Fam­ily an­gry over goat killings

Te Puke Times - - News - By CAR­MEN HALL

A Te Puke fam­ily have been left dev­as­tated and irate after dogs mauled and killed nine goats — the third dog at­tack on their ru­ral prop­erty in one year.

Brid­get Ma­her said she had spo­ken out to raise aware­ness and was “really an­gry about ir­re­spon­si­ble dog own­ers”.

“I just want to get this mes­sage out there about roam­ing dogs. Peo­ple in this neigh­bour­hood need to know this is hap­pen­ing

. . . and re­port roam­ing dogs to the coun­cil.”

She sup­plied graphic pho­tos of the goats with grisly wounds and other im­ages of goats who had drowned after be­ing chased into a pond.

The Ma­hers’ prop­erty runs be­tween Gri­d­ley Rd and Rangiuru Rd and her hus­band Lee made the grue­some dis­cov­ery on Sun­day, De­cem­ber 2 after a night of tor­ren­tial rain.

“Our goats had been at­tacked by dogs and ei­ther killed or left to die of their in­juries. We did not see the dogs so we don’t know how many there were.”

The ex­pe­ri­ence was “hor­rific” as the cou­ple had to bury the goats in­clud­ing Bill, a bil­ly­goat they had owned for 13 years.

“He was our friend, they all were so it was pretty aw­ful. Bill was a boer goat and we trav­elled to the South Is­land last year and bought an­other bil­ly­goat to im­prove the blood­lines but we lost him in the at­tack too.”

The in­ci­dent wiped out al­most half of their herd but luck­ily 15 were safe as they were closer to the house.

Staff at the Western Bay of Plenty Dis­trict Coun­cil pound had been con­tacted and had in­stalled a trap, but Ma­her said “we are not al­lowed to shoot the dogs un­less we see them wor­ry­ing stock”.

Mean­while, about the same time last year, 10 of the Ma­hers’ sheep were killed in two in­ci­dents, a week apart.

Western Bay of Plenty Dis­trict Coun­cil an­i­mal ser­vices of­fi­cer Melissa Mur­ton said the coun­cil was do­ing all it could to lo­cate the dogs.

“This is sadly the tragic con­se­quence of ir­re­spon­si­ble dog own­er­ship Lack of con­trol and/or con­fine­ment by own­ers of their dogs on their prop­erty. Dogs roam at night — and many peo­ple are to­tally un­aware that their dog, which was there in the evening for din­ner and again there in the morn­ing for break­fast — could have been out killing dur­ing the night.”

An SPCA spokes­woman said the SPCA “is very con­cerned about the re­peated dog at­tacks that the Ma­her’s sheep and goats have been sub­jected to in Te Puke”.

“It is an of­fence un­der the Dog Con­trol Act 1996 for dogs to in­jure, en­dan­ger, or cause dis­tress to any stock, poul­try, do­mes­tic an­i­mal or pro­tected wildlife. SPCA strongly ad­vo­cates re­spon­si­ble dog own­er­ship which in­volves de­sex­ing, mi­crochip­ping, so­cial­is­ing and train­ing, ap­pro­pri­ate food, wa­ter, shel­ter, ex­er­cise, ve­teri­nary care and that the dog is un­der your care at all times.”

A po­lice spokesper­son said po­lice some­times get in­volved in spe­cific in­ves­ti­ga­tions but it was more likely to be the coun­cil or SPCA.

PHOTO / SUP­PLIED

Brid­get Ma­her and her son Ryan Craw­shaw with some of their goats that es­caped get­ting killed by dogs.

Nine goats were killed in a dog at­tack on a ru­ral prop­erty east of Te Puke ear­lier this month.

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