I posted the original story about George earlier today on this blog but now we have more news. It appears that the two dogs that attacked the children and hurt George so badly he died from his wounds may have been given an illegal drug to make them hyper-aggressive.
Thanks to Stuff.co.nz for this update.
Dogs ‘given P’ to make them fiercer
By RICHARD WOODD and LYN HUMPHREYS – Taranaki Daily News | Thursday, 3 May 2007
The pitbulls that terrified a group of children will be destroyed today, amid claims that some owners feed their dogs P to make them more aggressive.
Yesterday, acting on a tipoff, animal control officers and police took the rogue dogs from a Manaia property.
The story made international headlines because a tiny Jack Russell terrier called George was badly mauled as he defended the children from the attack as they walked to a Manaia dairy on Sunday.
George was later put down because of his injuries.
But investigations yesterday by the Taranaki Daily News have revealed a horrifying new dimension to the menace of fierce dogs.
Stratford animal control officer Kieran Best says he’s heard of methamphetamine (P) being fed to pitbulls, making them more aggressive and very unpredictable.
“I understand it commonly happens in Rotorua.
“I haven’t seen a dog on P, but I’ve heard about it from drug squad police at conferences.”
While he had not heard of P being given to dogs in Taranaki, “if it’s happening elsewhere it’s quite possible it could be happening here”.
“The pitbulls I’ve had dealings with are naturally aggressive because of the type of people they are with. They keep pitbulls around because they don’t like visitors, and one can only presume they have something to hide, that they are into crime and drugs.
“They are paranoid about officials visiting and the dog emulates the owner,” Mr Best said.
While there is no suggestion the Manaia dogs were on P, an armed policewoman was on hand as they were cornered and loaded into a dog van.
Neither dogs nor owner resisted, South Taranaki District Council animal control manager Graham Young said. “We’re 99% certain these dogs were responsible for Sunday’s attack.”
The owner signed over the dogs to the council, but may still face prosecution for the dogs’ menacing behaviour.
George was so badly ripped apart in Sunday’s attack as he protected his young charges that he had to be put down.