Last night there were two dog shows on at the same time on TV1 and TV3 - this counter-programming is typical and reduces viwer choice. I watched the TV3 one, Dog patrol. And it was more about the humans than the animals. Anyone claiming libertarian sympathies would have been mightily appalled. The dumbed-down masses would have been entertained.
At the heart of it is the abuse of the unnecessary power given by statute to the dog authorities. This struggle has gone on ever since the NZ government tried to enforce the 1898 Dog Act on Maori communities. The extortion that is the dog tax must be resisted and this awful programme is ample evidence of how wrong it is and the consequences of it.
First was a yappy Shitsu who the owner says was yapping "at the fenceline" and that the gate was open - a passing dog (on a lead) bit it. The officer takes the owner's word it was inside the property when bit and hunts down the evil wrong-doer. And then the officer goes onto that property (while the owner is absent) and needlessly goes around the back and then conducts an interview with herself in that person's backyard in breach of privacy and courtesy and then later on once the owner comes to the pound she has the temerity to say about the bite: "do you ADMIT it?". Admit? It was the yapping Shitsu to blame - not the dog on a leash. The owner explains that it was outside the fenceline. But she still has to pay the extortion ransom to get her own dog back! Unbelievable.
But not as unbelievable as the reaction to an incident of a cat being attacked by a dog. Now this is South Auckland and so the sympathies of the viewer would never be behind the Maori family and their big ugly dog, but that's not the issue. The householder explains the cat winds the neighbour's dog up and the dog got hold of it and bit its head off. Now at no stage was it said that the dog was not on it's owners property - so that's not an issue. Too bad I guess, that's nature isn't it. It can't be illegal tfor a dog to kill a cat on it's own turf can it? Can it?
And from that we end up with a dog control officer getting scared of the women inside who came out swinging.. a bat. According to him. Instead of going away the officers claim it is an unregistered dog and so that gives them the excuse to interfere. The householders quite rightly object and then the next scene there is a column of a dozen police marching double-time down the street and onto the property with paddy-wagon and cop cars waiting. Un-believable! For an unregistered dog!? This is the sort of heavy-handed shit that turns the general public against the cops. This is what starts riots.
And the outcome? Charges dismissed. That's right - it was all for nothing. It was the police wasting police time and they ought to be charged for wasting their own damn time and for making a false arrest. It was a disgrace. Using team policing (the riot squad) for an unregistered dog... the height of pettiness.
These dog control officers - and the SPCA so far as their powers go - are self-serving and unnecessary. There should be an inquiry into this ridiculous situation.