Over 300 dogs were euthanised for a menacing breed classification in the past year prompting calls for a different approach from one councillor.
In the past year, 382 dogs have been put down in Auckland Council animal shelters because of a menacing breed classification.
At the Regulatory Committee on September 13, Cr Cathey Casey asked if it was a matter of law or Auckland Council operational policy resulting in euthanasia for the dogs.
Animal Management principal specialist Christo van der Merwe responded euthanasia was not required under the dog control act and was council policy.
“When (dogs are) classified as menacing… they are deemed to be high-risk dogs,” Merwe said.
Merwe said a specific breed, pit bull terrier, was overrepresented.
“That is a problem at this stage. We are trying to focus on that through education.”
Casey, who is retiring from council, urged councillors who would be returning to address the issue.
“I have seen first hand the commitment compassion staff have for the dogs… I know the worst part of the job is the Friday morning euthanasia.”
Casey said that one of the biggest criticism she had heard was euthanising puppies.
“They have not lived a life yet… one dog euthanised is one dog too many.”
Casey said shelters needed adequate resourcing, bigger facilities and a bigger push to educate the public as the council’s “reach” was not there anymore.
She also questioned whether menacing breeds had be researched enough at council and whether there may be an option to give the dogs to “a wise home” instead.
Acting Licensing and Regulatory Compliance general manager Mervyn Chetty confirmed they could review their approach to the menacing dog classification.