Public safety DOES come first

Council is pleased at the judge's ruling of yesterday that found dangerous dog Jimbo guilty (for the second time beyond reasonable doubt) of attacking pet rabbits, killing one; and attacking a second dog while in the pound. The judge also ordered the dog to be euthanized; however there is an appeal window before that can happen.

"Council certainly feels vindicated by the decision made yesterday in the district court," said Council Chief Executive David Hall. "We have always been of the view that this dog is a danger to the community. For Council this has always been about public safety."

Mr Hall accepts that the cost of pursuing the case was high, however notes that this needs to be balanced against public safety. "As a Council we have a responsibility to ensure public safety. It was never our intention to accrue this cost, nor keep a dog locked in the pound for two years; however our hand was forced; and we were simply not prepared to compromise the safety of our community."

"This is the first time Council has been embroiled in such a long court battle regarding a dog attack. In most circumstances if a dog attacks and kills another person's pet, our staff work with the owner towards voluntarily handing the dog over for destruction.  This happens successfully on a regular basis," said Sharon Robinson, Council's Group Manager. "In this case, it did not happen, resulting in high cost and a dog being held in the pound for a tragically long time."

Council would like to thank Mr and Mrs Barlow for sticking with the case. "It is only when people in our community stand up against such incidents that Council is able to take action," she continued. "The Barlows lost their pet rabbit to this dog and stood with Council to ensure that public safety does indeed come first." Ends:  words: 295

Page reviewed: 18 Dec 2015 10:18am