Bitza Yogi loses ?dangerous? tag
By JAMIE BROWN
YOGI, the bitza, has won back his freedom, six years after being declared a dangerous dog.
And his Casino owners now want other people with declared dangerous dogs to stand up and fight for their pet's rights.
But Richmond Valley Council's manager for regulatory control Peter Cotterill says the new laws dealing with dangerous dog declarations are there for a reason.
Six years ago then-puppy Yogi, a mix of Kelpie cross and silky terrier, ran out of his yard at Coraki and approached a woman on the road.
According to owner Heather Gurney he just wanted to say hello.
"He has the ability to smile," she said, "But the woman mis-read that smile and kicked out at Yogi, who nipped her on the back of the leg."
Now the dog is nine years old, slightly overweight and hardly a threat, says Mrs Gurney.
On Thursday, at local court, she convinced the magistrate to lift the dangerous dog declaration.
Mr Cotterill, meanwhile, says the council ranger was tied up with eight dog attacks over the most recent Christmas break, with four in Woodburn alone.
Under new direction from State Government, rangers now spend up to three full days on each case, tying up valuable resources.
"However, we view dog attacks quite seriously," he said. "We've seen nasty results of dog attack ? especially on kids. If dangerous dogs were kept on their property this would never happen."
Mr Cotterill said the woman who was attacked by Yogi still bore the scar and her original wound took a long time to heal.
Mrs Gurney said interested owners of dangerous dogs could call her on 6662 2580.