Dangerous dogs

The Herald reports:

The pregnant owner of an American pitbull which attacked a young girl in Rotorua reportedly lunged at the dog to save the 9-year-old.

Stevie-Rebecca Shipgood, 9, suffered deep cuts to her head and arm after a neighbour’s American bulldog attacked her in Rotorua on Sunday.

The dog’s owner, who did not want to be named, said his partner was walking the 2-year-old dog, Riley, on a lead about 2.30pm on Te Ngae Rd near Puketawhero Park in Rotorua.

on children (and adults) are horrifying. Even putting aside the dangerous breeds, even the nicest domesticated animal can lash out in certain circumstances. Normally it requires significant provocation, but for some animals it requires none. Plus of course, some animals can not do a great deal of harm as they are so small.

The last Government did a knee-jerk response to the issue with micro-chipping. As far as I can tell, it has made no difference at all. Sadly they seem to be equally knee-jerk now, with Damien O’Connor blogging at Red Alert:

It is about time we stopped pussyfooting around and advocated and implemented the destruction of any dog and breed of dog that is considered dangerous in New Zealand.

Is Damien really advocating that the Government pro-actively shoot every dog in New Zealand that is considered dangerous?

I tend to think dog owners are as much an issue, as the dogs themselves. Not in every case, such as the one reported above. But all too often, the owner is an issue.

It is worth looking at whether certain breeds which are known to consistently attack people should be banned, but you would need to grand-father in existing pets, as I don’t think killing dogs that have done nothing wrong is acceptable. Requiring them not to be bred or imported should eliminate them over time.

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