Fight to keep dogs goes to appeal court

By Sophie Price

7 comments

The fight to keep two lap dogs has been taken to the Court of Appeal with documents being lodged yesterday.

This comes after Hastings District Council's hearings committee upheld a decision to ban the owners from owning any dogs after their other dogs attacked two women.

A council spokeswoman said mother and daughter Belinda Vearer and Kayla Bremner lodged papers to begin the appeal process at the Hastings District Court.

Last month's council ruling was made in response to the women owning two of the three dogs which attacked two women in separate incidents on Whirinaki Beach last October, putting both women in hospital.

The three dog owners were convicted and ordered to pay emotional harm and medical costs to the two women who were mauled.

All dogs involved have since been put down.

The two dogs now in question were not involved in either mauling incident.

The dogs were able to stay with their owners until the process was completed, the council spokeswoman said.

Council does not yet have a court date, nor an outline of the process.

At the hearing last month, Ms Vearer and Ms Bremner made an emotional plea to the committee to overturn a council decision that prevented them from owning dogs for five and two years respectively.

In his decision as committee chairman, councillor Mick Lester declined applications from both women.

He said the committee considered that the serious nature of the event leading up to the conviction following the attack justified the bans.

Mr Lester said the Dog Control Act did not allow conditions to be added to a disqualification, such as, in this case, the women being able to keep the two small dogs.

"Effectively, the law does not allow council to grant the applicants' request to retain the two dogs," Mr Lester said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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