New Zealand Dog Owner Blasts "Lazy, Negligent" Council
New Zealand - Pit bulls killing pets and livestock is far from a unique problem to the United States. Stories abound across the world about pit bulls killing loved pets. Two other themes hold true worldwide as well: pit bull owners refuse to constrain their dogs after multiple warnings and they are rarely held accountable after an attack.
The selectively bred trait of "animal-aggression" in pit bulls is unacceptable and unwanted in thousands of towns across the world.
In the town of Wangui (population about 4,5000), Maria Read is furious how the local animal rangers handled the death of her dog. Her 12-year old fox terrier, Squirty, was mauled to death by a neighbor's pit bull terrier on her property. The pit bull jumped her gate, ripped the wire run, dragged Squirty out from his kennel and killed him.
On three separate occasions, Read had tried to get the council dog ranger to take action and do something about the prowling pit bull. But no one was listening, least of all the terrorizing dog's owners, she said.
I've asked so many times for that dog to be contained. It was plainly obvious the dog was dangerous and a menace. Everyone around here knew it.
She said that she had caught the dog on her property over a week ago and left two messages with the dog ranger. She even threatened to call a friend to shoot the dog because she was trapped inside of her house with her dogs. The ranger told her the owners were on their way back home and that "I was not to consider getting the dog shot."
The ranger told her that the pit bull owner had promised to keep the dog secure. But the killer dog was back on the loose a few days later, this time determined to deal to Squirty. A frantic call to her at work confirmed the worst and by the time she got home, the dog ranger had the pit bull locked in a cage. Squirty died 10 minutes later on the vet's table.
Even though the Wanganui District Council said they were pursuing the destruction of the pit bull through the District Court, Read said the action was too late. "It's not going to bring Squirty back. I tried to tell them the dog was dangerous the first time it came round. What did they do? Locked the dog up then gave it back to it's owner so it could get on the loose again."
Mayor Michael Laws said that animal control officers were bound by council policy to impound straying dogs, especially those deemed to be a menacing breed. The pit bull in question was impounded, the owner paid a fine, and the dog was released. The pit bull's owner then broke the law (again) by letting the pit bull stray (again) -- this time killing Read's dog.
Laws is seeking a further report from animal control officers on the policies pursued when rounding up stray dogs of a menacing breed. Animal control does not have the power to destroy such dogs simply for straying. But he says, "If I had it my way, I would have all menancing breeds of dogs banned in Wanganui. There is nothing redeeming at all about these kind of dogs."