Far North dog owners fined
A 100 per cent success rate in dogrelated prosecutions is sending a clear message to dog owners, says the Far North District Council.
Earlier this month the council’s Animal Management Unit prosecuted two dog owners from Russell and Kaitaia in separate court hearings.
The Russell owner of a huskycross pleaded guilty to a charge of owning a dog that attacked protected wildlife. He was convicted and fined $500, plus court costs.
In May, the same owner pleaded guilty to three separate charges of failing to keep the dog under control, and was convicted and fined $130 on each charge.
FNDC compliance manager Darren Edwards says he was pleased with the result.
‘‘There had been a lot of media interest and public speculation on social media about this case. At the time there was little we could say because of the pending court action .... this dog was well-known to animal management staff.’’
With Russell being a highdensity kiwi environment, dogs must always be kept under control, Edwards says.
‘‘Unfortunately, this dog was not under control in this sensitive environment. This was proved beyond any doubt by a video of the husky-cross wandering with a dead weka in her mouth.’’
Despite a court order for her destruction, Edwards says he is keen for the dog to be re-homed. The owner’s petition to have the dog released from the pound has received close to 30,000 signatures, and a Givealittle page had raised $735 for legal fees.
At the time, the owner told the Northern News that he had seen the video of the dog, but it was impossible to tell exactly what was in her mouth.
The Kaitaia dog-owner was fined $500 and banned from owning dogs for five years following a December 2016 incident where another dog was attacked. The owner was ordered to pay $200 in damages and $156 in reparations. The council was awarded costs of $165 and ordered to destroy the dog.
During the same week, the council ran Nga Kuri Auau o Kaikohe, which saw 85 dogs microchipped and 80 signed up for free de-sexing.
‘‘However, the council must also send a clear message that dog owners who refuse to control their animals will be prosecuted.’’