A Cobden woman whose dog bit a tradesman is concerned she will have to pay $1560 for its incarceration -- a bill that is growing by the day.

The mastiff ridgeback is at the pound at a cost of $65 a day while the case waits for a date with a judge.

The dog being looked after by Mandy Beams was seized by Grey District Council dog control officers after it bit an electrician working at her house.

Cypress, which belonged to a friend, had been living with Ms Beams at the time.


"I got quite attached to him as I was living on my own. I decided I wanted some company, and he was my rock -- he always looked after me."

On March 31 she was talking on the phone and saw the repair man. She was distracted by the phone call and the electrician walked into the kitchen. She had a sticker warning visitors there was a dog.

"I heard a scream, and I was still on the phone at that time, I said to the lady, 'I think there's a problem with my dog, I better go', so I hung up on her."

As he left he shouted "you're dead, dog", she said.

On April 4, council dog control officers picked up Cypress and it had been locked up in the pound since -- at a cost of $65 a day.

Ms Beams said she was anxious she would be forced to pay the cost of the dog's incarceration.

She admitted that the dog had previously "nipped" someone from Property Brokers when they had visited the house.

Council environmental services manager Steven May said today the incident was "still an active investigation".

"There is a financial cost to keep it at the pound," he said.

However, Mr May said it was still to be decided if Ms Beams would have to foot the bill for that.

"I can't say whether she will, it's like the costs of a transparent process, there are costs involved. The cost determination will be determined by me after the investigation has concluded. Due process does take time, it's a transparent process to ensure everyone gets their say. We are not stalling it for any particular reason."

Mr May said that "due to the severity of the injury", the council was recommending the dog be put down. However, that decision would have to be made by a judge on a court date which was still to be set.

"We have been looking at similar incidents around the country, and looking at this incident in relation to those around, we believe placing it before the court is the proper thing to do, where both parties will have fair hearing."

- Greymouth Star