Fears pets stolen for dog-fighting
Fears pets stolen for dog-fightingSHAUN EADE
There's no evidence that missing dogs are being been stolen for dog fighting, the SPCA and Counties Manukau police say.
But Paw Justice is standing by its claims that dogs from South Auckland, including Karaka and Drury, are likely to have been stolen to be used as bait in the training of dogs for fighting.
In a Campbell Live story in September, Paw Justice's Craig Dunn said thieves had been marking properties with colour-coded paint to identify the breed of dog at the house.
But SPCA Auckland executive director Bob Kerridge says there's "no significant proof" to substantiate those claims.
"Although [dog-fighting] occurs sporadically, there is no indication it is on the increase here," Mr Kerridge says.
There has been no increase in dogs reported missing or stolen in South Auckland, he says.
Police also have no evidence to suggest dog fighting is involved.
Spokeswoman Kimberley Mathews says police have found no cases of dog fighting in the area over the past 12 months.
But Mr Dunn is standing by his claims and says his sources are people formerly involved in dog fighting.
"Dog fighting is massive in New Zealand but it is so undercover that no one knows.
"The only reason I know is because I am talking to sources inside the industry about how it works.
"It is so hard to get the evidence because it is so closed-circuit."
Two of Karaka resident Cherie Archer's dogs, cairn terriers Coco and Holly, went missing four weeks ago.
Until Campbell Live interviewed Ms Archer she had never considered her dogs might have been stolen for dog fighting and the suggestion caught her by surprise.
"It just really rocked me off my perch.
"It is unbelievable that this is happening. It is very hard to work out how the human mind can think that mean."
She's still holding out hope that the SPCA and police are correct but has been desperately searching for her dogs, even seeing a dog psychic who claimed they were at a Takanini address.
"I am clutching at straws just trying to get an answer."
Claire Cole's long-haired dachshund went missing from her Bombay property on September 1.
"I had searched the entire property and the adjoining neighbour's property and found no sign of her.
"She is not a dog to go wandering off," she says.
Mrs Cole hopes the 4-year-old wasn't stolen as bait for dog fighting.
"[It makes me feel] pretty sick.
"I try not to think about it too deeply because I am hoping that is not where she has gone but somebody has got her."
Neither Mrs Archer nor Mrs Cole found colour-coded markings on their properties but Mr Dunn says other potential cases did have the markings.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you wear a lifejacket when you are on the water - no matter what vessel you are in?