Final saga for beagles in need of homes
Tue, 19 Jun 2012 7:00p.m.
Last year, Campbell Live brought you the story of the beagles being sold on Trade Me by the former director of an animal research facility.
Before the facility closed it had been carrying out highly invasive testing on beagles.
The former director Margaret Harkema told prospective new owners that the dogs for sale had come off her farm, but our investigation showed that they had lived out their lives in cages at facilities run by the Valley Animal Research centre.
Last night we reported that through the charity Huha some of the institutionalised dogs had new homes with families, but that Margaret Harkema still had a number of beagles which she was breeding from to sell for research.
Well, not any more.
Watch the video for Whena Owen's full report.
Ms Harkema’s statement is below:
a. About two months ago, Ms Harkema transferred some 17 dogs to her kennel at Bainesse, and appointed someone to look after them fulltime. (She had a licence for 80 dogs at the premises).
b. Neighbours complained to the Council about the noise. The Council wrote to Ms Harkema asking her to address the noise problem or the dogs would be taken into custody. Ms Harkema would be happy to supply a copy of the Barking Dog Notice, which confirms that their issue was only with the noise of the dogs. Ms Harkema requested the Council to obtain noise level readings as she was confident they would be within the required limit. The Council refused.
c. The Council then found that the dogs’ tags did not match their microchip numbers.
d. Ms Harkema explained that her tags were from the Hastings District Council. She registered 25 dogs, but this became inconvenient because sometimes dogs were returned and exchanged, requiring paperwork and an exchange of tags. The Hastings District Council suggested that Ms Harkema simply purchase 25 licences but not allocate them to particular dogs. I assume that Hastings District Council records will confirm this.
e. Ms Harkema met Manuwatu dog control staff at her Himitangi premises on Friday. The staff indicated they would be removing the dogs. They suggested that they keep them. They promised to find good homes for them. Margaret agreed, for several reasons. First, she was rehoming the dogs anyway. Second, the Manawatu Dog Control staff told her that their premises had the deadly Parvo virus. Margaret could not risk transferring that back to her kennels. Third, it was likely that the neighbours would keep complaining. It seemed to her that it was in everyone’s best interests that they take and rehome the dogs.
If you are interested in adopting one of the 17 beagles please contact:
Paws Animal Shelter 06 328 5009 or
SPCA Feilding www.spcafeilding.org.nz
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25/06/2012 5:51:21 p.m.
Elizabeth Mather wrote:
This frightful saga went on for years with dogs kept in disgusting conditions, which I saw for myself in Hastings, and as well they were subjected to being used for animal experiments. I was appalled at the time that the SPCA couldn't do something when this whole thing was made public a few years ago. Good on you for exposing it and well done HUHA.
25/06/2012 9:50:06 a.m.
Joan Ladlow wrote:
HUHA YOU KNOW DO GREAT WORK Please do help them again on your show email below tells you why
24/06/2012 12:38:29 a.m.
And now the wonderful work that HUHA do, rescuing and rehoming animals is being undermined and jeopardised by the despicable "Neighbours at War" show, who bully people by threatening negative coverage if they don't willingly participate. They are running a vicious beat-up story on Monday 25 June which could put all these rescued animals at risk if support is withdrawn on the basis of these lies. It would be wonderful if you can run a counter-story showing up these lies and underhanded tactics for what they are - there are Police reports which clearly show the neighbours in question have been victimising HUHA for many years.
21/06/2012 2:18:48 p.m.
@Cam the spca investigated when this first came to light, however when you investigate you cant just take the animals of the owner. The animals are in good nick the reason why they were removed by council was for wandering and not being registered it had nothing to do with there welfare. and @Peter what would you want the spca to investigate, they did there job to the letter of the law. If you want to complain about the length of time it takes to remove animals from the care of someone you need to petition your government official to remove the red tape around the issue. And finally @ Darwin Punk its next to impossible for dog control and council to keep tabs on every unregistered dog in the manuwatu, if they did uplift all unregistered dogs in the manuwatu where would they put them???
21/06/2012 11:46:41 a.m.
While there are $$$$$$$ to be made out of beagles, and animals in general, this appalling behaviour will always be condoned by the authorites at all levels.
If we collectively stop purchasing puppies from breeders and especially PETSHOPS that is one small step to stopping the $$$$$.
Thank you NZ for caring. :)
20/06/2012 7:21:57 a.m.
Where was the council and spca when this place was operating? they did nothing when it was operating despite the dirty conditions of the facility and the animals at one stage not even having water. Like most people i am so pleased the remaining beagles are gone but where were you when it was just a handful of people picketing this place and trying to get it closed?
20/06/2012 7:14:14 a.m.
Darwin Punk wrote:
These dogs have been known to the council since the issue arose last summer. They would have been unregistered then too as the registration year ends very shortly. Why did it take so long for the council to seize these dogs? It is only a matter of looking up the address to see if there are dogs registered to that property, if not, any dogs not wearing tags can be seized. Why did they have to wait until a few of them were found wandering on the road, and the neighbours complained about barking? The dogs could have been seized under Section 42 (failure to register) MONTHS ago without any of this.
20/06/2012 1:39:17 a.m.
Henry Balfour wrote:
I am very grateful to Cambell Live for the follow-up on this story. I applaud the HuHa staff and organisation. I want to point out that this awful awful woman, Margaret Harkema, should be prosectued for any offence that can be nailed to her. The most venal people in the world are those who deny their clear wrong-doing; those who don't give a rats for the damage they do. Could you focus a bit of the mighty research teams efforts onto a dossier on her, then hand it to Police or Council ?
20/06/2012 12:42:40 a.m.
Of course the dog tags would not have matched the microchip numbers. The microchip numbers would be relating to their 'names' which are numbers (as in number 9 from one of your previous programs) This I believe would be for easy record keeping for experimental purposes.
Exchanged/returned from who and where? This comment is ringing some sort of alarm bells.
When were the so called 25 dogs registered? I wonder from which year? It would be interesting what the Hastings District Council records would show.
If M was going to re home them anyway.... HOW COME 4 of them were pregnant? and what was she planning to do with these 4.
Finally I would like to know what the 'SPCA national office' is playing in all of this? Shouldn't there be some sort of official inquiry.
Good on the Council for making a stand. I hope they stick to what they have said and not give in.
19/06/2012 8:59:23 p.m.
Eunice Tyler wrote:
Thank you thank you Natasha and Cambell live also a huge thank you to HUHA. As one of the neighbours who has made numerous complaints to the council its good to see action FINALLY.Well done to you all you have done more in a few months than the council has done in 6 years
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