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Dog Attacks Concern Council

4 August 2006

Dog Attacks Concern Council

A spate of serious dog attacks and increasing numbers of prosecutions against dog owners are concerning Manukau City Council.

The council took 75 dog control prosecutions to Manukau District Court in June, compared to 55 in May and 28 in April. Of the cases in June thirty four were for dogs attacking people, three of those causing serious injury. Nineteen cases were for a dog attacking another animal.

Being prosecuted for offences under the Dog Control Act is an expensive business, in June the court convicted 15 dog owners who were fined a total of $7100 and issued seven destruction orders. Editors’ note: the 15 convictions do not relate directly to the number of prosecutions begun in June, some are for cases begun earlier in the year.

Environment and Urban Design Committee Chairman Noel Burnside says the prosecutions show how seriously the council takes dog attacks.

“This should be a wake-up call to those dog owners who aren’t responsible. The message is control your dog so other people and animals are safe.

“It’s alarming that some people are still not getting the basics of dog control right.

“These horrific experiences don’t need to happen if dog owners adhere to the basics. Supervise children near dogs, contain your dog on your property, and don't assume a dog is under control simply because it’s on a lead," says Cr Burnside.

One of the more serious dog attacks in June saw a man hospitalised for more than two weeks. The man was attacked by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross that rushed off its Papatoetoe property as he was walking past.

In another attack a woman needed hospital treatment after being bitten on the leg by a dog on a lead. A further serious attack saw a two year old girl bitten on the face inside her home by a family dog.

“This particular case is a reminder to dog owners and parents to watch how young children and dogs interact, especially when dogs are not used to children,” Cr Burnside says.

ENDS

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