Auckland Council is defending its decision to fine the owner of a dog that attacked a woman in Mount Roskill just $200, and not putting the animal down.
Grace Xie, an accountant in her 50s, had gone to the property with a friend to pick feijoas when the attack happened.
Council Manager Animal Control Sarah Anderson said Xie had entered the property where the dog lives unannounced.
The dog followed the owner's boyfriend out of the house, ran up to Xie and, when jumping up, bit her arm.
"A number of factors are taken into consideration when the council makes a decision on whether to take a dog attack case to prosecution or issue an infringement notice," Anderson said.
"This includes looking at the dog's history, any history the council has with the owner and the interest and safety of the public."
Anderson said the dog had no reported history of aggression and the owner had had no previous breaches under the Dog Control Act in this case.
"Combined with the fact that the dog was on the owner's private property at the time, the decision was made to issue an infringement and to change the dog's classification, meaning it must be microchipped, desexed and wear a muzzle in public," she said.
"The owner of the dog has been co-operative throughout, including at the time of the attack and when dealing with our Animal Management team."
The 8-year-old dog's owner, who gave her name only as Wang, said the animal has been with her since it was four months old and has never attacked anyone before.
"My dog must have been just as shocked as my boyfriend was to see strangers just walk into our property," Wang said.
Wang said she adopted the mixed-breed dog when she found it on the streets in South Auckland, and the SPCA said it did not have room for him.
"We feel really bad and very sorry to Grace for what happened, and we did everything we could to help her," Wang said.
Immediately after the incident, Wang said her boyfriend took Xie to the doctor and paid for the medical bills and did so again when Xie needed a medical follow up.
"My dog is like a family member to me, I don't think it's aggressive at all but was just instinctively trying to protect my boyfriend that day," she said.
"I accept the fine that Council has given me, and of course we will try to be more careful next time."
Wang said her dog was medium-sized, and smaller than an average labrador.
"The bite wasn't very serious, but Grace kept asking for compensation, first it was for the four days that she couldn't work and then for the scar on her arm," Wang said.
"I have made a police report about her unlawful entry to our property."
Xie had said she was really angry with the "soft" punishment, and rubbished the Council's decision as "nonsense".
The Council has told Xie she could claim compensation from the dog owner through the Disputes Tribunal as a civil claim.