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Owners of attacked pets 'disgusted' with council's lack of action

Jordan Dunn
Tanya Matsis
Tanya Matsis with Tahi (left) and attacked dog, Kira (right).  Supplied

Local pet owners can rest easier knowing a dangerous dog has been taken off the streets, but owners of the dog's victims and a vet are ‘disgusted’ the council failed to act sooner.

Two dog owners and a vet are slamming the Christchurch City Council for its slow response to getting a dangerous dog off the streets.

Carroll Ann Kiri is the owner of a West Highland White Terrier (Westie) and a Pomeranian that were attacked in December by the dog.

It jumped the fence into her property, killing the Pomeranian and seriously injuring the Westie.

Kiri said she contacted the council. An animal control officer arrived a few hours later to take photos.

The dog was deemed to be dangerous and required to be securely fenced on its property.  

Kiri said she was informed the same dog had attacked two Staffordshire Bull Terriers the same day. 

Pomeranian
Carroll Ann Kiri's Pomeranian, Poppy, before being attacked Carroll Ann Kiri

Tanya Matsis is the owner of a Shih Tzu mix, which was attacked in Woolston on April 8.

Matsis was frustrated the council did not take the dangerous dog into custody for four weeks following the attack on her dog.  

"The council came back to me and told me there wasn't enough evidence, which was frustrating because there were three other people that said they knew the dog and one could identify where it lived."

Matsis had evidence in the form of security footage from the petrol station across from where the attack occurred. 

"It was terrible. I felt like I was the one trying to get the evidence. They should have checked themselves," she said.

Matsis believed the city council wasn't taking dog attacks seriously. 

"They need to speed it up. They had enough evidence to keep the community safe. They knew this was an unsafe dog and still didn't do anything about it."

Local vet Karen Fausch, who was tasked with saving many of the attacked animals, believed the attacks could have been prevented. 

"If these attacks had occurred in a more affluent area of town, they [the council] would have acted earlier," Fausch said. 

"Their lack of action after the first attack, witnessed by many credible vets and staff, cost the little Pomeranian his life."

Evidence was provided to the council employees after each attack in the forms of witnesses and photos.

"The owner of the dog came into the clinic soon after as he heard there was a dog attacking and he thought it would be his. What did the council do? Ignore all pleas to impound this killer so determined to kill he went into a stranger's house." 

Tracey Weston is Head of Regulatory Compliance at the Christchurch City Council. 

"Attacks of this nature can be complex," Weston said.

"The timeframe for this investigation was no longer than we would expect for incidents of this nature to take."

Kiri and Matsis are seeking compensation from the owner of the dangerous dog for vet bills but have little faith they will receive anything.