No charges laid for man carrying dog like handbag

By Chloe Johnson

A man walks over the road in West Auckland with a dog slung over his shoulder attached to a harness. Photo / Supplied
A man walks over the road in West Auckland with a dog slung over his shoulder attached to a harness. Photo / Supplied

No charges will be laid against a man who horrified dozens of drivers by carrying his dog like a huge handbag while walking on a main road.

The West Auckland man, believed to be in his 50s, was filmed on Lincoln Rd dressed in black clothing with a black pomeranian dog hanging from a harness, slung over his shoulder. A smaller white dog was walking on a lead.

Real estate agent Melvin Plaisier, who filmed the incident on November 14, said he couldn't believe his eyes.

Plaisier got out of his car and spoke to the man who brushed him off but agreed to put the dog down.

"The dog didn't want to walk. It seemed exhausted, it was breathing fast," Plaisier said. "He just walked off and left the black dog behind."

Plaisier called Auckland Council's animal management which notified police and the SPCA.

The man had disappeared by the time police arrived.

He was later found and spoke with police, Plaisier said.

Plaisier put the video on Facebook, which received thousands of views and hundreds of comments within four hours.

He removed the video the next day, however, because of threats against the dog owner and his family.

SPCA chief executive Christine Kalin said inspectors investigated the incident but found no breach of the Animal Welfare Act.

She said the man's actions were "frowned upon" but it was not against the law to carry a dog in a harness.

"The owner claims there was no rope, it was a harness so this was not a case of a dog with a rope around its neck," Kalin said.

"It's distressing and not ideal for a dog to be carried like that but under the Animal Welfare Act we can't prosecute people unless they have breached the act."

She said SPCA inspectors talked to the dog owner about how to carry his dogs without causing distress to the animal - and the public.

He was allowed to keep his dogs without prosecution.

However, if the SPCA received further complaints he would be investigated again, Kalin said.

Auckland Council's licensing and compliance manager Max Wilde confirmed officials examined the dogs' health.

The Herald on Sunday understands the pomeranian was given a haircut and a flea treatment and the white dog was referred to a vet for minor care.

- Herald on Sunday

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