Auckland Council v Fountain [2017] NZDC 26922

Published 13 December 2018

Dog attacking domestic animals — whether exceptional circumstances exempting dog from being destroyed — Halliday v New Plymouth District Council High Court New Plymouth CRI-2005-443011, 14 July 2005 — Dog Control Act 1996, s 57. The defendant was a dog-owner whose dog had attacked a cat and killed four chickens. Under s 57 of the Dog Control Act, the destruction of dogs that attack is mandatory unless exceptional circumstances exist meaning that the dog does not warrant destruction. After reviewing the authorities, the court found that the dog's behaviour showed that he was capable of attack, and there was no other explanation for his behaviour. There was nothing exceptional in the circumstances that would mean the dog did not warrant destruction. Therefore the court ordered that the dog be destroyed. The court granted the defendant a discharge without conviction, as she was a good citizen whose lifestyle required flexibility of movement, and the consequences of a conviction would have been out of proportion to the gravity of the offending. Judgment Date: 21 November 2017.