The owner of a dog that died when it was left leashed inside
a car says being taken to court over the incident is like
killing the animal twice.
Jae-Hak Lee, 21, and Insuk Choi, 20, were each charged with
recklessly ill-treating an animal, over the death of their
dog on Boxing Day.
Court documents say the pair left the dog "leashed inside a
car, causing it to die".
The pair entered no pleas in the North Shore District Court
yesterday, where police offered them diversion on the
Outside court, Mr Lee said he was "pleased" to get the chance
to avoid a conviction as neither he nor Ms Choi had any
He was unhappy about the charges being laid, saying: "Coming
to court is like killing our dog two times".
On Boxing Day Mr Lee and Ms Choi left their eight-week-old
Shih Tzu-Poodle cross in the car for about 90 minutes.
They left the window down a little and the dog had food and
water, Mr Lee said.
But on their return to the vehicle they discovered the dog
had died, so they called police.
Mr Lee said he felt "really bad" about what happened.
Hans Kriek, of animal advocacy group SAFE, said such
instances of shoddy ownership were fairly common. The former
SPCA inspector said many owners didn't appreciate how hot it
could get inside a vehicle when a dog was left there.
"The sad thing is most people don't intent to kill their dog
in this way. They are just negligent. They don't think."
Mr Kriek suggested making prospective dog owners undertake
some sort of assessment about their knowledge of the animal's
This case was a reminder to dog owners not to take the risk
of leaving their animals locked in a vehicle, he said.
- By Jimmy Ellingham of APNZ
Diversion is a scheme run by police that allows some first or
small-time offenders to avoid a conviction in exchange for
performing set tasks or paying a donation to charity.
If that is done to the police's satisfaction they withdraw
the criminal charge, which in this case carries a maximum
penalty of three months' jail or a $50,000 fine.