26 Jan 2010

SPCA wants reckless dog owners punished

10:03 pm on 26 January 2010

The SPCA believes a review of dog control laws by Local Government Minister Rodney Hide should punish reckless owners.

Three people have been attacked by dogs since Thursday, including a five-year-old girl in eastern Bay of Plenty and a three-year-old girl in Wairoa.

Both children were attacked by pitbull breeds on private property on Sunday.

SPCA chief executive Robyn Kippenberger says Mr Hide's review of dog laws should introduce measures which heavily penalise people who raise dogs to be dangerous.

This includes owners who train aggressive breeds to guard property and fight.

The victim of an attack in Wellington is considering lobbying the Government for tighter dog controls.

Stu Jacobs, a former All White, was badly bitten by a bullmastiff cross on Thursday when he tried to stop it from mauling a man and his labrador.

Mr Jacobs wants the government review of dog controls to increase protection of public places.

He believes all dogs in public should be muzzled or tightly restrained, while dangerous breeds should be banned from public altogether with owners liable for instant fines.

A spokesperson for Mr Hide says the recent attacks will be considered in the review, scheduled for the middle of this year.

Wairoa attack

In Wairoa, a three-year-old girl needed 23 stitches to her face after she was attacked by a pitbull during a family visit to friends on Sunday.

Sergeant Matt King says the girl went into the back yard of the property where a dog immediately attacked her, biting her face.

The girl was initially treated at Wairoa hospital and then transferred to Hastings where she needed 23 stitches.

Mr King says there were fears that she might lose an eye.

Bay of Plenty attack

A five-year-old girl remains in a stable condition in Waikato hospital after an attack by two pitbull cross dogs in eastern Bay of Plenty.

The girl was visiting a property in Taneatua when she was attacked on Sunday. She suffered extensive injuries and needed 10 hours of plastic surgery.

The dogs have been destroyed.