Dog to be muzzled over attack

SANDRA CROSBIE
Last updated 12:00 03/07/2014

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A dog that attacked a Manawatu postie has been ruled menacing by the Manawatu District Council, despite its owner protesting it was only approaching the man for a "smooch" and a pat.

Whangarei man Harold Jensen objected to his black and white border collie being classified menacing after it bit the leg of the postal worker in Feilding's Eyre St on February 19.

A hearings committee, comprised of councillors Howard Voss, Barbara Cameron and Tony Jensen, investigated the case on June 26.

In its written decision issued this week, it overruled Harold Jensen's objection, saying there was sufficient evidence to confirm the menacing classification.

There is no financial penalty for having a menacing dog but it does require the animal to wear a muzzle when in a public place.

During the hearing Harold Jensen said his dog was under control and did not bite postal worker James Ghoram-Henderson when it rushed at him.

He said the dog ran up to Ghoram-Henderson for some "smooching" and a pat, but when he kicked at the dog, it caused the animal to jump.

He said Ghoram-Henderson's bike falling on him caused his injuries and that they would have been more severe if they had come from a dog bite.

In his statement to the hearing, Ghoram-Henderson said: "When I saw the dog running towards me barking, I stopped and put my feet on the ground, hoping the dog would stop as I was no longer moving."

When he told Jensen his dog had bitten him and showed him the bite mark, Ghoram-Henderson said Jensen replied: "that's not a bite, that's just a slobber".

Ghoram-Henderson confirmed there were no puncture wounds, but there were marks left by the dog's teeth.

He said if his legs had not been slippery from sunscreen, the bite could have been worse.

The councillors saw photos of Ghoram-Henderson's leg taken after the incident, which revealed dog bite marks. A doctor also confirmed they were bite marks.

Harold Jensen accused people of making ‘false truths' in their written statements, while his objection was based on honesty and integrity.

The committee ruled the dog was not under control and Harold Jensen was ruled to have been obstructive.

Harold Jensen was visiting Feilding at the time of the attack and has since returned home to Whangarei with the dog.

The classification of menacing applies nationally.

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- Manawatu Standard

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