Dog fight over ‘offensive’ kennel club social media posts
ONE of the country's largest dog kennel clubs faces open revolt from outspoken members over critical social media posts it claims were "offensive."
But Dogs Queensland is biting back, standing by its response to social media posts it says were against its Social Media Policy.
Dogs Queensland, which promotes itself as being "wholly concerned with the welfare and betterment of purebred and associate dogs throughout Queensland," allows registered members to attend affiliated dog shows across the state.
Board member Chris Woodrow given The Sunday Mail exclusive details about a series of posts which led to fines and year-long suspensions.
Mr Woodrow, who was elected to the board early last year, said members who posted comments that Dogs Queensland didn't like received suspensions, some of which he claimed didn't go through a proper review process before receiving their penalty.
"It's affecting the people in a huge way," he said.
"When they curtail your hobby just for saying what they think is derogatory - but it isn't - is very hard."
Mr Woodrow said he has been suspended three times for airing grievances about Dogs Queensland publicly.
Social media posts compiled by Mr Woodrow show some members were penalised with 12-month suspensions and $500 fines for criticising Dogs Queensland's management.
"Rob and Brian must go," reads the entirety of one post that caused its author to receive a 12-month suspension and $500 fine.
A dozen other posts criticising a former Dogs Queensland president received similar penalties, most of which were overturned or lessened upon appeal.
Mr Woodrow said many suspensions and fines were walked back after the board attained legal advice on members being entitled to disciplinary reviews that weren't held before their penalties were handed out..
But Dogs Queensland has vigorously defended its practices, saying a number of the posts that resulted in penalties were personal attacks on directors and staff of the organisation.
"These were offensive, highly inappropriate and inaccurate posts and in breach of our Social Media Policy," Dogs Queensland president Ulla Greenwood said.
"A number of members were initially suspended and fined in 2018," Ms Greenwood said.
"All suspensions and fines are subject to an appeal to a panel consisting of a Chair plus 2 members from an independent panel."
Ms Greenwood also defended the organisation's handling of funds raised to support bushfire and flood victims, saying Dogs Queensland failed to find enough members to take advantage of the fund.
"We are seeking permission from the Department of Justice to roll these surplus funds into our Dogs Queensland Charity Appeal so we may finalise the distribution of those funds."
Originally published as Dog club bites back over 'offensive' social media posts