Dogs kill beloved birds
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.