Wellington City Council will not prosecute the owners of two greyhounds that attacked and killed a young dog this week, unless the dog's owner lays a complaint.
Margot Lyons' 12-month-old schnoodle, Ralph, was attacked by two greyhounds near the Berhampore Golf Club on Tuesday morning, and later died from his injuries.
Fairfax Media and Lyons also understand that a cat had been attacked and killed by two greyhounds in the same area.
While Lyons was "devastated" by the attack, she said all she wanted was for the two greyhounds to be returned to Greyhounds as Pets, the charity from which they had been adopted.
"I'm imagining that GAP would put them down. The last thing I'd want is for the dogs to be taken back, only to be adopted by another family again.
"The important thing out of this is to raise awareness that dreadful things like this can happen, and somehow both our family and the greyhounds' family will have to find a way to get through it and the loss of our very beloved pets."
Council spokesman Richard MacLean said a complaint must be laid by the owner of an attacked dog for the council to consider prosecution.
"We will be making sure the owners have returned the greyhounds, but unless there's a complaint there would not be further action taken."
Greyhounds as Pets programme director Jacqui Eyley said she was unsure whether the owners intended to return the two dogs at this stage.
"I'm sure they are thinking about it. The owners can return the dogs if that's what they decide."
Eyley had never previously heard of greyhounds attacking other dogs.
"Mainly it's greyhounds being attacked by other dogs. It is very unfortunate and we are very sorry for the woman who lost her dog."
But Greyhound Protection League founder Aaron Cross said racing greyhounds were trained to chase from birth, and were often kept isolated from all other animals.
"Their version of play is to compete. When it's drilled into them for years, it's hard for them to adjust to the retirement phase.
"It's not necessarily something in their genes, it's in fact a reality of training and making their whole life about racing [after] a small fluffy thing."
Reintroducing retired racing hounds into the community came with real risks, and there would be the occasional dog who struggled to let go of their racing backgrounds, he said.
"This dog had a moment and the muzzle broke. The owners did everything right, but it's just so unfortunate that it turned out this way."
- The Dominion Post