One of two schnauzer dogs implicated in the deaths of three lambs on a Lower Shotover property has had its menacing dog classification overturned.
A panel of Queenstown Lakes District councillors removed the classification for 13-year-old Pennie but upheld it for two-year-old Pepper following a hearing last week.
The dogs’ owner, Graeme Rodwell, told the Otago Daily Times he and wife Vicky were disappointed Pepper would be classified as menacing “in perpetuity” despite their efforts to prevent a recurrence of the attack.
“Vicki and I have done everything we can to get it right.
“‘We’ve got our own farm with a bunch of pets. We love animals, and what happened last year was very distressing to us both.
“It can never happen again and it won’t.”
The lambs were destroyed by the manager of a Spence Rd property after the attack on May 26 last year.
A council investigation concluded the dogs attacked the lambs after disappearing for 30 minutes while being walked by the couple.
The classification meant they had to be either confined to a vehicle or cage or muzzled while in a public place.
The couple told the panel of councillors Lyal Cocks, Mel Gazzard and Scott Stevens that after the incident they upgraded a boundary wire at their property, employed a dog trainer to provide intensive training and assessment, and took their younger dog for regular obedience classes.
Rodwell told the ODT he had not been trying to “cheat the system” by appealing the classification.
The legal system had a rehabilitation principle, and it seemed unfair their young dog was still classified as menacing despite the steps the couple had taken.
“We still don’t get that.”