Reprieve for dog that mauled seal

A Wainoni man has been discharged without conviction for a dog’s attack that meant a fur seal savaged on New Brighton beach had to be euthanised.

Christchurch District Court Judge Raoul Neave’s reserved decision granting the discharge, issued in court today, means that the dog involved will not have to be destroyed.

Destruction of the dog would have followed conviction.

Judge Neave announced his decision in the case of Ray James Facer, 69, but said the detailed reasons for the decision would be issued next week.

Defence counsel Clayton Williams had sought the discharge for Facer, who was walking his daughter’s dog Onyx on the beach on October 11, 2017, when it was involved in the incident with the seal.

Facer said in an interview with officials that when the dog chased and attacked the seal – an incident witnessed by members of the public including Canadian tourists – he yelled at it and broke a stick over the dog’s back to stop the attack.

Department of Conservation rangers found the seal lying near the waterline. It appeared to be in shock and was constantly shaking and shivering, with blood all over its head and eyes. An eye had been punctured and it had suffered substantial blood loss.

Police officers were called to the scene and the injured seal was euthanised with a rifle shot to end its suffering.

At the request of prosecutor Heather McKenzie, Judge Neave made an order for Facer to pay $543 for the medical examination of the dead seal.