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Whakatāne District Council Identifies Dog Involved In Attack

Whakatāne District Council have now identified the dog responsible for an attack at Te Hau Tutua Park/Whakatāne Heads last month.


The attack, which occurred in the off-leash area, resulted in a smaller dog being put to sleep due to it's injuries.


Council initiated an investigation straight after the incident and increased their patrols in the area. It then lead to a successful identification of the offending dog and enforcement action taken against the owner.


Whakatāne District Council Team Leader Regulation Monitoring Verna Kinney said it’s been a distressing time for all involved.


“The death of a beloved pet in this way is a very upsetting experience and our sympathies are with the owners.” Kinney says.


Our Animal Control Team acted quickly from the moment we received the formal complaint. We were fortunate to have solid evidence provided to us which allowed further action to be taken.”


However, Kinney said the positive identification of the dog and owner wasn’t without its fair share of hurdles.


Though we got the result we all wanted relatively quickly, there was unhelpful commentary doing the rounds on several community social media pages by people thinking they were ‘doing the right thing’ in trying to identify the dog and owner responsible.”


“Not only did this false narrative result in a person being incorrectly accused as the dog owner, but it also took up valuable staff time,” Kinney says.


Council note, while social media has its place, it can also impede, and hinder investigations if the wrong information is being circulated.


“Facebook commentary on community notice pages doesn’t carry the same weight in the legal system, and it can be difficult to secure a prosecution with only this to go on. I encourage people to please think carefully before posting online,” Kinney says.


Council add, they have a small Animal Control Team which covers a large geographical area and incidents are dealt with as quickly as possible.


Residents are asked to contact Council directly on 3060 500 if they have information relating to an incident, roaming stock or dangerous dogs.



Public Interest Journalism funded through New Zealand On Air.

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