We won't be destroying any dogs - SPCA

We won't be destroying any dogs - SPCA

The SPCA says it won't be euthanising any dogs, despite the Government banning animal shelters from adopting out breeds it considers dangerous.

"That's completely and utterly against our ethos," chief executive Andrea Midgen told Paul Henry on Friday.

"We're about speaking for those that can't speak for themselves. We're about animal welfare and care, and we will not be putting down dogs just because they look like a pit bull."

Associate Minister of Local Government Louise Upston on Thursday revealed tough new rules on dangerous dogs.

Owners will have to keep them fenced in, with warnings displayed on the property. The dogs will have to wear special collars, and be neutered.

All American pitbull terriers, Brazilian filas, dogo Argentinos, Japanese tosas and perro de presa canaries will fall under the new rules, as will any dog that's previously shown aggressive behaviour.

Animal shelters will not be allowed to adopt them out. Ms Upston hasn't explained yet what she expects animal shelters to do with them. In her speech announcing the proposed legislation yesterday, she didn't mention euthanasing, putting down or destroying any dogs.

"Govt and councils are going to have to figure out how you identify a pit bull-type dog," says Ms Midgen. "They're so interbred. One might look like it, but be predominantly a German shepherd."

Aside from that the SPCA thinks the changes are a step in the right direction, especially the neutering - which the Government will chip in $850,000 for.

But Ms Midgen has concerns the tougher rules won't be enforced, considering how many people get away with breaking the existing rules.

"Today, people with menacing breed dogs should muzzle them in public. How many times do you go out in public [and see a muzzled dog]? How is that enforced today? So where is this going to get us?

"Council needs to go out, and animal control people, and deal with these people that are not operating inside the law."

She also says most attacks happen inside the home, something the tougher rules won't prevent.