Terrier attacked twice
Owner of 'menacing dog' convictedJOHN EDENS IN QUEENSTOWN
Ratepayers will fork out $7000 to cover the cost of impounding and destroying a menacing dog after a legal first in Queenstown District Court yesterday.
Chief District Court Judge Jan-Marie Doogue heard the case brought by the Queenstown Lakes District Council against Karl Evans, a builder.
Evans was convicted of owning a dog that attacked another animal, fined $550, ordered to pay a $462 vet's bill and the dog was destroyed.
Accountant Belinda McBride, of Queenstown, was walking Maltese terrier Raffy after work on February 7 when Evans' dog Kaya ran out and attacked him in Lomond Cres.
Ms McBride moved house after the "vicious" incident and, after the hearing, told The Southland Times the case had cost ratepayers and it was always the dogs that suffered.
Kaya, a pitbull-cross, first attacked Raffy in December, leaving an open neck wounds for two months.
It was only the first or second time she was able to walk her dog with a collar on when the February attack happened.
"I saw Kaya coming, I stood in front of Raffy and screamed ‘no, no, no'.
"She grabbed Raffy around the neck . . . the new collar came straight off, I was left holding a lead."
Kaya dragged the terrier up a driveway before the dogs tumbled down some steps and Evans eventually dragged his dog off the smaller animal.
A shocked Ms McBride asked Evans why his dog was not on a lead or muzzled: "He just looked at me and said ‘your dog looks like a rabbit'."
Ms McBride told the court he said that as long as "your f...... rabbit dog" walked in front of his home then his dog would always attack.
Raffy suffered serious wounds that needed surgery.
Evans' lawyer Sonia Vidal suggested Ms McBride's recollection of the discussion with her neighbour was incorrect, but Ms McBride disagreed.
Council animal control contractor Ricky Campbell, of Cougar Security, attended both attacks.
He told the court Evans was defensive when animal control arrived in February and he said something along the lines of Ms McBride could expect her dog to be attacked.
His demeanour was aggressive and he would not accept responsibility, he said.
Council lawyer Richard Cunliffe said there were no exceptional circumstances preventing a destruction order.
Evans submitted that the last thing he expected was Raffy to be walked outside his house after the December attack.
Judge Doogue said she could not condone this suggestion and Kaya had previously attacked Raffy.
There was no evidence Evans - who stormed out of court after sitting with his head in his hands - took any steps to prevent another attack after December, she said.
After the hearing, Lakes Environmental corporate and regulatory manager Lee Webster said it was the first such prosecution where the council pushed for a result.
Ratepayers would cover the cost of $35-a-day pound fees since the pitbull cross was seized in February, he said.
About 14 dogs in the district were classed as menacing but it was the first time a court had ordered a destruction in Queenstown.
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