LETTERS: Greyhounds vs cats

I'd just like to make some comments to the cat owners that have the opinion that Tiger Tom should be killed and restricted and not have a happy dog's life.
As far I know cats upset dogs and dogs chase cats - already for hundreds of years.
We love our birds in our garden and, because we do not have a cat, the birds love our garden, We have a birthbath and birds eat nearly out our hands.
The morning is full of the sound of the birds.
Until cats from neighbours move into our garden and kill birds. Murder them. We are very upset.
What gives the neighbours' cats the right to come in our property and start killing our birds? Even our chicken are not safe.
Why should cats have different rules than man's best friend the dog?
The council should have a dog and cat ranger and roaming cats should be shot. It will be much better for our eco system.
D Brak,

It is always sad when a loved family pet dies and we sympathise with anyone who has lost their pet in a tragic accident.
Greyhounds are similar to other dog breeds and over half of our adopted greyhounds live in homes with cats. However, like other dogs breeds, there are also some which will chase cats. As a responsible rehoming programme, we always advise our owners to ensure they have their dogs under control when in a public place.
Greyhounds As Pets is a registered charity which finds homes for unwanted greyhounds when they have finished racing. So far, over 350 dogs have been rehomed throughout New Zealand. Our owners are delighted with their dogs' gentle and affectionate nature and are pleased to recommend them as family pets.
Jacqui Eyley,
Programme director,
Greyhounds As Pets

A dear friend in the UK - to whom we entrusted our cat on emigrating - had to have her (rescued) greyhound put down after it spied a rabbit while walking.

The dog was on a leash but wrenched itself free only to be stopped in full tilt by a barbed-wire fence. Greyhounds are lovely and docile pets, but also utterly unwitting killing machines;they need to be muzzled and protected simply against the instincts we humans have inbred.

I feel for the Kaisser family of Papakura (Owners Say Their Dog's a Softie, July 23). Yes, their dog did wrong when it killed the cat. But the force of the law that descends upon any dog owner is so heavy that it's unreal.
Dogs and cats, well. Greyhounds and hares? If it moves they chase it. Cats have free-roaming rights and they are not beyond teasing a dog.
My shar pei is also on the "most wanted" list. He took fright in a dog exercise area and was spotted running ahead of me by the dog police and got an infringement notice, later downgraded to a warning.
But a warning is a warning not to do anything naughty over the next two years or else it is a $300 fine. And if you are naughty twice in that same time you could end up with a five-year ban from owning a dog.
I am all for enforcement, but reliable dog owners are not bad people just because they own a dog. Remember that the old pooch is man's best friend.
I would suggest that animal control should work with the majority of good, reliable dog owners but they should jump up and down on the few bad owners who bring us good citizens into disrepute.
I'm still in correspondence with Animal Control about the heavy approach dished out to me and my best friend in an off-leash exercise area.
It seems that a dog may walk alongside you in an off-leash area, but if he decides to move away or run and investigate a tree or two then you should have been vigilant and should have used the leash before he moved off. If he runs when in an off-leash area he is out of control.
It is like driving at 51km/h in a 50km/h area. You broke the law. You are guilty.
Cliff Dew,
Mt Wellington

You write that greyhounds are "trained to chase a lure". Actually, they are not trained to do that: they are wired to chase lures. They don't harm still animals so the witnesses who say the cat ran in front of the greyhound are probably right.
But Mrs Kaisser is wrong when she says, "Any other dog would have chased after it too." Maybe it would have, but any other dog would not catch it and kill it.
And the council is wrong in believing such dogs can be trained not to chase moving animals. Being muzzled is enough to fix the problem. I'm horrified the dog has already been neutered.
I am astonished to see so much misunderstanding about the greyhounds.
S Jourdan,
Mt Albert

I read with interest where Tiger Tom's owner described him as a "cute and gentle pet".
May I pose a question to the owner: if your daughter owned a very affectionate and loving cat, and if you and your daughter were walking outside your property and your cat ran across the road and was savaged and killed in front of your daughter, would you describe the greyhound as a cute and gentle animal?
This happened to my daughter and me in Britain just before we left to come to New Zealand. I cannot describe to you the horror of it and it gave my daughter nightmares for years.
These animals are trained to hunt down/chase "rabbits" in their racing careers. Unfortunately, this indoctrination will remain for the rest of their lives. How dare the owner say: "The cat started it."
How laughable. Cats run, greyhounds hunt and they should not be out in public without being muzzled and on a leash.
Not Impressed,

What a horrible story. After having a cat badly mauled recently - and being left with hundreds of dollars of vet bills - all I can say is: I am disgusted by the attitude of dog owners like this.
The dog is clearly a menace and deserves nothing less than it gave the cat - death. The owner  has no empathy for the owners of the cat that was killed. The dog should be destroyed and the owner fined and forced to pay any vet bills or costs incurred from its attack on the cat.
There are so many cats that die from dog maulings like this. It's time to put a stop to it.
MIS Secrest
It was with great interest we read your article regarding Tiger Tom in the July 23 editions. Our much-loved nine-year-old family cat, Henry, was attacked by a greyhound in February. This dog was also previously a trained racing greyhound, and was obtained through Greyhounds As Pets approximately one year prior to the incident.
Henry was lucky to survive this savage attack. He sustained multiple bite injuries, temporary nerve damage to his leg, dental damage, and required surgery to repair muscle damage inflicted by the bites. The after-hours vet, who we rushed him to, said he was a very lucky cat! Needless to say this has cost us a lot of money in veterinary bills.
Animal Control services thoroughly investigated the incident, and although we didn't see the initial point of contact (just our cat being savaged by the dog), an independent witness did. There are differing accounts of the incident. The independent witness said the dog spotted the cat and dragged the owner to get it. The boy walking the dog said: "The cat attacked the dog, and the way it was covering its face, there was no way the dog could have bitten the cat". This is ridiculous considering our cat had multiple bite injuries.
Animal Control recommended to council  that this dog be classified as menancing, but just last week a council officer notified us that this would not occur as, based on the information from the dog owners (and an animal expert) they talked to, they felt our cat was the agressor in this situation. They had never met or discussed the temperament of our cat with us.
A nine-year-old cat (who is neutered, has limited agility due to a previous collision with a car requiring his hip joints to be removed, and is small child-friendly) vs a trained racing greyhound? We think this is an absolute joke.
We are currently writing our concerns and objections to the council officer. Of course there is no formal means of appeal for us, unlike the dog owners.
Even the Greyhounds As Pets website says numerous times many of these dogs cannot be rehoused with cats. Their shop has a muzzle which they recommend when socialising the dog with small animals, and every adopted dog has a "cat-friendly or not" classification.
We have a real concern about these greyhounds and the safety of domestic cats while they are in our neighbourhood. We are just pleased our small children were not playing with Henry at the instant he was spotted by the dog. Who knows what might have happened? Our children are now very scared of dogs, and after seeing what happened to Henry I can't blame them.
Concerned Cat Owners,
Manukau City


- The Aucklander

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