Dante the pit bull terrier on death row

Last updated 05:00 25/03/2014

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Dante the killer pit bull will be put down one way or another, according to Napier City Council.

The council's animal welfare officers seized Dante on Thursday after he mauled to death a shar pei named Terror on the same property in the suburb of Maraenui.

The incident occurred just days after Dante was freed from the council pound.

A fundraising campaign by his owner, Teressa Kati, raised the $532.30 necessary to cover unpaid registration fees and desexing fees, and have him let out.

Council planning regulatory services manager Mike Webster said Dante was at the pound "pending further investigation".

"If Ms Kati surrenders the dog, he will be put down given there is no scope for him to be rehomed. Should Ms Kati decide not to surrender the dog, council will seek its destruction before the courts."

The council had to do further investigations before deciding whether to lay charges, he said.

Normally the council held dogs in its pound for eight days until they were either rehomed or put down.

In this case, Ms Kati had contacted the council registering her clear interest in getting Dante back, so he was held for several days longer than normal.

"If we can avoid unnecessarily euthanasing a dog, we will do all we can to return it to its owner," Mr Webster said.

"In some cases that means holding a dog longer than the minimum period.

"Once a dog has crossed a behavioural line, as this dog has, it should not be allowed back into the community."

He said all dog owners needed to exercise caution. "An attack on a family pet is a tragedy, but the consequences of an attack on a child do not bear thinking about."

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