$65,000 for dog's killing 'a waste'

Karl Evans says the Queenstown Lakes District Council wasted effort in the legal fight to destroy...
Karl Evans says the Queenstown Lakes District Council wasted effort in the legal fight to destroy his dog. Photo by Olivia Caldwell.
The council spending $65,000 of ratepayers' money to remove a dangerous dog from Queenstown's streets was a waste of money, the owner of a dog destroyed last month says.

Karl Evans (25), who as the owner of the pit bull terrier-cross dog, Kaya, was charged over two attacks on a neighbour's dog, yesterday confirmed he used up to $3000 from legal aid unsuccessfully fighting the case over his pet.

Mr Evans denied his dog twice attacked his neighbour's Maltese terrier and said the Queenstown Lakes District Council's push to have his dog destroyed was a waste of ratepayers' money.

''That's just ridiculous. How can they spend ratepayers' money and fight it in the High Court just to destroy my dog? Dogs are dogs, they fight each other, they bite each other.''

On Tuesday, it was revealed the council had spent $9590 on impoundment costs and $55,000 in legal fees to take Mr Evans to the District Court in Queenstown and then to the High Court in Invercargill to get his dog destroyed after he refused to have it killed.

Council regulatory and corporate services manager Roger Taylor said the money was justified by taking a dangerous dog out of the community. Mr Evans said the dog was not dangerous and the ''whole ordeal is ridiculous and so frustrating''.

Mr Evans said he felt hard done by from the actions of Lakes Environmental and the council over the dog.

After the first attack, Kaya was classified as a menacing dog, a classification Mr Evans unsuccessfully disputed. Mr Evans felt ''gutted'' to have his dog put down in November and said he did feel some remorse over the situation.

''I'm sorry the whole thing happened; it shouldn't have happened.''

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 veterinarian's bill. He told the Otago Daily Times yesterday he was paying the fine and costs in weekly instalments.

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.

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