proposed fee hikes and set about alerting her contacts.

This week a fellow dog-owner set up the "Stand Up Auckland Dog Owners" Facebook site in an effort to raise awareness of the fee increase and encourage action. Within three days it had almost 800 members.

Auckland Council's new dog registration fees set to come into effect on July 1:
If paid before August 1, 2012:

Standard fee: $160, up from  $104
Desexed dog: $120, up from $75

Dog owner licence with desexed dog: $120, up from $47
Dog owner licence with unfixed dog: $160, up from $53

Superannuitant with community
services card: $50, up from $47
Working farm dog: $50, up from $23

Paid after August 1:
Standard, desexed and unfixed dogs: another $50
Superannuitants and farm dogs: another $25

First-ever dog trial win for Martinovich

ONE of the more remote dog trials in New Zealand attracted a good number of entries.

The dog trials were held at Te Araroa at the weekend and club members are keen to keep improving this event, suggesting that lambs be used for the heading courses next year.

Poverty Bay sheep dog trial spokesman Trevor Brown said this year’s huntaway sheep from Tarere Station were among the best to work in Poverty Bay. MORE>>

The 97-year-old Bay of Islands club is one of the country's oldest and this year its members are gearing up to host the Tux North Island Championships in May.

The splendid courses on Te Ahu Ahu mountain put the dogs and shepherds through their paces last week as regional competitors vied for points to enter the big competition in May.

More than 50 competitors participated in 73 runs held over two days. With perfect conditions and sheep from Mangatoa Land Corp Block in good form, the event was hailed a success MORE>>

February 22, 2012

Pup no one loved now a bomb sniffing expert

When they found Brutus he was abandoned, 4 weeks old, had obsessive compulsive disorder and was looking at a life on death row.

Less than a year on, the Whangarei dog is facing a new life in some of the world's most dangerous trouble spots.

When they found Brutus he was abandoned, 4 weeks old, had obsessive compulsive disorder and was looking at a life on death row.

Less than a year on, the Whangarei dog is facing a new life in some of the world's most dangerous trouble spots. MORE>>

Hutt River algae kills another dog

Another dog-death from toxic algae in the Hutt River has prompted further warnings about the high risk of cyanobacteria blooms.

A one-year-old cocker spaniel died in Upper Hutt on the weekend shortly after coming into contact with cyanobacteria mats on the edge of the Hutt River near Heretaunga Park.

The river has long been plagued by algae, which is naturally present in many New Zealand waterways, and up to nine dogs' deaths have been attributed to the organism.

Dogs are especially susceptible to cyanobacteria toxins because they like to scavenge mats at the rivers edge.

Greater Wellington and Regional Public Health issued warnings earlier this month after the toxic algae was spotted in the river.

Last week monitoring found toxic algae was high in the Hutt River from Birchville downstream. MORE>>

Deadly dog virus too costly to treat

Vets are worried as a deadly virus affects an unusually high number of dogs in Auckland and tough economic times mean some owners are getting their dogs put down rather than pay the estimated $1000 vet bill to treat them.

In just one week, two dogs have been hospitalised for emergency treatment at the Pet & Vet clinic in Milford and two others have been treated at home. Others in West Auckland have been put down as their owners couldn't afford the expensive treatment for the disease.

The disease, limited to dogs only, is passed on through contact with faeces and causes severe vomiting, bloody diarrhoea and fever.MORE>>

Without swift treatment, those affected can die from dehydration with puppies and older dogs most at risk.

February 12, 2012

Runaway pooch leads rescuers a merry dance

A Stoke dog marooned on a Waimea Inlet island is back home 10 days after she ran away, thanks to a marathon rescue effort by strangers determined to help the lost pup.
Quizzy, a shih tzu-jack russell cross who was adopted from the SPCA after being caged and badly mistreated by a previous owner – went missing from her Stoke home on January 26.
She was returned to her grateful owners, Vicki and Phil Leslie, on Monday, after spending several days on Oyster Island, off Monaco, without food and water.
In an adventure reminiscent of the seafaring dog on the Lotto ad, Quizzy – who is fearful of humans – was eventually caught after she swam 500 metres and ran 3 kilometres down wet sand behind Nelson airport.
Nelson paddle boarder Marcus Graf first spotted the small dog running around on Oyster Island last week. He went back that evening and spotted her again but she would not come when called, and took off.
Mr Graf said he went back a few times to look for her, but did not see her again until Sunday. Unable to catch the dog a further time, he went home and called the SPCA. He also rang his ex-wife, Nelson policewoman and animal lover Nyanne Graf, seeking help.
They rallied a group, which included SPCA volunteer weekend duty officer Amy Jukes, her partner Cameron Strange and boat owner Blake Abbott, to go to the dog's aid.

February 11, 2012

Dog virus deaths in Northland reach 'unprecedented' level

The Northland SPCA is pleading with dog owners to ensure their pets are vaccinated against the parvovirus disease following the death of 17 animals admitted to its Whangarei centre in a week.
Whangarei SPCA inspector team leader Michelle Potter said 15 cases were from Otangarei, adding canine parvovirus could be prevented with a vaccine that costs under $100.
"It's only happening on unvaccinated dogs. Parvovirus is very, very virulent and causes terrible pain and suffering and death," Ms Potter said.
She said owners should keep stray dogs off their properties because they could spread the disease. Parvovirus could remain in soil for up to a year.
"Any unvaccinated puppy will be at particular risk. It's mainly carried in dogs' vomit or faeces, but it can also be carried and spread on people's shoes," Ms Potter said.
"Most disinfectants won't kill parvovirus. Bleach and viricides like Virkon will kill it, but you're wasting your time with normal disinfectant." MORE>>
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