Walter the dog who pinched a woman is seized by South Gippsland council
A devastated owner is asking the local council to return his ‘child’ Walter after the dog was seized by authorities.
Warren Peart and his partner had a friend staying at their regional Victorian property in February when his beloved eight-year-old Tasmanian Smithfield popped up to say hello.
The woman slapped Walter across the face to get him away, before he bit her hand, causing a few small puncture wounds.
Mr Peart, who works in personal care, immediately treated her hand but said everything was fine, with the woman leaving their Welshpool home the next day.
A week later, South Gippsland Council authorities cornered him in a street and took Walter away.
He has not been seen for over 40 days.
‘It was appalling. We don’t have children, he’s our child,’ Mr Peart told Daily Mail Australia.
“It’s as if your child was taken from you, and you are not told where he is and you are not allowed to visit him.”
Walter, a beloved eight-year-old Tasmanian Smithfield, was taken by a local council and put in a cage for 40 days – his owners said they couldn’t visit their ‘child’
The woman had been staying with Mr Peart and his partner for a weekend. They have known each other for more than 10 years and Mr Peart said she is not too fond of dogs.
“She was helping us move some things from the veranda. Walter walked up to her and she knocked him down and told him to move, he then bit her hand,’ he said.
“We dressed his hand, my partner and I work in nursing, in personal care. He looked good. The following morning she suffered puncture wounds, but returned to Melbourne and claimed she had become infected en route.
The woman lodged a complaint with the council, rather than going to see Mr Peart and his partner herself, and a week later authorities began following Walter’s owner in their car.
“They told me – ‘we’re seizing your dog because he’s a dangerous dog,'” Mr Peart said.
“I could see they were following me around town, so I drove them around a bit.
“They then cornered me in a street and said we’re taking your dog, if you don’t let us call the police.”
Tasmanian Smithfields are known to be wonderful family dogs and great with children.
Walter bit a woman in the hand, leaving a few small puncture wounds. South Gippsland Council described him as a ‘dangerous dog’
Mr Peart said the men were ‘bordering on aggressive’ and extremely rude. He said it shocked residents of the Quiet Neighborhood.
It has been seven weeks since Walter was abducted and he now spends his days locked in a cage.
“We weren’t allowed to visit Walter. We’re not allowed to walk him, comfort him. He is locked in a cage and has been there for seven weeks,’ Mr Peart told Daily Mail Australia.
He said South Gippsland Council refused to allow him to see the dog because he could ‘bring wire cutters and take him away’ or ‘threaten shelter staff’.
Mr. Peart says this is ridiculous and he just wants to see his beloved Walter.
South Gippsland Council told Daily Mail Australia that Walter had been involved in two incidents in the past and that is why they were taking extreme measures with the dog.
Mr Peart said there was only one similar incident, when he bit a woman’s thumb as a puppy.
He was told he would not be able to see Walter until he appeared in local court in June, which would mean he would be without his “child” for more than 80 days.
Walter has been locked in a cage at a shelter for more than 40 days – with authorities saying his devastated owners won’t be able to see him before his court date in June
A council representative admitted that the case took longer than expected to be heard.
All investigations are time consuming due to the time it takes to put together a “brief of evidence”, the time to review the brief to ensure that all the evidence in the brief covers all the evidence for the or charges, then time to file the charges in the appropriate court,” a spokeswoman said.
The inquest has been completed and the case will now be heard by the Magistrates Court. A hearing date has been set and the owner notified. The hearing date was the earliest available.
‘It was appalling. We don’t have children, he’s our child,’ Mr Peart told Daily Mail Australia
They said they believed they had ‘no choice’ but to detain Walter for months because he had been involved in ‘two other proven dog attacks’. Mr Peart again reiterated that there was only one when he was a puppy.
South Gippsland Council said he was walked daily by a local animal welfare organisation.
A petition has been launched online to help return Walter to his owners, which has already seen more than 23,000 people sign up.
You can sign here.
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