A Nelson woman says her rottweiler was wrongfully impounded for over a week in what she describes as the culmination of years of discrimination against her dog.
Jodie le Frantz says on June 24 she had five police officers and two Nelson City Council workers show up to her home to remove her eight-year-old rottweiler, Poppy.
Poppy is completely blind, has diabetes, and had not spent a night away from her owner in over five years.
Dog control were following up on a complaint about a similar looking dog which approached and barked at a woman the previous week.
However, the complainant has vehemently stated the dog was not Poppy.
“I was blamed for it, she contacted council, from there they thought it was me from the photos,” says Jodie.
As well as the complainant’s testimony, Jodie also sent verification from her vet that Poppy was not the dog in the photo.
“Council didn’t listen and still wouldn’t release her.”
Poppy also acts as a support animal for Jodie who suffers from PTSD.
She was not released until Saturday, July 4.
Jodie says council’s crusade against Poppy has been going on for years.
Poppy was classified as ‘menacing’ in 2015 when she got out of the property and someone called council to complain.
This was later upgraded to ‘dangerous’ after an encounter with a police officer entering her property.
Jodie fears this latest incident will give council the reasoning needed to put Poppy down.
However, Jodie will not give up without a fight.
“My animals are everything to me.”
Environmental Management group manager Clare Barton says part of council’s role under the Dog Control Act is to adopt a policy on dog control that has regard to minimising the danger, distress and nuisance to the community posed by dogs.
“Nelson City Council’s Dog Control Policy is designed with dogs, their owners and the safety of the general public in mind.”
She says in order to proceed with a prosecution under the Dog Control Act proof beyond reasonable doubt is required.
“In this case the witness statement has been withdrawn. Council considers that without this statement the evidential base is inadequate to proceed with a prosecution.
“Poppy has been returned to her owner.”