Tag Archives: police dog

A mixed news week for dogs in Christchurch

It’s been a variable week of dog news here in Christchurch (to say the least).

The news was all bad by mid-week, when it was reported that two Rottweilers mauled a young boy of eight, named Mason Bennett.  Mason had been staying with his mother and her partner (who owned the dogs).    And there had been a previous incident when the dogs were aggressive with another young boy.

Read Dad’s shock at earlier attack by same dogs

The recent dog attack saw lots of comments about how Rottweilers can't be trusted.  Was it the dog or the owners who are to blame?

The recent dog attack saw lots of comments about how Rottweilers can’t be trusted. Was it the dog or the owners who are to blame?

In the same edition of the newspaper, columnist Rachel Young wrote about My dog was a rottweiler. In general, a defense of the breed, Ms Young also mentions in her story that when her family Rottweiler, Zeb, became unwell with kidney disease he became more aggressive.  Her parents decided to euthanize him.  To quote “Despite the loving environment, at times you can’t beat nature. In Zeb’s case, it seemed the protective, aggressive nature was developing as he got older and sicker.”

Which shows that even some dog owners don’t know a thing about dogs.  Maybe a sick dog lashes out because they are in pain and can’t communicate that in spoken words – and their family doesn’t get it!!!!!

This provoked a Letter to the Editor on my part – which the newspaper largely got right but they decided to edit it by attributing the dog attack to dogs that were unwell (which there isn’t any evidence of – just poor owners!)

The dog news turned for the brighter the next day when police dog Gage was honoured with the PDSA Gold Medal posthumously.  Killed in 2010 during a drug raid, Gage took a bullet that was meant for his handler Bruce Lamb.  The PDSA Gold Medal is known as the Animal’s George Cross, for civilian bravery.

Bruce Lamb tells his and Gage’s story here Shot police dog Gage honoured for bravery

Today is Monday and there is mixed news for dog owners in today’s newspaper.  Front page news is the story of landlords charging special pet bonds to allow tenants to keep pets.  This is when a tenant pays more than the standard four week’s rent upfront to secure their rental and it is illegal.

The story goes on to say that charging more for a pet-friendly rental (week to week, or month to month) is okay.  Unfortunately, since Christchurch is still in earthquake recovery mode, rental housing is at a premium.  Many dog owners don’t dare contest a pet bond because they need a home for all members of the family.  Read Landlords in dog box over pet bonds.

Further into the newspaper, some better news.  A little puppy of about six weeks old was found cowering under the seat of a car when it was stopped by police.  The offenders fled and the dog is believed to be stolen property.  A police constable is appealing for information about the wee puppy.

Read Police pursuit nets puppy

Here’s hoping that the stolen pup is returned home soon…

I’d like to see more positive news about dog and dog ownership in Christchurch.  But it seems that for every bad news story, we need about ten more to gain the confidence of the public.

How does your city/town deal with dog news?  Please get in touch.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Saying goodbye – a special tribute

When Kaiser, a two-year old German Shepherd member of the Plymouth, Massachusetts Police Department, was struck suddenly by severe kidney disease, it was decided to end his suffering.

On Friday, members of the Department gathered to give Kaiser a final salute as he entered the vet’s office.

photo courtesy of the Plymouth Police Working Dog Foundation

photo courtesy of the Plymouth Police Working Dog Foundation

Officer Jamie Lebretton, Kaiser’s handler, told followers on the Foundation’s Facebook page that  I feel privileged to have had a front row seat to witness his bravery and heroic actions while serving the people of Plymouth and my brothers and sisters in blue.  Out of love and respect for Kaiser, and with the input from our excellent vet, trainer, and family, I have made the heart wrenching decision to end Kaiser’s suffering. ‘

Kaiser was laid to rest at the Angel View Pet Cemetery in Middleborough.  He joined the police dog squad at the age of 5 months in 2011 and is gone too soon.

The care and love shown for Kaiser is just another story of so many – stand up and be proud that we love and bond with our dogs!

Protecting the paws of the canine cop

Police dogs in Berlin, Germany have been outfitted with neoprene boots that stop broken glass and other objects from injuring a dog when it is working.

The tailor-made shoes cost €80 (roughly NZ$120).

Police dog in boots

When the shoes were trialled, the police found that there was a reduction in the number of injuries at high-risk events (which include such things as football games and public riots).

police dog wearing shoes

The idea of dogs wearing protective footwear isn’t new.

The City of Duesseldorf outfitted its police dogs in 2008.


The Times


Officer Nikka, Vaughn Police Department

News broke this week that the Town of Vaughn, New Mexico has only one qualified police officer on staff.  And he’s a dog.

The town’s human police chief resigned after it was found that he was not allowed to carry a gun because he’s a convicted felon with a large outstanding sum in child support.  The only other human officer was convicted in 2010 of battery, leaving him unable to carry a gun or make arrests.

That leaves Nikka, who was purchased for the sum of $10,000 to sniff out drugs (drug traffickers work in the area because of its remoteness).

There’s only about 500 residents in the town and no one seems bothered that their only sworn officer is a canine.   Given the character deficiencies of the town’s human officers, some would say that Nikka is an improvement!

Source:  The Times

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand