Christchurch City Council apologises for muzzle dogs at home order

The Christchurch City Council has apologised for sending inaccurate information to menacing dog owners.
The Christchurch City Council has apologised for sending inaccurate information to menacing dog owners. Photo credit: Getty

Christchurch City Council has apologised to owners of what they call "menacing" dogs for telling them their pets must be muzzled inside their own homes.

Last week dog owners were outraged after they received a letter saying dogs classified as menacing had to be muzzled at all times, including inside their own home. 

Dogs classified as menacing include: Brazilian fila, dogo Argentino, Japanese tosa, American pitbull and perro de presa canario.

The only exception was when the dog was securely contained inside a cage or vehicle, which would prevent it from biting but allow it to breathe and drink, the letter read.

Council Consenting and Compliance general manager Leonie Rae says the information sent out was inaccurate.

"The further legal opinion we have received supports the view that dogs classified as menacing do not need to be muzzled when they are inside their owner's house or contained securely within their owner's property," Ms Rae says.

 "This is contrary to the information the Animal Management Team sent out to owners of menacing dogs earlier this month."

"We're sorry for any confusion and upset that we have caused," Ms Rae says. 

She says the Animal Management Team were all passionate animal lovers and were trying to prevent other animals and people from being harmed.

"They were acting on the basis of a legal interpretation of what it means for a dog to be "at large''. 

Dogs get classified as menacing either because they are a specific breed or because they have attacked or behaved aggressively. 

The council will be writing to dog owners to update them. 

Newshub.