Animal management practise with regards to the puppy "Chip"
On 24 June 2016, we received a phone call about an abandoned dog on Pollen Street in Grey Lynn. The dog, nicknamed "Chip" by the person who found him, was picked up by our animal management officers and taken to our Henderson Animal Shelter.
Chip was identified by our highly experienced shelter staff as a chocolate Shar Pei Pit Bull Terrier cross, approximately eight weeks old. While he was in our care (between 24 June and 5 July), Chip received regular exercise and was weighed and monitored daily.
On 5 July, Chip was seen and assessed by one of our contracted veterinarians. At that time he was considered to be extremely malnourished and was struggling to maintain weight, despite the best care and attention. After this assessment the decision was made to euthanise him.
Since that time we have received several requests for information about Chip. We feel it necessary to be transparent about our animal management procedures and practise and publicly release this information on our website.
How we manage menacing dogs
Menacing dogs are defined under the Dog Control Act (the Act). This legislation informs our procedures and practice.
- Under the Act, a council can classify a dog as menacing if it considers that it poses a threat to any person, stock, poultry, domestic animal, or protected wildlife because of any observed or reported behaviour of the dog; or
- any characteristics typically associated with the dog's breed or type.
Councils must classify a dog as menacing if it belongs wholly or predominately to one of the five breeds or type of dog banned from importation into New Zealand.
- Dogo Argentino
- Brazilian Fila
- Japanese Tosa
- Perro de Presa Canario.
- American Pit Bull Terrier.
The act allows us to determine our approach to adopting/rehoming menacing dogs. Like many other councils, we won't rehome dogs that are identified as menacing after they come into our care. This has been our approach since 2010. However, considering our close relationship with the SPCA, we will remain open to further information or evidence that could inform our practice in the future.
Our statistics on dog bite prosecutions indicate that menacing dogs are far more likely to be involved in a serious attack (i.e. the ones we prosecute) than the general dog population in Auckland. Because of this, we cannot in good conscience adopt them back out into the community.
Management sign-off is required in cases of euthanasia to ensure our procedures have been correctly followed.
The issuing of death certificates for dogs that are euthanised in our shelters doesn't form part of our standard operating procedures. As such, a death certificate does not exist.
For further information on our animal management procedures and practice, please see information in the Dogs and other animals section of our website.
Assessments and medical care for Chip
No tests were performed to diagnose illness relating to Chip's condition. The independent vet who assessed him on 5 July agreed with our shelter staff that he was unwell and clearly malnourished as his head was disproportionate to the rest of his body.
Animal Management are not invoiced for each individual dog but on vet time and the specific service provided. The vets do not keep notes on individual dogs. Notes made by shelter staff and volunteers relating to the daily care of Chip are included in Documentation on Chip (download PDF below).