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Husky owner Ryan Watt said Loburn woman Roxanne Dadswell deserved a criminal record for taking his dog, Wolf, on New Year's Eve.
''As far as I'm concerned, the woman has got off,'' Mr Watt said.
After a tip-off earlier this month, Mr Watt travelled seven hours to Loburn, near Rangiora and retrieved Wolf from a pack of dogs on Ms Dadswell's lifestyle block.
When contacted by the Otago Daily Times yesterday, Ms Dadswell said she was ''relieved'' with the ''slap on the hand'' for taking Wolf.
''I've learnt my lesson. I know not to take the law into my own hands.''
Ms Dadswell said she had taken the dog because she believed it had been mistreated. She said she was more regretful than remorseful about her actions.