Elf was in foster care and had lived happily with other dogs and children. In 2015, Elf and another greyhound got out. It remains unclear what happened between the point that Elf and another greyhound got out and the point that they were collected but another owner accused Elf of attacking his dog. The carer’s response was to claim that Elf had been live baited. We assume that this was to perhaps illicit some sympathy from the other dogs owner, it may have been to protect his own dog that had also been loose at the scene, but what it did was seal Elf’s fate. Also, it simply was not the case.
After what we consider breed bias administrative error, intimidation, and poor investigation; Elf was declared by the regional council as a regulated dog – a dangerous dog. This is a life sentence, Elf will always have this label now and will need to be housed and managed as a dangerous animal – despite THREE behavioural assessments that he is not dangerous. Elf is currently housed at a pet resort, understandably it is not easy to rehome or advertise a ‘dangerous’ animal. Despite the love and care of resort staff, he doesn’t get to curl up on a couch or go on lovely walks, also this is at great expense to the rehoming group.
For the past year the AGSN has been working with the regional council, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, a barrister and rehoming organisations to attempt to remedy the situation and in February 2017, we had exhausted all our options. This is largely due to the fact that despite the errors made, the claim that he had been baited along with other circumstantial evidence would unlikely see the decision overturned despite the poor administrative process. The review and appeals process included seven official requests for information, hours of effort hundreds of dollars and hundreds of emails, sadly nothing could undo what had been done.
We have had many hounds come through our network, hundreds and I would eat my dog’s lead if anyone could pick from looking at the dog, which has been baited and which hasn’t. We have dogs from people since prosecuted for baiting that live with cats, dogs from hobbyist that haven’t baited that have incredible prey drive. Trying to guess and predict the dog’s behaviour, in my opinion is misguided at best and can be dangerous as demonstrated by the simple misguided offering ‘he’s been live baited’. Owners are best to consider the dog they have and how best to make them a confident family pet rather than inventing the circumstances of their dog’s behaviour and never helping them move outside of it.
Due to the differences in housing restrictions between states, Elf will only come to the ACT if we exhaust all other means. Ideally, he will be homed in Queensland, where the restrictions mean that he can move freely about a property during the day if fenced and signed. If you know anyone that would be interested and capable of adopting Elf, please contact us. We will of course hand over all reports including the independent behaviour assessments.