Police to seize guns used to kill dogs

A rifle and a shotgun used in what has been called a "bloody, rifle-killing frenzy" when 33 dogs were killed in Northland on Monday, are about to be seized by police.

The dog owner, Rowan Hargreaves, who saw the dogs he called "his family" shot dead on his property on Monday, was also being counselled by close friends, said police.

Police said today they would seize the rifles after the dogs were shot dead in a row between Mr Hargreaves and his neighbour Russell Mendoza near Wellsford.

The SPCA was also expected to announce today charges would be laid for the inhumane killing of the dogs.

The dogs were shot by Mr Mendoza and another man after Mr Mendoza's fox terrier was found dead and Mr Mendoza blamed one or more of the 39 dogs Mr Hargreaves owned.

Senior Constable Barry Rose from the Wellsford police said the police investigation into aspects involving the weapons had not been completed.

Police had had "reasonable co-operation" from both men.

Mr Rose said he had dealt with animals for much of his life and had killed animals where necessary but the sight of 33 dead dogs on Mr Hargreaves' place was "awful".

"From what I saw they didn't die as I would expect them to die."

He said they should have died from one shot each to the head but there were many empty cartridge shells where the bodies were found.

"There was more (empty shells) amongst the blood and guts," he said.

SPCA chief executive Bob Kerridge said today the dogs would have been terrified.

"It was a total massacre."

Mr Kerridge said animals instinctively knew when they were in danger.




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