Hotel attack dog could be destroyed

A dog ordered to attack a bar manager by it's owner could be destroyed. Photo: file
A dog ordered to attack a bar manager by it's owner could be destroyed. Photo: file

A dog used by its owner to attack the bar manager and patrons at the Railway Hotel in Greymouth, was today described as "a very dangerous dog that will attack on command".

The Grey District Council is now awaiting a court order for its destruction.

The dog's owner, William James Andrews (25) a recent arrival on the West Coast, is currently in custody in Christchurch Men's Prison after he appeared in the Greymouth District Court yesterday charged with assault and using a dog as a weapon. He is due to reappear in court again on May 23.

Animal control officer Paula Kerr, who was called to remove the dog from the hotel after the attack on Friday night, said the future of the animal depended on either the police or the council seeking a court order to destroy it.

She believed police would lead that charge but if not the council would do it.

"The family members are working co-operatively with us," Ms Kerr said.

Ms Kerr said the dog was not registered in the Grey district and was "very new to the area" after its owner had moved here from Wellington.

It had since been registered and was seized under section 71a of the Dog Control Act, with its destruction requiring a District Court order.

Ms Kerr said that in her assessment the dog was not aggressive by nature.

"I have assessed it as aggressive on command. By training it is a very dangerous dog that will attack on demand."

From a statutory point of view, public safety and securing the dog was paramount, Ms Kerr said.

"I entirely believe had I not gotten control of that dog in that situation there could have quite easily been a lot more victims."

It had calmed down when she arrived and was caught using a catchpole in a matter of about 30 seconds.

"It had calmed down but when I got there though I knew to direct the dog away from the owner ... the dog was scared," Ms Kerr said.

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