Dogs, owners and … negligent councils

The number of Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) dog bite claims across all breeds has doubled since 2006, from almost 6000 to over 12,000 last year.

Last year, those claims cost the taxpayer about $4.5 million.

[An] Otara resident, Sanga Tomasi, said dogs roaming the streets were a danger to her three children and needed to be locked up.

“My street’s got heaps of dogs running around and my kids play outside so I have to keep them in my house, inside my property, because the dogs, some of them are dangerous. That is my biggest fear.”

Responsible dog owners pay exorbitant fees so that dogs like that are dealt with.  Yet the council doesn’t do a thing about it.

A seven-year-old Auckland boy needed 100 stitches to his face after he was mauled by his uncle’s pit bull terrier on Saturday.

[Another] Otara local Maraea Howe said she believed pit bulls had dangerous instincts and should be banned.

“I’m totally scared of them. Whenever I see one, I’m really cautious, so yeah I shouldn’t have to walk down the road and be like that, be put in that position.

I’m surprised someone doesn’t leave a few poison-laced steaks lying around.  After all, when it comes to free roaming dogs and your own children, if the owners don’t care and the council don’t round them up, what else do you do?  

However, local tertiary student Stephen De Joger disagreed that the dogs themselves were a problem. He said they were a popular breed in the area and had a bad reputation but owners were the ones that needed to be held responsible.

“I think it predominantly is owner-based. I don’t think it’s a problem with the dogs per se,” he said.

“I used to have a bull mastiff and that’s technically a vicious breed, but it’s how people raise their dog, that’s the problem.

“I think there needs to be sort of a change of attitude toward – not, a dog is sort of a right but basically a privilege that you have.”

He had never had any issues with his bull mastiff but it was a breed people could make aggressive, he said.

“If they’re raised badly then they’re going to be vicious, and if they’re raised well then they’re going to be a good dog.”

I think it is very simple.  If you are found to have been negligent with your dog, you go up on charges for the actual harm that has been caused.  If this includes life-time disfigurement, disability or mental distress, then the dog owner will receive a commensurate prison sentence to go with it.

As for the dogs, it’s a strike-one policy.  As soon as it draws blood on a human being in anger (rather than play), the dog is to be destroyed within 48 hours.  No appeal.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.