Dog court case appealed again by owner

Council is extremely disappointed that an appeal has been lodged against the District Court decision that an aggressive dog responsible for attacking several pets, killing one, should be euthanized.

This case has been through the District Court twice and the High Court once already.  The attacks have repeatedly proven beyond reasonable doubt and destruction orders have been issued. None of the three judgements have questioned Council's desire to resolve this matter in the interests of public safety.

"This will be just another legal process that Mrs King chooses to put Council, the pet owners, the community and the dog through, at vast expense to the ratepayer in staff time and money," said Council's Group Manager Environment, Sharon Robinson.

"Two district courts have found in favour of euthanising this dog. Council simply can't ignore the facts in this case."

Council has been asked several times by members of the public and the media, why is Council spending ratepayer funding on this? Council's answer is, and always has been, in the interest of public safety.

"Council has a legal and moral obligation to ensure that dogs are controlled. Dog owners share an obligation to ensure public safety of our communities too," said Mayor Neil Sinclair. "This appeal was completely unexpected as Mrs King had started paying reparation costs ordered by the court recently. I am very disappointed this matter is not over."

"We euthanised about 30 dogs over the past two months; this is part of our normal procedure. We have around four voluntary handovers a month under similar circumstances," said Mrs Robinson. "This is the first time Council has been run through the courts like this; normally owners see reason, accept responsibility for their dog's aggressive behaviour and voluntarily hand them over to be euthanised."

A report will go to Council in due course for a decision on the way forward.

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Page reviewed: 18 Dec 2015 10:05am