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Thread: Very sad, Bear& Kooda

  1. #1

    Default Very sad, Bear& Kooda

    I have been following Bear & Kooda's plight since the beginning

    'Dangerous' dogs doomed by VCAT decision - Cobram -

    MAY 23, 2012 4:25am
    'Dangerous' dogs doomed by VCAT decision
    A Cobram couple who challenged Victoria's tough new dog laws have lost the fight to save their dogs from death. Samantha Graham and Nathan Laffan now face an agonising decision.

    A Cobram couple whose dogs have been kept in the Moira Shire pound since September last year have lost their case to save their precious pets.

    Nathan Laffan and Samantha Graham said they were devastated by the findings of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which were handed down last Tuesday.

    The Cobram residents are the first Victorians to challenge a new dog law introduced last year after the fatal mauling of Melbourne toddler Ayen Chol.

    Chol was killed when she was mauled by a pit bull terrier.

    The new laws state councils can seize and destroy unregistered pit bull terriers and their crosses, based on visual identification.

    The trouble began in September, when Mr Laffan and Miss Graham tried to register dogs Bear and Kooda with Moira Shire Council.

    ‘‘We wanted to register them to do the right thing — we didn’t for one minute think Bear and Kooda had pit bull in them,’’ Mr Laffan said.

    ‘‘Our breeder told us they were out of a bull mastiff cross American bulldog and a staffie cross ridgeback.’’

    The dogs were seized by council and have been kept in the pound ever since.

    Moira Shire Council’s belief that the dogs were pit bull cross was upheld by VCAT last week. Despite evidence presented by Mr Laffan from veterinarians and the breeder about both dogs’ breeding, VCAT found that both Bear and Kooda met the Standard for Restricted Breed Dogs in Victoria, introduced in September 2011.

    Bear and Kooda reportedly met the standard because of their height, head shape, muscle definition and length.

    Mr Laffan and Miss Graham now face an agonising decision: appeal in the Supreme Court and keep the dogs in the pound even longer, or accept the findings and have Bear and Kooda destroyed.

    When Cobram Courier spoke to Mr Laffan and Miss Graham last week, they were still trying to come to a decision.

    ‘‘Honestly, I don’t think we were surprised we lost,’’ Mr Laffan said.

    ‘‘It was a very costly process, and the council had lawyers at their disposal.

    ‘‘It’s just so sad.’’

    Mr Laffan and Miss Graham said while they have 28 days to appeal VCAT’s decision, they are undecided about what steps to take.

    ‘‘To appeal will cost more money, and our dogs have been kept in a cage since September,’’ Miss Graham said.

    ‘‘This whole situation has been very unfair to them.

    ‘‘Obviously we would love to fight on, but it could take months, or even years, and we hate seeing our boys suffer in the council pound.’’

    Mr Laffan and Miss Graham had the opportunity to see Bear and Kooda on Friday, but previously had not been able to visit them at the pound for almost two months.

    ‘‘It’s been a very hard process. We’ve both had to take time off work and pay for travel to and from Melbourne,’’ Mr Laffan said.

    ‘‘It’s very cruel that the dogs have been locked up in the pound for so long.

    ‘‘On Friday when Sam went to see the dogs, she wasn’t allowed to touch them.

    ‘‘Sam has really suffered in terms of health — she’s currently on medication for insomia, anxiety and depression.’’
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Beau; 05-29-2012 at 08:18 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Sunshine Coast


    SOme gorgeous dogs there....but they didn't do anything wrong??? They are very much family pets by the sounds of it. It is such a shame that a toddler was mauled, but why punish dogs that didn't even do anything!!! What an absolute f*&Ked law!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. #3


    So disheartening

    And so it begins ....
    With a win under their belt now ,against Vets evidence as well , they will be harder than ever to stop.
    If you wern't scared before .... be very scared now .
    GageDesign Pet Photography
    Site still in construction so will post link when it's finished.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    SE QLD


    that sucks! F-you Victorian government

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    Depressing news. And I can't even see any pitbull in those dogs. Not that it matters either way. How on earth can anyone believe that this will in any way reduce the risks of dog bites or deaths?!

    And how shocking that their dogs where seized when they tried to register them. That will really encourage owners to register their dogs, won't it?! Governments can be so utterly stupid it is painful...

    And what is with the 'not being allowed to touch' the dog when she went to visit?! What kind of people are they to be so cruel to both dogs and people. There is just so much wrong with this story.

  6. #6


    Agree with chopa

    Now that the Vic goverment won this case, Staffy and Bully owners in VIC needs to be more cautious taking their dog out to prevent labeling. As soon
    as one public community label your dog as pitty base on physical looks, you will be in one hell of a ride.

    If im in VIC and would like to own a staffy or bully type of dog, I will be going to a breeder with PED papers, scan this copy and keep in my pockets. none the less
    it will be difficult to own one now because of this law.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southern NSW


    The Moira council must be extra vigilant...........The Wodonga and Indigo Shire have dogs go through htheir pound that look more like Pitty crosses than those two........They also ask trainers to asess dogs if the have had an aggression report. Two seperate trainers.
    It is a sad day for these owner and dogs, makes you wish you had an endless money supply so you could help them with the legal cost.
    I just wonder if there had been complaints, it seems so weird that things are so different in the same State
    Pets are forever

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010


    this is just discusting!
    those poor people... and the dogs!
    Victoria really has got problems!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010


    Thats fkn awful! And what gorgeous boys too!

    Bloody assholes

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Rural Victoria


    It is the damn law that is wrong. I don't see that VCAT had a choice, the law says that if unregistered dogs fit the legal description of a pitbull cross and don't have papers to show otherwise, council officers can declare them restricted. Many bull breed crosses will fit that description and so will boxer crosses and even some random mutts. It is like saying that all redheaded people should be jailed so they don't axe-murder.

    The weird thing is, if you have two almost identical littermates, say boxer cross ridgeback, and let's say one was registered with the local council as boxer X ridgeback and the other, with a different family was not registered (which is actually not legal, but sadly not uncommon in Victoria). Amnesty ends, some neighbour dobs in the unregistered one, council officers claim it is pitbull cross and seize it. Meanwhile, it's litter brother can go on happily and unless it rushes or hurts someone will never be seized. How totally stupid is that?

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