RELATED COVERAGE: Neighbour fears for his family due to 'aggressive' dog
A TAMWORTH family has leapt to the defence of their beloved “gentle giant” of a dog that has placed them at the centre of a bitter neighbourhood row.
Renee Mountain and her children Charlie and Kimmi Smallwood have rejected claims their pooch, Shazza, poses a threat to their next-door neighbours.
The Leader yesterday reported on Ben Hudson’s fears that the 14-month-old dog would scale the fence and attack his wife or three young children. The 35-year-old said the dog repeatedly launched herself at the fence in such an aggressive way that he had taken to arming himself with a solid steel bar.
But Ms Mountain said the portrayal was a grievous misrepresentation of a young, enthusiastic dog that had always got on well with people.
She said Shazza was not – and had never been – a working pig-hunting dog, but a much-loved pet adored by Charlie, 15, and Kimmi, 12.
“It is a pup; it would jump on top of you and lick you to death,” she said.
“The little Maltese in the yard with it would show more aggression and the neighbours know that.
“She’s only jumping playfully. If you walk along the fence of any yard that has dogs in it – and they’ll do exactly the same thing.”
Ms Mountain said Shazza had put up with Mr Hudson repeatedly “yelling and screaming” at it and his children stirring it up by calling out and throwing things into the yard.
She also said it weighed just 36kg – well short of Mr Hudson’s 80kg estimate – and complied with all of the state’s dog laws.
“We’ve done everything right by the law in every way,” she said. “We told (Mr Hudson) on Saturday night that we’d tie it up during the day if it makes them feel better.
“I can guarantee the next thing they’ll complain about is her crying and whinging because she’s tied up.”
Tamworth Regional Council has investigated complaints made against the dog by Mr Hudson and concluded it was neither dangerous, menacing nor a restricted breed.
It has suggested the matter would be best handled by the neighbours coming to a mutually-satisfying arrangement themselves, or engaging in mediation.