At least one dog a day is put down in Hawke's Bay.

In January to March this year Napier (64) and Hastings (96) saw 160 put down.

These were dogs that were taken in by local pounds, and couldn't be rehomed.

One hundred and sixty dogs that paid for their behaviour with their lives.

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One hundred and sixty dogs that maybe, if it hadn't been for their bad owners, might not be dead.

They say there's no such thing as a bad dog, just a bad owner, or so the saying goes.

It's a nice sound bite but the reality is some dogs are more predisposed to aggression than others, and owners can't control them.

There are also owners who relish possessing one of these animals and encourage the dog's aggression. These owners are animals too.

Many of the dogs put down in January to March were involved in rushing or attacking people or other animals.

There's still one dog out there though, that killed a 79-year-old's pet in January.

After being savaged in Akina Park in Hastings on January 8, Gigi the poodle bichon died from a post-surgery infection.

It was the second pet that Joan Sye had lost to a dog attack, and Joan was lucky she wasn't badly injured herself after she picked Gigi up, held her above her head, but was knocked down by the attacking dog.

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Joan is gracious about the person who the dog was living with at the time - she has received $4000 in reparation. But the dog's owner collected the animal from its short term home after the attack and it hasn't been seen since.

Then there's Napier 15-year-old Emily Kelly-Lowe's story.

Emily was pinned against a fence by a dog weighing more than her, as she saved her own dog Mozart from being mauled to death.

This happened last Tuesday as Emily walked along Exeter Cres in Napier.

The attacking dog was seized, Emily was left with leg wounds and Mozart was badly injured but survived.

It is likely the seized dog will be put down.

But perhaps it's time to think about the owners. We can keep killing badly behaved dogs, and at the current rate, more than 600 will die before the end of the year.

So if a dog pays for its behaviour with its life, how should the owner pay?

Properties that dangerous dogs are located on should be banned from hosting dogs, and anyone who lives at the address should have the right to own a dog suspended.

Anyone who owns a dog put down after an attack should be banned for life from owning another dog.

If the animal pays the ultimate price, the owner has to pay as well.