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Worrying spate of dog attacks at Nuhaka

If you want a dog, you need to be a responsible dog owner- or face the consequences.

That is the message from the Wairoa District Council following a spate of dog attacks at Nuhaka.

Over the last six months to a year around 50 ewes and lambs have been attacked and killed by roaming dogs in the Nuhaka area.

The situation came to a head around the end of last month when a dog was shot and killed by a farmer while it was worrying stock, another was caught in a Council laid dog trap and a third dog was chased home by the same farmer and the dog owner identified.

The dog that was shot was microchipped.

Council officers traced the dogs back to a Nuhaka village property and with Police assistance a total of 16 dogs from one property were impounded. The Council had already disqualified the man from owning dogs for a five-year period but as the owner had appealed this decision Council has had to wait for a determination by a Judge.

Wairoa District Council chief executive Steven May said the dogs were not contained within the property which is a major breach of the Dog Control Act.

The situation then escalated last Tuesday night when different dogs, but from the same neighbourhood, were seen worrying stock.

Again, the owner of the dogs were identified, and an infringement notice issued.

In a further incident in the same area a woman who was out walking was aggressively charged by an American bulldog.

The attacks continued last Friday night in the Ihaka Street area when two dogs were seen worrying sheep which resulted in Council officers setting another trap.

“We need to get the message out very loudly and very clearly that dog owners have a responsibility for their dogs, and I praise the majority of dog owners who are responsible.

“It is not acceptable to have dogs roaming and out of control.

“As a Council we do not set the rules for dog owners, this is legislation set down by central Government under the Dog Control Act, but it is our job to enforce the Act.

“Council staff are spending a lot of time and resources on incidents where the dog owners are clearly not abiding by the rules.

“Dog owners need to understand that if their dog strays and roams onto a farm, or is caught worrying stock, the farmer is within his or her right to shoot any dog on their property.”

Council also has a responsibility to protect the public and if owners are non-compliant the end result will be the dog being destroyed.

“Destroying a dog is a last resort that no one wants to see. Dog owners need to step up and take responsibility to avoid this type of result.”

 For more information visit our animal control page.

7 May 2019

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