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Update 16 January 2018 – One step closer to next Appeal at QCAT

From Nathan and Tam, Hank’s family:

“We have received some news that is finally positive for once! The ability for Hank’s appeal to be heard again at QCAT has made it through its first hoop. We are relieved that he is safe, for now.

But there are more hoops to jump. Hank’s appeal may not get a hearing until April 2018 and with that we have mixed emotions. Hank will have been locked up for almost a year by then. We continue to worry about his health and the stress he is under…something that weighs on us on a daily basis. Hank never should have been seized – Hank and our family were complying with what Moreton Bay Regional Council asked of us so his incarceration since May 2017 in such strict and limited conditions to cause this suffering, has been a cruel and unusual punishment we have not been able to accept.

We will await news from our legal team if this hearing can be brought forward and we will let you know when we know more.

In the meantime, thank you for your support. We need it more than ever now. It’s been a really long road but we’ve come so far so please stay with us now. We are confident that it has been through the support of everyone that we are even still standing. And we’ll keep standing and fighting for Hank as long we have breath.

The Walk for Hank on Saturday was a great success and we were so humbled by everyone’s attendance and support, even those that couldn’t be there. We raised over $400 which will help towards some of the expenses in getting Hank’s next appeal considered. Thank you so, so much.

It is an emotional time for us at the moment, for many reasons, but we can’t thank everyone enough.

Love Nathan, Tam & Hank

#savehanktheneomastiff #onehurldedown

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The Story – in Brief

You asked for it, so we’ve provided a shorter version:

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A person (child) was injured after an accident involving Hank, the Neo Mastiff.

Whether anybody thought that the injury was deliberate or not, Hank the dog was processed under the guidelines of the AMCDA 2008 Qld and was declared dangerous. Photos and medical reports were made available to Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) at that time for the investigation and this was used when forming their decision that declaring him regulated was sufficient to manage community risk.

Nowhere in the medical reports has any medical specialist confirmed conclusively that the injury was caused by a tooth or paw when the connection occurred – just an assumption has been made by everyone. No one – including the child’s mother – saw the moment of connection between Hank and the child. All that is certain, is that an injury occurred.

MBRC is misleading the community and general public with false and unqualified statements that provide misinformation by saying ”horrific injuries” when no medical specialist has attested to that.

Hank’s owners complied with the conditions attached to that declaration, confirmed by Moreton Bay Regional Council on multiple occasions, with all the regulations provided for a regulated dog. Except for the desexing, because of confusion over the dates that was required to occur, full compliance was maintained and confirmed as successful by Council over a number of months.
Whilst the declaration and appeals process was occurring, the mother of the child was happy for her daughter, and herself, to visit on many occasions after the incident and with many more witnesses too…all with Hank present.

It wasn’t until after a fall out with the dog owners and the rest of the neighbourhood that the mother went to a local state politician who contacted two Councillors and attempted to contact the Mayor and following that, the dog was seized and a destruction order issued.

Another fact that also remains is that MBRC were willing to put an offer on the table during mediation to have the dog returned home with some added requirements on 21 December 2017, after Hank had been incarcerated for 7 months at that stage. That offer was withdrawn at the last moment when Council notified the mother who was now become fixated on the death of this dog.

Due to an interference of a local state politician to change a local government decision from dangerous dog to a destruction order in a case of double jeopardy which is an abuse of power and an abuse of process. To clutch at a straw of failure to desex to justify killing a dog to hide the real political influence that caused this interference of process, is unacceptable to the public and is not conducive to protecting a community generally.

Walk for HANK on 13 Jan 2018 – Highlights

Today, 13th January 2018, nearly 200 supporters walked from Apex Park to Council Chambers in Caboolture to call on Moreton Bay Regional Council to release Hank back to his family and stop the destruction order they have placed on him for accidentally injuring a child that caused a single wound. They currently have the support of more than 72,000 signatures from Australia and around the world and a Facebook following of almost 4,000, all of whom agree that Hank has been unfairly and cruelly incarcerated for the past 8 months and does not deserve a death sentence, especially after complying with the regulated dog conditions Council imposed and approved as compliant. Here are some highlights from the footage today (1) and (2).

walkgroup“We’re out the front here of Moreton Bay Regional Council. […] We’ve got Jamie Fry, MBRC’s initial officer, who was involved in Hanks case from the beginning and has stood by this family ever since because what’s happened has not been fair and the people responsible have not listened to the community, have not listened to this family or anyone else. This issue is not going to go away, this family is going to fight this to the Supreme Court and what actually went on is going to come out.”

  • Spokesperson from Hank’s Team

 

“MBRC have been misleading the general public with false and unqualified statements by saying horrific injuries occurred when no medical specialists have attested to that. […] All witnesses agreed, including the child’s mother, that it was an accident and while the declaration and the appeals process was occurring, the mother was happy for herself and her daughter to visit after the incident on several occasions, and Hank was there all those times.

“It wasn’t until after a fallout with Hank’s owners and the rest of the neighborhood, that the mother went to a local state politician, who contacted two councilors and attempted to contact the mayor, and following that, the dog was suddenly seized and a destruction order issued.”

  • Spokesperson from Hank’s team

 

Jamie Fry, the original investigating officer, said that for six months after the incident, Hank and his family complied with Council’s requirements as confirmed through multiple inspections. He said it was agreed upon by all, including Council, that the last condition (desexing) was not due yet at the time of seizure, so seizure should not have occurred in the first place.

“Council were satisfied requirements were being met by Tammy and Nathan for a very long time. […] I don’t see how six months later, one person can make Council overturn that decision”.

“It is a reminder to any animal owner; if your animal causes fare in any way shape or form and you get an investigating officer come out and deal with you on that matter, even if they say to you that no further action will be taken, going by what has occurred here, doesn’t necessarily mean that in 6 month’s times you can’t get Council turning up and taking further action against you, even with no supporting evidence or any further complaints. This is why it can’t stop here…”

  • Jamie Fry, Investigating Council Officer

 

“There are many stories today that people have put forward to us, that Council are now just bullying them”.

  • Nathan Wallace, Hank’s owner

 

“I get quite emotional, the support has been overwhelming and we can’t thank you enough. I’d like to say a special thank you to my partner, Nathan, because he has been my voice through all of this and I could not have gotten through every day without him.”

  • Tammy Bradshaw, Hank’s owner

 

“Everyone’s been on their best behaviour with their dogs, we’ve had no issue. We’ve had a fantastic day, so much support. This is an example of the type of people that Hank’s family are and the people that follow him.”

  • Spokesperson from Hank’s team

 

“I reckon he’ll get out soon. The rangers are being a bit mean but they need to learn a thing or two about dogs.”

  • Kids from our Community

 

We’re not asking for too much, just a fair hearing. The rules are there for a reason and they need to be adhered to.”

  • Hank’s Supporter

 

“This is all about a local politician’s interference with a local government’s decision of ‘Dangerous Dog,’ in order to seize the dog with a destruction order. That was all based on a complainant who visited a state local member who then contacted two Councilors and next thing you know, Hank was seized and a destruction order issued. This was several months after the Council was adamant that he was to be a regulated dog; there was no issue raised about that dog being destroyed because of that injury.”

  • Lyn, Hank’s Supporter

 

For more information and further details about Hank’s story, please visit: https://savehanktheneomastiff.com

Our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SaveHankTheNeoMastiff/

Our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/savehanktheneomastiff/

Links

There are multiple places to follow Hank’s story and receive updates on the progress being made and how you can help.

Please:

  1. Visit the the How You Can Help Right Now! page for full details on action you can take
  2. Sign the petition here on change.org.au
  3. Like the Facebook Page to follow updates: Save Hank the Neo Mastiff
  4. Follow the Instagram page for Hank’s supporters
  5. Follow on Twitter and tweet your support!
  6. Share Share Share any way you can with out community groups, friends and family that may also wish to join in support.