Two people charged in relation to a serious dog attack in Ōtaki late last year pleaded guilty today in the Levin District Court.
Kelly Murray and Floyd Richards were jointly charged under Sections 57 & 58 of the Dog Control Act after two pit-bull-type dogs attacked and seriously injured two women last November.
Section 58 carries a potential prison term of up to three years or a maximum fine of $20,000. This is the severest penalty that can be imposed in relation to a dog attack.
Council’s Community Services Manager Tamsin Evans says “Council is relieved the accused chose to plead guilty to save the expense of a defended hearing.
This was an extremely serious attack, which left the two victims with shocking injuries, from which they are still healing.
Owning a dog is a huge responsibility. By pursuing this prosecution, which carries a possible jail term, Council hopes to send a clear message that people need to take that responsibility very seriously.”
The pair will be sentenced on 28 August.
Relevant Dog Control Act sections (58 Dogs causing serious injury)
· The owner of any dog that attacks any person or any protected wildlife and causes—
· (a) serious injury to any person; or
· (b) the death of any protected wildlife; or
· (c) such injury to any protected wildlife that it becomes necessary to destroy the animal to terminate its suffering,—
commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $20,000, or both, and the court shall, on convicting the owner, make an order for the destruction of the dog unless satisfied that the circumstances of the attack were exceptional and do not justify destruction.
57 Dogs 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 summary 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.