Topic

animal protection

20 petitions

Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Daryl Hitzman, Peter Flannery, adam hain, julie greer, James Houghton, koliana winchester, denise sims, mick gillam, mike charlton, matthew constance, darren grimwade, brooke savage, adrian raedel, allan sutherland, Mark Ryan, Christopher Whiting, Annastacia Palaszczuk, Jacklyn (Jackie) Trad, Mark Furner, Yvette D'Ath, Stirling Hinchliff, Coralee O’Rourke, Deborah (Deb) Frecklington, Timothy (Tim) Mander, Dale Last, Rosslyn (Ros) Bates, Andrew Powell, Dr Steven Miles

Save Hank from being euthanized by Moreton Bay Regional Council

See more on Hank's story and what else you can do to support him at: https://savehanktheneomastiff.com/ or his Supporters Page on FacebookReplay live video from the recent Walk for Hank on 13 January 2018 to hear from Hank's owners and the initial Investigating Officer who continues to support Hank to this day. The Short Version A person (child) was injured after an accident involving Hank, the Neo Mastiff. Whether anybody thought that the injury was deliberate or not, Hank the dog was processed under the guidelines of the AMCDA 2008 Qld and was declared dangerous. Photos and medical reports were made available to Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) at that time for the investigation and this was used when forming their decision that declaring him regulated was sufficient to manage community risk. Nowhere in the medical reports has any medical specialist confirmed conclusively that the injury was caused by a tooth or paw when the connection occurred - just an assumption has been made by everyone. No one - including the child’s mother - saw the moment of connection between Hank and the child. All that is certain, is that an injury occurred. MBRC is misleading the community and general public with false and unqualified statements that provide misinformation by saying ”horrific injuries” when no medical specialist has attested to that. Hank’s owners complied with the conditions attached to that declaration, confirmed by Moreton Bay Regional Council on multiple occasions, with all the regulations provided for a regulated dog. Except for the desexing, because of confusion over the dates that was required to occur, full compliance was maintained and confirmed as successful by Council over a number of months. Whilst the declaration and appeals process was occurring, the mother of the child was happy for her daughter, and herself, to visit on many occasions after the incident and with many more witnesses too...all with Hank present. It wasn’t until after a fall out with Hank's family and the rest of the neighbourhood that the mother went to a local state politician who contacted two Councillors and attempted to contact the Mayor and following that, the dog was seized and a destruction order issued.  That occurred many months after the accident, Hank's conditions being approved and compliance with those conditions, confirmed. Another fact that also remains is that MBRC were willing to put an offer on the table during mediation to have the dog returned home with some added requirements in December 2017, after Hank had been incarcerated for 7 months at that stage. That offer was withdrawn at the last moment when Council notified the mother who was now fixated on the death of Hank. Due to an interference of a local state politician to change a local government decision from dangerous dog to a destruction order in a case of double jeopardy which is an abuse of power and an abuse of process. To clutch at a straw of failure to desex to justify killing a dog to hide the real political influence that caused this interference of process, is unacceptable to the public and is not conducive to protecting a community generally. More Detail...Who Is Hank and What Happened? Hank, the Neo Mastiff, is a victim of a distressing situation.  Hank was involved in an incident where a local child was injured in October 2016. The incident occurred with many witnesses present at a neighbourhood gathering. After asking to pat Hank whilst his owner held onto him, Hank appeared to make a move to nudge the child after she proceeded to pat him, and made an unknown form of contact (that moment not witnessed) which caused her to need stitches. There was no malice or aggression observed and all witnesses agreed - as did the mother - it was simply an unfortunate accident. Of the incident in which the injury occurred, multiple witnesses present all agreed - including the child’s mother, that it was simply an unfortunate accident between an exuberant child and a clumsy, oversized pup still learning to handle his larger frame and coordination, especially as he (Hank) had just been playing with two other dogs, including that of the property owner hosting the get-together. The child's mother didn't realise her daughter had come over to the property initially as she had been left at home alone to care for her young foster brother.  At some point in the evening, it was Hank's owner Tam who noticed the girl walking down the street and come over to the adults. Tam says of what happened next after seeing the child: "I called Hank to come to me, which he did and I held him by the collar as he had been playing with other dogs and was super excited at the time. [Child] came up and asked to pat [Hank] and I said 'sure'. When Hank jumped up then [child] started crying. I thought [Hank] may have accidentally headbutted her (as he has done to me accidentally when I bent down to pick up and throw his [toy] piggy for him)." and, "[The child's mother] stated in her statement when she heard [her daughter] crying she thought 'Oh, what now' and rolled her eyes". The child needed to be taken for medical treatment for the injury and an ambulance was called for as the mother was unable to drive.  It was Hank's owner, Nathan, that accompanied the little girl to the hospital. After a breakdown in the friendships amongst those involved, the incident resurfaced weeks later, but this time involving the local council.  A notice had been received by Moreton Bay Regional Council from Queensland Ambulance Service, as part of standard procedure because an injury had occurred between and a dog and a minor.  QAS had attended to transport the child on the evening of the accident for appropriate medical treatment as the child's mother admitted to be unable to drive. In the circumstances, Council had four options as part of their procedures.  These were: (1) Do nothing (in the case of unsubstantiated claims); or (2) Issue a warning or similar to the dog owner; or (3) Declare the dog a regulated 'dangerous' or 'menacing' dog under the Animal Management (Cats & Dogs) Act 2008 for Qld, where owners would need to comply with a number of home conditions for the remainder of the dogs life; or, (4) Issue a Concurrent Seizure and Destruction Notice under the same above Act.   In addition to witness statements overhearing similar statements from the child's mother, the Investigating Officer clearly recalls his conversation with her where she said said, it was an "accident". The child's mother did not want to participate in the complaint or make a statement but with the commitment to have the child's medical records sealed, she agreed to cooperate and provide the information they requested, yet still at no time suggested she wanted Hank destroyed.  Council never sought destruction either though as seen above, they could have. In fact, the child enjoyed Halloween one week after the accident at Hank's home (with Hank present) and the mother and child even attended a Christmas Day breakfast (still with Hank present). There were other occasions too where the mother and child did not appear to be bothered by Hank, other than one day when the child was observed teasing him with a stick against Hank's fence making him bark and a neighbour had to intervene to stop her. Moreton Bay Regional Council determined that a regulated dog declaration was suitable action to take.  The Investigating Officer felt requiring Hank to wear a muzzle in public would be particularly appropriate to help prevent any future risk though the only way Council could enforce this particular condition (Schedule 1) allowed for in the Act was to use the 'dangerous' component. "I based my recommendation [when investigating the original incident] on Community Safety and put measures in place that whilst Hank was in a public place he should be muzzled. I had no concerns in how Hank was being kept as Nathan and Tammy were very responsible pet owners and neighbours…” Quote by original Investigating Officer from MBRC to spokesperson for Hank’s family, 31 December 2017 In the new year of 2017, other than a falling out of friendships, including between the children, things mostly appeared to return to peace again, or so it seemed.  Despite originally exercising their right to have the declaration reviewed through an external tribunal (QCAT) after the internal Council-managed reviews were unsuccessful (and the declaration was upheld both times), Hank's owners acquiesced to Council's request not to pursue the matter further at QCAT (though it was their right) as they were happy to keep the peace and having already invested time and money to comply with proposed conditions (including taking extra precautions for even further cooperation), they complied with Hank's permit conditions and cooperated with Council for in all manners requested.  Their compliance was confirmed at Council's multiple, regular inspections and even recorded phone calls.  No further complaints were substantiated, no further incidents occurred and destruction was never expressed as a potential course of action for Council at any time. Though tensions had increased somewhat in the street with the injured child's mother, towards not just Hank's family but all the neighbours, suddenly and unexpectedly, the unthinkable happened.  Despite no incidents having recurred or justification, Hank was suddenly seized on 23 May 2017 whilst his owners were not home and a destruction order was issued simultaneously. The child's mother appeared to have changed her feelings on the matter and was now calling for Hank to be destroyed. How MBRC are saying they justify the seizure and destruction order: Council claim Hank hadn't complied with one condition - the compulsory desexing of a dangerous or menacing dog, per the Act (s 70). The Act only provides for a fine in that circumstance. But even so, Hank's family have always maintained they were told the date to have him desexed by was not due yet so even if desexing was justification, that condition had not yet been frustrated.  (The original Investigating Officer supports this claim as it was he, on the instruction of Council and with approval from his superiors, that advised Hank's family that the desexing condition didn't have to be fulfilled for some time and this was advised in conjunction with the family agreeing to Council's request they not to pursue the matter further to QCAT.) Furthermore, Hank's owner Tammy was between jobs at the time they agreed not to go to QCAT, and had advised Council of this.  She had expressed to Council that they intended to comply to desex by the new deadline but with money being a little tight temporarily, it would be difficult to be done quickly but it would be done. Council also claim - depending which of their statements you read (eg. 1) - that Hank presented a risk to community safety.  This is equally confusing because Council confirmed Hank's family had been complying with all their conditions repeatedly and have not provided any evidence of issues otherwise during that time or since.  No other issues had occurred in relation to Hank's behaviour and no other complaints had been received and substantiated.  The purpose of the Act's conditions were successfully effective.When asked to comment about MBRC's claim towards of a risk to community safety, the initial Investigating Officer says, "[In my opinion] the actions MBRC have taken now are fear-based. I believe they’ve done it in response to someone or something, fearing in case something happens in the future that they could then be held responsible for a perceived lack of action. I believe it’s a fear that this council has - I don’t know why, because there’s no need to. The owner has been very responsible and we wouldn’t be having this discussion if the dog had really bitten the child - the owner would have made the decision to euthanise Hank herself!" Council, in another article (2), again claim a mixture of "failure to comply" and restrospective opinion of the "seriousness of an unprovoked attack".  This is again astounding for not just only the reasons above as to how a non-compliance should be treated (a fine), but also because they chose words to call the incident an "unprovoked attack" after never having interviewed any of the witnesses (who have always been willing and available).  It seems Council repeated the mother's most recent public statement, contradicting others she'd previously made on many occasions, knowing the mother never actually saw the incident so couldn't make such a statement (again, confirmed by recorded interviews the original Investigating Officer had with the mother)! At no time in the months that Council conducted their regular compliance inspections or elsewhere in other communications with Hank's family did they suggest anything about pursuing destruction or desexing being overdue.  No incidents occurred again, no substantiated claims were received...nothing to justify a sudden seizure and destruction! Council's efforts to justify their application of the Act boggles the mind.  Hank's first external appeal in August 2017 at QCAT was unsuccessful to overturn his destruction order and Hank's lawyers urgently applied for a second appeal which was heard in December 2017.  Unfortunately due to illness, the original Investigating Officer was unable to attend and this appeal was also unsuccessful to apply the Act to justify their actions is highly confusing and though not excusable, somewhat unsurprising that even a QCAT Member struggled it in one of the external appeals that Hank's owner did pursue after his seizure.   The original investigating Officer says when he heard about the December result and events, “…it is really disappointing to have heard such news. [Animal Owners] have been very compliant with the Councils [home conditions] decision and have acted above and beyond the required conditions for the keeping of a Declared Dangerous Dog (DD)… …I believe Hank was seized before [his desexing date was due]…. …I am aware of other DD Dogs that still live within our MBRC region that I personally believe are more of a threat or risk to our Community than what Hank is… …The action and decision made initially I believe was fair and just. The action MBRC have taken is unfair and fear based…”‘Save Hank the Neo Mastiff. #savehanktheneomastiff’ Facebook Group [archived], 24 December 2017 How #RSPCADakabin fit into all of this The seizure and destruction order should never have been issued and it shouldn’t have progressed further – but it did, and things got worse… Behind all of the trauma of the rescinded home conditions and mis-handled seizure by Moreton Bay Regional Council, Hank has been impounded since May 2017 in RSPCA Dakabin’s facility who have the contract to run this Pound for Council. Despite originally allowing Hank’s owners to visit with reasonable flexibility, including weekends, Council has continually reduced the allowable days, times and frequency to the point they are now restricted to inflexible, narrow time slots on weekdays – something increasingly difficult for them to do around their day-to-day work. After all, the reality is that life goes on for the rest of the world whilst Hank’s family must continue to provide for themselves and their other (human) children. RSPCA vets are not allowed contact with Hank to treat his current ailments and plans that were in place to desex him after incarceration were abandoned given the inability for Hank to be provided post-surgery care (after anaesthetic) if needed. Moreton Bay Regional Council refused RSPCA Dakabin to allow Hank’s family an independent behavioural assessment after originally permitting it. The three allocated carers at RSPCA Dakabin are confusingly forbidden by Moreton Bay Regional Council to take Hank out of his enclosure to exercise him in an approved area…but they are allowed contact with him inside his enclosure. Therefore, Hank’s owner is the only person permitted by Moreton Bay Regional Council to be allowed to take him out so he can move and exercise and, for reasons in addition to those previously stated (prevention of reasonably flexible access), this means he only sees grass twice a week for 45 minutes at a time. If his owner is unwell or unable to attend, Hank simply goes without this basic right yet rare opportunity to exhibit natural behaviour and enjoy fresh air and sunshine. Hank’s “home” for the last 8 months has been a less than 1×2 metre pen exposed to the elements – when it rains and storms his cage becomes wet and he suffers from the effects frequently damp skin brings. Hank’s family were forbidden to take anymore photographs after those taken in June 2017 showing infections, new since his incarceration and they are closely supervised at all times by Council representatives when they do visit Hank. Hank has suffered from kennel cough, and continues to suffer from muscle wastage, infections, inflammation in his limbs and pus-filled lesions. Hank has needed to be on antibiotics constantly (added to his water given vets are not allowed to provide intravenous delivery) to manage the inevitable medical conditions caused by constant suppression and sub-standard conditions as enforced at RSPCA Dakabin by Moreton Bay Regional Council. It is evident even to the layman with little knowledge of basic animal husbandry that the facilities RSPCA Dakabin have are only for temporary housing and they are not equipped to house an animal like this for extended periods of time even without the additional oppressive and extreme authoritarian measures Council is demanding. Neo’s are known as a sensitive breed that needs their family to thrive. Young dogs need regular exercise to ensure proper development and large breeds are not finished growing until they are between three and four years of age. Hank is also in a critical socialisation period and is being robbed of his chance to continue to mature into a safe dog. Naturally, Hank is now not only sick due to excessively strict conditions stipulated by Moreton Bay Regional Council but he is depressed and lethargic as any animal, or human, would be in such a situation. What happens to a pet in the RSPCA’s dog-jail? It is well documented the effect of extended kennelling on dogs.  RSPCA’s own write up of the effects of extended kennelling on the behaviour of dogs can be viewed here. The Double Standard Towards Hank in the Care provided to him at RSPCA But of course the write up of extended kennelling applies to puppy farm dogs. The RSPCA does not believe puppy farmers should be allowed to keep dogs in extended kennelling because of an implicit and scientific understanding that it is cruel. However, while puppy farmers confining dogs in such conditions is deemed by the RSPCA as unacceptable, reports from Hank’s owners show that the care Moreton Bay Regional Council has limited RSPCA to being able to provide Hank is identical or arguably, worse! Hank's website shows the last photo his owners were able to take in June 2017 with his infected legs before their supervision at visitations became even more tightly controlled by Council. Hank is very ill from the conditions he has been kept in and is in an environment sub-standard for such length of time. He’s being exposed to the health and welfare implications of being held with the thousands of other animals being processed through RSPCA Dakabin annually. Distressingly, his case is mirroring that of other known dogs who have spent extended periods in “care”. Link: What happened to sweet Roxy at the RSPCA Link: What happened to Braveheart at the RSPCA Hank continues to be subjected to the known damages caused by extended kennelling whilst they fight for him after a grossly unfair seizure and unjustified pursuit of a destruction order. This much loved, gentle giant with so many supporters is heartbreakingly wasting away behind bars. HANK HAS NOW BEEN IMPOUNDED LIKE THIS FOR 8 MONTHS and risks destruction at any moment by a malfeasant council department. To continue to keep Hank incarcerated is a cruel and unusual punishment. The Status Now (16/1/18) Right now, another appeal with QCAT for an external review is pending.  But this will mean Hank will remain incarcerated by MBRC until at least April 2018 - making the total time of his imprisonment being 11 months.  If the next appeal at QCAT is unsuccessful, the destruction order will stand and unless Council acknowledge they let a mistake originally not to hard to come back from get out of hand and become the monster mess that it is now, Hank will be put to sleep. Hank will be put down without his family with him and after as patiently as possible enduring 11 months of hell, caged and locked away. The Solution Is ObviousMoreton Bay Regional Council is not required to destroy Hank by the AM Act. The only sensible course of action here is for them to reinstate the approved conditions for him to remain with his family and send him home immediately. Or, at the very least, urgently return to the mediation that was occurring in December 2017 where negotiations were successfully progressing to a positive conclusion before they too were cruelly withdrawn at the last minute. Requests by Nathan & Tam to meet and personally discuss the matter with Mayor Allan Sutherland and CEO Daryl Hitzman have been denied.  With all things considered, surely common sense, humane treatment, decency and fairness should prevail. Council continues to ‘remind’ Nathan and Tammy of the mounting bill for Hank’s incarceration that is looming over them. As advised to them on 2 January 2018 Council claim the costs Hank's family are now liable for is at $11,140 “directly associated with seizure and impoundment” and rising by $50 per day, not even including food and veterinary care (the latter provided at a distance without even coming into contact with Hank). It seems this matter could have been settled long ago without the need for this, and other expenses, to be incurred by anyone. What Hank’s family want Moreton Bay Regional Council to permit RSPCA Dakabin to allow urgent access and contact with Hank by their vet to independently assess his current condition and provide necessary treatment or failing that, RSPCA Qld to review their complicity as a matter of priority which contradicts their own mission to prevent cruelty to animals; and Moreton Bay Regional Council to allow immediate relaxation of the unreasonable visiting hour limitations in place for them to include access on weekends, and as frequently as they are able to attend or failing that, RSPCA Qld to review their complicity as a matter of priority as per previous point; and Moreton Bay Regional Council to reinstate the original conditions as allowed and approved prior to his seizure on 23 May 2017, allowing him to promptly and without unnecessary delay to return home; and Moreton Bay Regional Council to commit to a review of their internal processes and policies in relation its staff and representatives’ training, compliance and administration of the AM Act. And, to further review accordingly any associated Local Laws, in conjunction with consultation of the local Community and respective animal welfare bodies which is an issue relevant to all pet owners. Please do not waste a moment in supporting Hank To assist, please urgently: Write to or Call especially Moreton Bay Regional Council (Mayor Allan Sutherland and CEO Daryl Hitzman) and RSPCA QLD to request their cooperation and support Hank’s family’s requests. A list of local officials and other useful contacts to appeal to can be found on the on the ‘How You Can Help Now!” page of the website https://savehanktheneomastiff.com Sign this Petition here on Change Like the Facebook Page to follow updates at Save Hank the Neo Mastiff Any supporters wishing to make a donation can also go to the GoFundMe page Follow the Instagram page for Hank’s supporters Follow on Twitter and tweet your support to government officials, tagging organisations, media or anyone who needs to hear about this! Share Hank’s story with other community groups, friends and family who may also wish to join in support - #savehanktheneomastiff Let’s not allow Hank to waste away and be forgotten but instead be his voice and the voice for other innocents.

tristtram deacon
76,002 supporters
Started 1 month ago

Petition to RSPCA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Animal Planet, Animal ACTion Network

BAN RODEO IN AUSTRALIA!

Rodeo has been a very popular sport all over the world as far back as 1869. The sport consists of horses and other livestock, (bulls) it is created to test the skill and speed of how long cowboys and cowgirls can stay on the animal until they fall off the animal. This consists of tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, bull riding and barrel racing.  On Saturday night, the 9th of December a bull had SNAPPED he’s back legs due to a rodeo event and eventually DIED at Adelaide entertainment centre and now the RSPCA are demanding to have this sport band. This is seen as ‘entertainment’ to large audiences all around the world. My question is why do riders eventually fall from the animal? Because they buck. And why do they buck? Because they feel threatened, they feel anger, torture the list could go on. This IS animal abuse and nothing less. I feel sick to my stomach knowing that individuals get a huge kick out of watching an animal being forced to have someone ride them until they are so angry and so sore that their only self defence is to buck and people literally PAY to see an animal struggle for its own safety.  I personally do not believe anything positive comes out of this sport and obviously many people will disagree. I only strongly urge people to sign this petition that see sense in my argument I will not condone any abusive comments within this petition this is being written simply to see a positive and cruelty free future for all animals. My sense of entertainment is seeing animals free and happy not forced into something they do not have the choice to do. Please think hard about the impact this sport can have on these innocent animals. Animals are not a form of cruel entertainment. Please share as much as possible to make a stand to end this cruelty!

Vanessa Pinos
993 supporters