Dog not a threat, owners submit

A dog owner is objecting to having it classified as dangerous by the Waitaki District Council after it "nipped" an Oamaru woman.

Bear, owned by Theresa Coldicutt, was tied up in Robert Coldicott's vehicle while he was sweeping the chimney at Brenda Kelly's house in Oamaru.

Mrs Kelly had previously patted the dog, after asking Mr Coldicutt if she could, but later when she tried a second time she was bitten on the arm.

Mrs Kelly called dog control, Bear was impounded and a dangerous dog classification issued by the council to Mrs Coldicutt.

Now, Mr and Mrs Coldicutt have appealed the classification, which will be heard by the council's hearings committee on February 18.

Mrs Kelly has made a statement about the incident for the hearing, along with a photograph of the bite mark.

Mrs Coldicutt agreed Bear's behaviour was unacceptable, but Mrs Kelly put her hand into "his personal space and territory" while he was tied up in the back of the vehicle.

"He did not attack her, he only nipped her," she said.

Bear did not fit the category of a dangerous dog, but they would have him microchipped and kept secure.

At home, he was chained up and not allowed to roam.

The classification comes under the 1996 Dog Control Act.

A dangerous dog classification required it to be:

Muzzled and on a leash at all times.

Neutered, unless unfit to do so.

Restrained on its own property by fences, with access for visitors to at least one door without having to pass the dog.

Owners of dangerous dogs also had to pay high annual registration fees.

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