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Warning for dog owners: Be responsible!


Seven serious dog attacks across the district last week has prompted Wairoa District Council’s animal control team to issue a stern warning to dog owners: be responsible for your dog! It’s due to your negligence that we are on your case.

The animal control team is alarmed at the increase of serious dog attacks on people and other dogs within the district, after seven were reported to Council over three days.


Chief Operations Officer Helen Montgomery is amazed at the total lack of responsibility shown by some dog owners, and the excuses given when animal control officers investigate these attacks.

“It makes our job extremely difficult when we approach dog owners who become extremely aggressive and abusive towards the team,” Ms Montgomery said.

“The animal control officer’s job is to enforce the Dog Control Act 1996 and the Council bylaws, so the district is safe for all residents.

“I am astonished at the response we get from people: some blame everybody else for the dog being off the property, and others come up with excuses like ‘someone left the gate open’.

“It is a simple fix: keep your dog confined or under control at all times. The Dog Control Act 1996, Section 5 outlines the obligations of dog owners… ensure that the dog is kept under control at all times.”

Council has a zero tolerance policy for roaming dogs, and dogs involved in an attack. If a dog is caught, it will be impounded, if the dog is involved in an attack, prosecution and/or the destruction of the dog will be sort.

Council cannot release a dog from the pound until the dog is registered for the current year; the dog is microchipped and all impounding charges paid.

Impounding charges increase if the dog is caught again.

Animal control officers will work with dog owners, making suggestions to make the property more secure, but at the end of the day an owner is responsible for keeping the dog confined and under control.

“Infringements will be issued for dogs not being controlled or confined,” Ms Montgomery said.

“It is a privilege to own a dog, not a right, and with the owning of a dog comes responsibilities.”

“Remember not everyone loves your dog like you do."

31 October 2018

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