The Buller District Council classified “Moo” as a “dangerous dog” after an alleged incident that occurred in 2006 when he was about a year old.
I had to go to Greymouth and he really wanted to come with me, but I was unable to take him, so I tied him up in front of my house with a bone and a bowl of water and arranged for a friend (Brian) to come by and collect him after I had gone.
Between the time I left and Brian arriving, a local woman walked by and saw Moo looking a bit down in the mouth and approached him. Every dog manual in the world states that you should never approach lone dog on a chain, but that aside, she apparently tired to pat him and he allegedly nipped her on the leg resulting in a bruise on her inner thigh…there were no teeth marks and the skin was not broken, so it was hardly a viscous attack, if indeed it happened at all. It’s also likely that Moo felt threatened, and that he was protecting his bone and his territory…and my property.
I now know that the woman in question has a reputation for being somewhat economical with the truth and was later convicted of theft and fraud for stealing money from her employer. If indeed Moo did nip the woman, it is unfortunate, but I’m not convinced it even happened and I should have counter-charged her for trespass…However, I chose to face the music, man up and take responsibility for my actions and my dog and face the consequences…BIG mistake.
As a result of the alleged “attack” I was branded by the Council as am “irresponsible dog owner” and Moo as a “dangerous dog.” Of course I contested the ruling and I was invited to a “hearing” at the Biller District Council in Westport, which meant I had to travel to Westport in my own time and expense to attend the hearing.
On arrival, I met with the Senior Dog Control Officer and was shown to a small backroom where I met two Councillors. The first, who’s name was (I kid you not) John Lennon, who was a real estate agent and the other, Margaret Montgomery, owns a holiday park.
It was evident from the get go that whatever I said, whatever evidence I submitted in Moo’s defence, any counter argument, reasoning or plea was not going to change the Council ruling, so it was in fact a total farce and the “hearing” was a further waste of my time and money and an entirely pointless exercise. Out of frustration and maddened by the absurd allegations and the obstinacy of the Councillors, I said, “OK, John, you’re a real-estate agent and Margaret, you own a holiday park, what qualifications do either of you have to determine the nature of a dog?” “Surely I am equally as qualified as either of you, especially as I am familiar with the dog…neither of you have even seen him!”
That got me to the next level, it was like a computer game, I had got past stage 1 and I now got to meet a guy called Terry Archer, who has a title something like “Senior Compliance Officer,” or something like that. Terry agreed that the two esteemed Councillors lacked the requisite qualifications to assess the character of a dog, but the bad news for me was that once the Council had made a ruling and that it had been upheld at a hearing, there was no further recourse, meaning that the Council’s ruling was the last word and I there was no other legal avenue open to me, I couldn’t take it to court as the Council had the jurisdiction to make a final ruling on the matter and the court would not hear the case.
I had to accept the ruling, which had all sorts of additional ramifications, such as Moo was now classified as a “dangerous dog” and I an “irresponsible dog owner,” his dog registration fees now incurred a 150% surcharge, he was required to be castrated, micro-chipped, restrained at all times, walked only on a lead and when muzzled.
Moo is not a Pitt-bull terrier, a Mastiff, a Rottweiler or a Mountain Lion…he’s a Border Collie! He likes chasing balls, retrieving sticks, working the sheep, lot of exercise, activity, mental challenge and having his tummy scratched…he is a spirited, intelligent, friendly, funny and loyal friend to myself and many people from around the world. He is an icon at Rongo Backpackers, as is trained to lead people on walks around the Karamea Estuary…he even has his own FaceBook Page (https://www.facebook.com/supermoo.thekarameawonderdog), which wasn’t started by me, it was made by one of his many friends and he now has 370 FaceBook followers…I ask you dear reader, if this dog was in any way dangerous, do you really think this would be the case?
The latest harassment from the Buller District Council is a $300 fine for Moo being walked off lead and unmuzzled…I consider it my civic duty to refuse to pay this fine and to defend my dog yet again against this repressive and patently ludicrous ruling…stupid laws should be broken, please write a few words in support of Moo, so that I might take it to the Council and finally get some closure on this madness…By the Way, Moo is now eight years old (which is 56 in human years), he’s more interested in sleeping in the sun and chewing his bone than attacking anything…he is not dangerous, he’s not a threat to anyone or anything…many of you reading this will know Moo…please take a few moments to write in support of his freedom…I refuse to restrain and muzzle my old loyal friend, I instead want to give him a peaceful end to his happy life to thank him for all the joy he has given us…please tell the Buller District Council what time it is…COMMON SENSE TIME!
Gallery of Photos of Moo NOT being Dangerous (I have thousands more and not one of them shows Moo being aggressive or threatening in any way)
Moo is a LivinginPeace Project treasured icon, he has helped our business and given our many customers a great time when they were staying with us…please add your comments below in support of Moo and let the Buller District Council know in no uncertain terms that enough is enough….FREE SuperMOO!!