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Rate Payer Protest Kapiti Council Over Death Row Dog

Rate Payer Protest Kapiti Council Over Death Row Dog

Monday 15th December 2014

Concerned Kapiti rate payers are bewildered with some of the decisions being made by the Kapiti Coast Council, and are set to Protest outside the council building at 12pm tomorrow to voice their concerns

The long standing dispute over the pending death of a dog, has been the causing emotions to rise. The American Bull Terrier/Great Dane named Beau who’s offence was to bite a council workers entire male Doberman on the bottom at a park in 2012, has been issued with a destruction order that will see him killed on our about the 18th Dec.

Beau’s Owner Julie Snodgrass has fought the council all the way to the high court. Following the initial District Court decision in 2013, an appeal to the High Court was made earlier this year. It failed and last week an application for a judicial review was struck out meaning the court-ordered destruction must now be carried out.

Beau had been held at the Kapiti Coast dog pound for 2 years awaiting a decision and in that time an estimated $30 - 45,000.00 of Kapiti Tax Payer Money has been spent.

In a Press release issued by the KCDC last night Chief Executive Pat Dougherty says “Council have a duty to protect the public and other animals from dog attacks. We have had two very serious incidents in our district in the last couple of years where horrific injuries were inflicted on innocent members of the public. We will not wait for another incident like this before we act to remove aggressive dogs from the community,”

Charitable Trust, Helping You Help Animals (HUHA) have been following Beau’s case closely and say the punishment of death far out ways the crime.

“We don’t believe the process has been fair to Beau” said HUHA representative Sally Osborn “The council say that they based their decision to seek the destruction order for Beau on past complaints, though the result of these complaints was that Beau has never been issued with a Menacing Dog Order. So clearly in the Councils eyes Beau did not represent sufficient danger to the public to be muzzled. “

Ms Osborn who has visited Beau at the pound and studied the footage of Beau passing a behaviour assessment that was also submitted as evidence in his favor at the 2013 hearing, says. “HUHA believes this is not a dangerous dog. This is a case of bad ownership. Beau was allowed to roam and was given no boundaries to keep him safe. If biting an entire male dog on the bottom was his worst offence whilst in his current owners care, we believe that shows what a fundamentally good dog he is and the potential he could have in an experienced and responsible home.”

When first getting involved with Beau’s case a year ago, Kapiti based HUHA (Helping You Help Animals) Charitable Trust met with both parties and offered to take responsibility for Beaus rehabilitation and Rehoming. Although the Council has continued to decline HUHA’s offer, last night Ms Snodgrass formally signed a document stating that she would relinquish wnership of Beau to HUHA if he was able to be saved from death row.

A Kapiti Rate Payer posted a comment on the KCDC Facebook page “To put a death sentence on a dog who was involved in a scuffle with another dog, with no previous history of being menacing is setting a precedent Kapiti rate payers must be made aware of, as it is a completely unjust worthy death, when repeated offers to rehome this dog have been made by HUHA, for free.”

Kapiti Rate Payers led by HUHA will protest outside Council tomorrow at 12pm. They will be asking the Council to challenge the Court Order on the grounds of the councils mishandling of this dogs previous actions, i.e. not ordering it to wear a muzzle in public.

If the council stand firm and do not try to put this right, then the death of this dog will rest squarely on the Councils conscience. And a very scary precedent will have been set in Kapiti” Says Sally Osborn


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