Father angry dog returned after 'attack'
A Waikanae man is furious a pitbull dog which leapt through a car window terrifying his 8-year-old son has been returned to its owner.
The Kapiti Coast District Council seized the dog after the October 27 incident but returned it to the owner on Thursday, saying because the boy was not bitten it was not an attack.
The owner was given an infringement notice and a $200 fine for failure to keep a dog under control, and had to pay a seizure fee for the dog being impounded, said council communications advisor Claire Harman.
''The dog has been classified as 'menacing' and the consequence of this is that he has to be muzzled in public places from now on. The owner will fully co-operate.''
The boy's father is appalled at the decision following the incident, which he said terrified his son Fletcher and left him with faint black eyes, scratches and a puffy face.
Kerry Smith said he pulled up in Marae Ln, Waikanae about 6.15pm, and was heading to the rear entrance of a shop. He heard a yell and saw the dog running towards the car. The dog leapt in the open passenger window, landing on Fletcher, he said.
''It's probably just tried to have a go at him, but its body weight made it fall back out the window. She's [the owner] come running over, yelling at it, saying, 'You stupid dog', and grabbed it and put it in the car and buggered off.
''No, 'How is your kid?'. If that was a car accident she'd be done for failing to ascertain injury ... it's just disgusting.''
He took the car registration number and called police, who contacted animal control.
He said it was a ''kick in the guts'' when he discovered the council had returned the dog.
''I'm a dog lover. If that was my dog I would have shot it.
''If that gets out again and does something worse to a kid, I won't be able to sleep at night.''
Mr Smith, a volunteer firefighter, said it was ridiculous to suggest the dog did not attack.
''I'm just flabbergasted.''
Ms Harman said Chief, a pitbull terrier cross, was registered, microchipped and de-sexed and had never previously been involved in an ''incident''.
''When Chief heard Kerry Smith's dog barking, he jumped out the window of his owner's car and then halfway through the front passenger window of Kerry's covered four-wheel-drive. In doing so, he banged into Mr Smith's son, who was in the front passenger seat. He didn't attack him.''
Chief's owner was ''utterly devastated'' by the incident, she said.
''She says she 'desperately wanted to apologise and offer assistance to the father and son', but 'given how angry the father was, it seemed more appropriate to leave'.''
- Kapiti Observer
Should Kapiti have international airport?Related story: (See story)