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Responsible dog ownership is not a matter of race says SPCA

Monday, 26 January, 2015

SPCA New Zealand strongly disagrees with Bob Kerridge’s recent comments in the media in which he links ethnicity with the high number of dog attacks in South Auckland.

“Bob’s comments are his personal views and do not reflect the views of the SPCA,” says Ric Odom, CEO of SPCA New Zealand, the national organisation that oversees 47 SPCA centres throughout the country, including Auckland.

“We would also like to clarify that Bob Kerridge does not speak for the SPCA as a whole – his position is Executive Director of SPCA Auckland only.

“Our staff, volunteers, and supporters include people from many different ethnic backgrounds who all share a common goal of advancing animal welfare in New Zealand. We proudly work with anyone who shares our common vision and would be horrified if Mr Kerridge’s comments led anyone to think that his personal views on ethnicity were shared by the SPCA. They are not.

“The SPCA believes responsible dog ownership is something every dog owner should practice regardless of their ethnicity or socio-economic status. If owners are not acting responsibly towards their animals we believe they should be held accountable, which is why we prosecute people accused of animal welfare offences.”

Responsible dog ownership includes training, socialising, registering, and desexing the dog, plus making sure the dog is not able to leave the owner’s property unrestrained.

“The onus is on dog owners to find out what their responsibilities are and act accordingly. Information about responsible animal ownership is freely available throughout the country from local councils and any one of our 47 SPCA centres so there really is no excuse for not doing the right thing,” says Mr Odom.