Dog destroyed after months of legal delays


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31 August 2007

Hamilton City Council has this week euthanized a dog that has been the centre of a six-month dispute regarding registration.

The unregistered dog was seized from Massey St in April this year and has remained in the care of the unit since.

At the time of impounding Council requested its owners register the dog. This was refused, and as the nature of the animal was such that it could not be re-homed the dog was scheduled to be put down.

The group of owners then appealed to the District Court who threw out the case awarding costs to Council. The owners then took the case to the High Court which likewise threw out the case and award costs. In a third action, the dog's owners then asked the High Court if they could go to the Court of Appeal. The High Court ruled that would require a direct approach to the Court of Appeal.

There was no action filed with the Court of Appeal and the dog was euthanised late Wednesday.

General Manager Environmental Services at Hamilton City Council, Graeme Fleming, says the case is extremely disappointing on a number of levels.

"First of all, the matter could have been settled by the owners complying with what they are legally required to do which is to register the dog. It would have then been returned to them. Secondly, Council has spent thousands of dollars responding to this court action. We are very disappointed that the owners have taken us through this process," says Mr Fleming.

This was the second dog to have been seized from the same Massey Street property. The first dog, also unregistered, was seized and destroyed after an attack on a person.

Name: Graeme Fleming
Designation: General Manager Environmental Services
Tel (Direct): 0 7 838 6639
Fax (Direct): 0 7 838 6445
Name: Philip Burton
Designation: General Manager Communication and Marketing
Tel (Direct): 0 7 838 6507
Mobile:  021 428 748
Fax (Direct): 0 7 838 6761
Page reviewed: 31 Aug 2007 12:00am