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Prison sentence for dog owner



20 September 2006

Prison sentence for dog owner

Auckland City says a jail term handed-down to the owner of two dogs that attacked an elderly man shows how seriously the courts take cases of aggressive dogs.

Helen Marion McKenzie was convicted of two breaches of the Dog Control Act and sentenced to six months jail in the Auckland District Court today. She has been given leave to apply for home detention.

Auckland City prosecuted Ms McKenzie after her two greyhound cross dogs attacked 74-year-old Paul Kelly at the defendant’s Glendowie home in September last year.

Mr Kelly arrived at the property, which was fully-fenced with warning signs, for a pre-arranged business appointment when the two dogs savagely attacked him.

He was admitted to Middlemore Hospital unconscious and spent nine days recovering. He has been left with permanent nerve damage as a result of the attack.

Ms McKenzie’s dogs had a history of aggression and she did not provide any evidence of obedience training for them.

The chair of the council’s Planning and Regulatory Committee, Councillor Glenda Fryer, says the sentencing is a timely reminder that all dog owners must keep their pets under control at all times.

“Dog owners should take this sentence as a warning that the council and the courts will not tolerate those who cannot keep their dogs under control.

“Owners can pay a high price for having an aggressive dog that seriously harms someone and they need to be sure that their dogs are socialised and well-trained.

“Having a fully-fenced property and warning signs is not enough,” Ms Fryer says.

She says there are many reasons for members of the public to go onto another person’s property and they have the right to expect that they’ll be safe.

This prosecution is one of several the council has taken this year in its bid to address the problem of aggressive dogs.


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