Dogs kill beloved birds

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ROSE CAW­LEY

THE re­mains of eight dead birds cov­ered the floor of the aviary.

A male rot­tweiler and a fe­male rot­tweiler-cross paced up and down, ea­ger to es­cape the scene of their crime.

It was a sight that put bird owner Clive Will­goss into shock. Ly­ing in the mid­dle of the car­nage was his ‘‘lit­tle dar­ling’’ Dex­ter.

The Alexan­drine para­keet went with Will­goss ev­ery­where – to work, to the bank and even to the fruit store.

‘‘The best way to de­scribe Dex­ter was a feathered hu­man. He didn’t think he was a bird,’’ Will­goss says.

‘‘I can’t bring my­self to go in there and clean up, to pick up their bod­ies.’’

The birds are more than pets for Will­goss. Bags of nuts, dates and fresh fruit line the laun­dry-come-aviary where his feathered friends are housed.

‘‘Let’s just say there’s more here for them than in my fridge. The birds are num­ber one.

The door to the aviary opens in­wards and on June 9 the dogs pushed their way through to the birds.

‘‘I built it. I just thought as long as they couldn’t get out then I’d be keep­ing them safe.’’

In 2014 Auck­land Coun­cil re­sponded to 845 dog at­tacks on other an­i­mals. This year from Jan­uary to the end of May there have been 355 at­tacks.

Tracey Moore of An­i­mal Man­age­ment says the dogs were reg­is­tered and the own­ers have been con­tacted.

‘‘The dog own­ers have ap­plied for the re­lease of the dogs which are be­ing held at coun­cil’s Sil­verdale an­i­mal shel­ter.’’

She says an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the in­ci­dent is un­der way and un­til then she can­not com­ment on whether any fur­ther ac­tion will be taken.

‘‘The coun­cil be­lieves a dog owner who acts re­spon­si­bly and cares for their dog so it is con­tent, healthy and does not cause a nui­sance to oth­ers in the com­mu­nity is a re­spon­si­ble dog owner.

‘‘Part of this re­spon­si­bil­ity is that an owner must keep con­trol of the dog – this in­cludes within the con­fines of their own prop­erty so the dog can­not wan­der on to other prop­er­ties or public places by it­self.’’

Dex­ter, left, was an Alexan­drine para­keet and Clive Will­goss’ best friend. Dex­ter went ev­ery­where with Clive, in­clud­ing to work ev­ery day.

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