Support pours in to save biting puppy's life
Do you think Paris the pit bull should be destroyed for biting Councillor Brian McGurk?
A Nelson dog owner fighting to save her puppy after it bit mayoral candidate Brian McGurk is surprised and buoyed by public support.
Mr McGurk, a former senior police commander, complained to Nelson City Council after he was bitten while electioneering on Leah McQuillan's Tahunanui property.
Ms McQuillan was visited by dog control officers on Monday and is expecting Paris, a five-month red nose pit bull and labrador cross, to be seized.
She has started a Facebook page - Help Save Paris.
She said this morning she was taken back by the support she and Paris had gathered.
"I never thought this many people would support Paris or it would become this big. It's really awesome."
A Nelson Mail story on the issue had attracted over 170 comments on nelsonmail.co.nz by this morning with a further 80 on the paper's Facebook page.
The Nelson City Council Facebook page also attracted a number of angry comments.
An online Mail poll whether Paris should be put down this morning had 1114 voters, with 67 per cent in favour of the dog's life being saved.
Ms McQuillan said she had not heard anything back from the council and was waiting to see what its stance was and whether it would change its mind. She has taken Paris from the property.
"I'm really hoping they will let me off with a warning."
No-one was at home at the time Mr McGurk was bitten two months ago. Mr McGurk returned and told Ms McQuillan's partner what had happened.
There were three dogs on her property at the time Mr McGurk was bitten, including an 11-year-old shar-pei Bella, who has three legs, and Honey, a five-year-old red pit bull shar-pei cross.
There was a "beware of the dog" sign in highlighter pen warning people entering the property, which Mr McGurk did not see.
Mr McGurk, who got medical treatment for the bites to his calf and hand, said today he had received a number of offensive texts and emails and had been vilified on social media since the story was published.
"I wonder if we would be having this debate if it was a girl guide selling biscuits."
He understood why people were upset but said some of the facts of the case were not fully out.
Mr McGurk said he stood by making the complaint. If he had done nothing and a child had been bitten he would have regretted it.
After reading the story yesterday Dave Horwell staged a one-man protest outside Nelson's Civic House. Mr Horwell had his daughter Ruby-Peaches with him and their small dog.
"I decided to come down and make a stand about it."
The council has said there is zero tolerance for dog attacks and dogs needed to be under control at all times. It is proceeding with a prosecution, which is expected to take some time.
- © Fairfax NZ News