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Getting tough on bad owners

09 March 2006

Getting tough on bad owners

Animal Control officers for the Kapiti Coast District Council are applying a “get-tough-on-bad-owners” policy and the first result of this is that one local owner has recently been declared a “disqualified dog owner” by the Court.

A “disqualified owner” cannot own a dog for five years and must meet various criteria after that before they can own a dog again.

“The person owned a dog which had already been involved in two attacks on people and had received a number of previous infringement notices for continued breaches of the Dog Control Act,” Animal Control Manager Don Wolff said.

“The dog had been declared ‘menacing’ and that meant it had to wear a muzzle to prevent biting when it was in a public place.

“In mid-November 2005 the dog attacked and bit a man who was walking through Coastlands car park. The victim received bites and scratches to an arm and clothing was torn. That person subsequently required some medical treatment for the bites.”

“We had worked with the dog owner and their family to educate them on the requirements that come with dog ownership But the messages just simply did not seem to be taken on board. Someone was hurt and now, as a result, the Court has ordered the dog to be put down and the owner disqualified from owning a dog anywhere in New Zealand for the next five years.”

In addition to failing to comply with the requirements of a menacing dog classification, the dog had not been registered since 2003 and the owner had a total of more than $1,500.00 in outstanding infringement fines.

“As a result of the Court decision earlier this month, this person has been ordered to pay $150 to the victim of the attack and an additional $900 to the Council to cover the costs during the time the dog was kept in the pound,” Mr Wolff said.

“No one wants to see good dogs destroyed. However, this dog and others that are destroyed tend to be the victims of bad owners; the most effective way to deal with that is to make sure such people cannot own dogs and are made to pay the costs of their bad dog ownership.”


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