Belinda McBride with her dog, Raffy. Photo supplied.
Obtaining orders to have a dangerous dog destroyed has
cost the Queenstown Lakes District Council $55,000 in legal
The council also paid about $10,000 in pound costs.
Dog owner Karl Evans (25) twice in court tried to save his
American pit bull/Shar Pei cross.
Lakes Environmental regulatory and corporate manager Lee
Webster said Queenstown accountant Belinda McBride advised in
December last year her Maltese terrier, Raffy, had been
attacked by the pit bull.
After an investigation, Mr Evans' pit bull, Kaya, was
impounded and given a ''menacing'' classification, meaning
the dog had to be muzzled any time it left the owner's
property, Mr Webster said. Then, on February 7, Ms. McBride
was walking Raffy on a leash in Lomond Cres when the pit bull
Ms. McBride said Raffy was taken from her grip by Kaya and a
tussle continued on the steps of her property. The pit bull
was not muzzled or enclosed, as Mr Evans' property did not
have a fully secured yard, she said.
''This dog had to be rushed to the vet. It had serious
injuries, bites, tears and was on a drip,'' Mr Webster said.
When contacted yesterday, Ms.McBride did not wish to comment
Mr Evans could not be contacted last night.
The council and Lakes Environmental, after finding Kaya a
serious threat, had asked Mr Evans ''numerous times'' to have
his dog destroyed, but he refused to do so and was ''adamant
it wasn't his fault'', Mr Webster said.
Mr Evans was prosecuted in the Queenstown District Court in
August this year when Judge Jan-Marie Doogue ordered the dog
be destroyed and the owner fined $550 and ordered to pay a
$462 vet's bill.
Impoundment cost ratepayers $9590 since February, at $35 a
Mr Evans appealed, and on November 8 Justice Forrest Miller
in the High Court at Invercargill found no exceptional
circumstances why the dog should not be destroyed.
Council regulatory and corporate services manager Roger
Taylor confirmed at the council's finance and corporate
meeting yesterday the case cost the ratepayers $55,000, most
of which went on legal fees.
''It was a very expensive exercise. The positive is it
resulted in a dangerous dog being removed from the
Mr Evans had applied successfully for legal aid, Mr Taylor
Four dog attacks on people were reported in the district this
year, down from 15 in 2011.
There were 12 dog-on-dog attacks this year and 11 dog attacks
on other animals.