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Council has zero tolerance of uncontrolled dogs

A horrific dog attack on an eight-year-old boy is a harsh reminder of what uncontrolled dogs are capable of.

The weekend attack occurred while the child was playing at a park and left the victim with horrific injuries which required hospitalisation and stitches to his face.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said the horrendous attack was one of the worst Council staff has seen.

“This attack involved a boy playing at a park with his sister. It should never have happened, and it hammers home the need for Council staff to enforce the rules.

“This serves as a very unfortunate reminder as to why the Council needs to impound wandering dogs and issue infringement notices when dogs are roaming and not under control.

“It is a sad fact that in our community there are dog owners who allow their dogs to roam and the public need to know there is at least one dog out there that is capable of inflicting terrible injuries.

“In this case, the park where the children were playing is attended regularly. People need to be aware, and this is a genuine concern as often once there has been one attack there can be a pattern of more attacks.

“Parents and caregivers need to ensure their children are supervised and looked after and dog owners need to keep their dogs on a lead, they cannot run free and uncontrolled.”

Mr Little said part of the Council’s role around dogs is to ensure public safety.

“This Council supports zero tolerance on these dogs as it is a human’s right to be safe. To be quite honest I ask myself why anyone would want to own a dog like the one who attacked this poor harmless child.

“Recently our Council chief executive spotted a dog wandering around town. He reported it to Council staff who traced it back to an owner who was disqualified to own dogs due to previous infringements relating to her control of the dog.

“The irony is Council receives negative and abusive feedback from members of the public when we have to impound dogs and infringe dog owners. But the reality is this type of attack is exactly what we are trying to avoid by taking those actions.

“Dog owners must take far greater responsibly for their dogs by ensuring all compliance is met, including roaming.

“I commend our staff for the really hard unpleasant job they do. Dogs are unpredictable, and our staff do the best they can to keep our community safe.”

Members of the public are urged to ring the Council 24/7 phone line 838 7309 if they have any concerns relating to uncontrolled or wandering dogs or anything out of the ordinary.

Council staff are working with the Police in relation to the weekend’s attack.

6 March 2019

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