Dog attack hearing adjourned

By John Maslin

1 comment

A Whanganui District Council hearing considering the release of two impounded dogs was adjourned yesterday to give the animals' owner time to get legal representation.

The council's statutory management committee had met to hear an application from Graham Smith to release his two pitbull terrier cross dogs, Cocoa and Jedi, from the city pound.

The dogs, which live at Mr Smith's property at 8 West Way on Durie Hill, were impounded after they attacked and killed a cat in nearby Hutchison Cres.

The cat's owner saw one of the dogs with the cat in its mouth running from the property. She followed the dogs to Mr Smith's property and he was told what had happened.

According to information collected by council staff, Mr Smith had to hold one of the dogs on the ground before it would release the cat. By then the cat was motionless and it was severely injured.

On December 23, Mr Smith was served with a council notice that the animals - both registered as a "menacing breed" - would be impounded until the matter was dealt with.

Mr Smith said he only got notice of the hearing on Monday and had not had time to contact a lawyer.

When asked by committee chairman councillor Hamish McDouall for the lawyer's name so contact could be made, Mr Smith did not reply.

Mr Smith then said he intended "to take this to a proper court".

"I'm sorry about the cat, but I can't question people about the lies that have been made," he said.

He said his dogs were "going through torture" at the pound.

Asked about the dogs' treatment, council animal control team leader Jo Meiklejohn said both animals had been regularly moved to different kennels and been checked by a vet.

Ms Meiklejohn said Mr Smith had visited the pound to exercise the dogs but when he did one of his dogs attacked another one.

Since then staff had been exercising the animals.

Mr McDouall said an adjournment could be granted, but it meant the committee would probably not be able to reconvene for two or three weeks.

Until then the dogs will stay in the pound.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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