Owners mount $30,000 fight to save pet dog from council

BITTERSWEET MOMENT: Kev Thomas visits his dog Bruce at the Ipswich pound.
BITTERSWEET MOMENT: Kev Thomas visits his dog Bruce at the Ipswich pound. Contributed

OWNERS of Bruce the bull Arab were back in the courts last week to appeal a decision to uphold an Ipswich City Council destruction order.

Kev and Chris Thomas, from Denmark Hill, estimated they had spent more than $30,000 in their fight to save their pet from being put down.

The court action means Bruce can not be relocated to another city.

Ipswich City Council previously stipulated that the family had to withdraw the appeal and pay 10% of the sustenance bill for the dog to be released for relocation.

Mr Thomas said he had approached five councils in an attempt to relocate Bruce, but the requirement that any council accepting the dog had to indemnify Ipswich City Council from any further incidents involving the dog made the task impossible.

"Every attempt for us to relocate Bruce was stonewalled by Ipswich City Council," Mr Thomas said.

"There was no genuine offer to relocate Bruce."

In January, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal panellist upheld the council's destruction order, stating the order was appropriate as a declared dangerous dog attacked a person entering the yard while the dog was not kept in an enclosure.

The owners said the attack occurred in the back yard, behind two closed and signed gates.

A ruling on the appeal is expected in the next 4-6 weeks.

Bruce has been in the pound since August, when the council issued a destruction order.

The Thomas family went to social media late last year when council seized the dog after two attacks, starting a Facebook page on Bruce's behalf and an online petition which stated: "I don't have a voice, but hopefully social media will help you find my voice".

More than 6500 people have liked the Facebook page and it is still attracting hundreds of comments, while the online petition to save Bruce has close to 3000 signatures.

Ipswich City Council declined the opportunity to comment on the QCAT appeal.

In a sign of the growing importance of pets in our society, an Ipswich couple have spent more than $30,000 in their...

Posted by QT - The Queensland Times on Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Topics:  bruce dog editors picks ipswich city council

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