3 May 2012

Accused pinned dogs with his foot before shooting

5:20 pm on 3 May 2012

A man accused of slaughtering more than 30 dogs says he pinned many down with his foot to shoot them.

The Auckland District Court heard on Thursday the men shot the dogs, many of them puppies, on a Wellsford property in January 2010 because they believed one or more of the animals had mauled Mr Mendoza's fox terrier.

Tony Campbell and Russell Mendoza are charged with wilfully ill-treating animals and recklessly discharging a firearm.

A previous witness told the court the dogs were hysterical as they were fired at and tried to shield themselves with the bodies of dogs that had already been killed.

But Mr Campbell says the dogs were killed in a considered way, and they suffered no distress.

He says he suspected the dogs had mauled sheep and attacked Mr Mendoza's fox terrier.

Initially he told the court he shot the dogs as a favour to their owner - Rowan Hargreaves - who he had only met once.

Later he said he had felt sorry for the dogs and the condition they were living in.