COUNCIL SUCCESSFULLY PROSECUTES OWNERS OF DANGEROUS DOGS
Ruapehu District Council (RDC) has implemented a no tolerance, hardline approach toward the owners of dangerous and menacing dogs.
RDC chief executive Peter Till said that if you own a dog that attacks or worries people, other dogs or stock you can expect to end up in court.
“Whereas in the past we may have thought twice and hesitated about prosecuting in some instances this is no longer the case.”
“In particular council is committed to taking a harder line on recidivist offenders and owners who do not comply with the requirements of menacing or dangerous dog classifications.”
Mr Till added that council now has senior staff with the skills and experience to take prosecutions without needing to involve external legal firms making it a lot cheaper and easier for council to take court action.”
“Council has had significant success with the prosecutions it has taken itself,” he said.
“To date we have prosecuted four owners resulting in; nine convictions, five dogs destroyed, $1,600 in fines and $4,400 in costs awarded to Council and victims.”
“All four prosecuted owners have also been disqualified from owning dogs or having dogs living in the same house as them.”
“We are hoping the success we are having in court will send a strong message about council’s zero tolerance policy toward dangerous and menacing dogs.”
Mr Till said that the provision of body worn video cameras to the animal control team was assisting them in dealing with dangerous animal control situations and collecting evidence that can later be used in court.
“Unfortunately the owners of dangerous and menacing dogs also tend to be more aggressive and abusive when dealing with animal control officers,” he said.
“The new body worn cameras definitely help to calm tense situations down when people know they are being recorded and that the video can be used in any future court proceedings.”
“Council has a responsibility to ensure public safety and we are committed to using every available tool at our disposal to keep people and stock safe.”
“Owners of dangerous and menacing dogs who have until now ignored their responsibilities and are not complying with the rules can expect to end up in court when council’s animal control team catches up with them.”