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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 23048
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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My dog (a huskey) dug under my fence today and straight up

Customer Question

My dog (a huskey) dug under my fence today and straight up into a chicken coupe which is running alongside the fence. Unfortunately he has then killed some of the chickens. We live in a town and its always been a terrible temptation for the dog since the chickens are right on the fence boundary. The chickens are used provide their owner with eggs for their own use. The dog is not agressive, but has done what most dogs dog when they see what they would perceive is a natural prey right on their boundary. I tried to apologise and offered to pay them money to put it right but they have since taken the mater to the council. The council has now told us we have 48 hours to make a decision about whether or not to destroy the dog or we will have to go to court. I'm really distressed and do not know what to do. Please help.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 2 years ago.
The law which affects your situation is in the Dog Control Act. the first part relevant to your position is:-57Dogs attacking persons or animals(1)A person may, for the purpose of stopping an attack, seize or destroy a dog if—(a)the person is attacked by the dog; or(b)the person witnesses the dog attacking any other person, or any stock, poultry, domestic animal, or protected wildlife.(2)The owner of a dog that makes an attack described in subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $3,000 in addition to any liability that he or she may incur for any damage caused by the attack.(3)If, in any proceedings under subsection (2), the court is satisfied that the dog has committed an attack described in subsection (1) and that the dog has not been destroyed, the court must make an order for the destruction of the dog unless it is satisfied that the circumstances of the offence were exceptional and do not warrant destruction of the dog.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 2 years ago.
The dog control officer can seize and destoy the dog under this section60 Seizure or destruction of dog running at large among stock or poultry(1)The owner of any stock or poultry or that owner's agent or employee, or any constable, dog control officer, or dog ranger acting at the request of that owner, may forthwith either seize or destroy any dog running at large among that stock or poultry.(2)Where, under subsection (1), a dog is seized by any person other than a dog control officer or dog ranger, that person shall ensure that the dog is returned to its owner or delivered into the custody of a dog control officer or dog ranger.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 2 years ago.
The ranger can seize the dog under this section69 Impounding and subsequent disposal of dog(1)Except as provided in subsection (7) and sections 70, 71, and 71A, where any constable, dog control officer, or dog ranger seizes or is given custody of any dog under this Act, that dog shall, unless it is returned to its owner under subsection (3) or subsection (6) of section 52, be impounded until it is disposed of in accordance with this section.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 2 years ago.
And your rights under the act are71B District Court to determine appeal(1)The owner of a dog to whom section 71A(1)(a)(ii) or (2)(a)(ii) applies may appeal to the District Court against the territorial authority's decision.(2)An appeal must be lodged no later than 7 days after the owner receives a notice under section 71A(1)(b)(i) or (2)(b)(i).(3)The court must consider the matters specified in section 71A(1)(a)(i) or (2)(a)(i), as the case may be, and any submission by the territorial authority concerned.(4)The court may—(a)uphold the territorial authority's decision or order the return of the dog:(b)make an order in respect of any fees owing in relation to the dog under this Act.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 2 years ago.
So you can tell the council they will need to seek an order to destroy the dog. You would need to go to court and persuade the judge that this was not s bad that the dog should be destoyed and show measures to keep the dog in your section and secure. You may also need to get an expert to look at the dog and report on how safe it is