The emotional and costly tussle over the court-ordered destruction of Red has ended - the dog has died following an apparent brain tumour.
Red, a bull mastiff-labrador cross killed two chihuahua cross puppies at Tahunanui's Back Beach a year ago.
His owners, Jim Tanner and Annie Quinn, were fined on September 6 in the Nelson District Court on charges of owning a dog that attacked the puppies and owning a dog that was not under control.
The court also issued an order for the destruction of Red, and the owners were to appeal the decision.
However, now it has been disclosed that the dog has been put down by a Richmond vet.
Lawyer Tim Spear, who acts for his owners, said Red had a suspected brain tumour and had a seizure on the afternoon of the court sentencing.
Red was taken to the Town and Country Vet in Richmond where he was put down, said Mr Spear.
The owners had been on their way to Inangahua to take Red back to the farm where he had been living, he said.
The owners did not want to talk other than to say it had been a sad episode, which could have been avoided.
Mr Spear said they had made an offer to the Nelson City Council that they would plead guilty to the charges if it did not pursue the destruction of Red who would be kept on the farm but the council had been adamant it wanted the dog destroyed.
Red was nine or 10 years old, he said.
The case has cost the council $20,138 for the prosecution and $3000 in pound and vet fees.
Mr Spear said the prosecution was pointless, and Red could have been left on the farm.
Council dog control manager Stephen Lawrence said the matter was put before the court and it had been up to the court to decide what would happen, not the council.
He said its solicitor had confirmed with the vet that the dog had been euthanased.
Red bit and killed puppies Milo and Nizmo in the Parker's Cove area of Tahunanui's Back Beach last September, after an initially social encounter between the dogs turned nasty within seconds.
The puppies were aged nine weeks and six months, and died in the arms of their Nelson owners, Shiree Brunell and Kate Earl.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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