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Pitbull terriers continue to create problems

8 December 2004

Unregistered pitbull terriers continue to create problems in Auckland city

An Auckland City dog control officer has become the victim of an unregistered american pitbull terrier’s attack.

The attack took place at a Pt England property last Sunday.

Auckland City is taking a proactive approach in ensuring menacing dogs are under control, as part of council’s obligations under the Dog Control Amendment Act 2003. In mid-November, the council sent 120 letters to owners of dogs that are of an american pitbull terrier type, informing them that the dogs have been classified as menacing and must be neutered and muzzled when in public.

Under the act, the owners of these dogs must neuter them within one month of notice of classification as menacing, or risk having their animal seized by the council.

“Recent dog attacks have highlighted the need to keep a closer eye on certain breeds of dog,” says Geoff Atherfold, team leader, compliance monitoring. “The pitbull terrier is known to display menacing tendencies, making it vital that these dogs are registered so the council is aware of their existence.”

Two officers were visiting the Pt England property to seize two unregistered pitbull terriers, after their owners failed to meet the registration deadline, despite receiving two reminder letters and being verbally advised to register the dogs.

The dogs were chained at the rear of the property and, while attempting to impound them, one of them bit an officer, inflicting puncture wounds and bruising to her leg.

Police and ambulance were called to the scene to treat the officer’s injuries, which did not require hospitalisation.

The two dogs were seized and held until a statement was taken from the owner. As this was the first biting incident involving the dogs, they were then released upon receipt of all fees, including the unpaid registration.

The owner may now face prosecution, in which case they could be liable to a fine of up to $3000 and the dogs could be ordered to be destroyed.

The council has impounded more than 800 unregistered dogs since 1 July this year.


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