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Owners need to take responsibility to prevent dog attacks

dogs on lead

Six dog attacks on people and stock have occurred locally over the past fortnight.

Wairoa District Council staff are urging dog owners to be responsible and keep their dogs controlled and contained as the consequences can be horrific.

Last week there was a serious dog attack in Queen Street which resulted in the victim being taken to hospital and Police and ambulance called.

Wairoa District Council Chief Executive Kitea Tipuna said dog attacks are rampant around the country. We don’t want Wairoa to be just another statistic. Dog owners need to be aware of the dreadful injuries uncontrolled dogs can cause. This is not just about being a responsible dog owner because that’s the law. This is about the consequences, and in some instances lifelong trauma, dog attacks can cause.

“Last week’s Queen Street attack occurred when unrestrained dogs left the property and attacked an individual who was walking along the footpath. There is simply no tolerance for this.

“All the dogs have been removed from the property and an investigation is ongoing.

“The outcome of an attack is traumatising for all those involved especially the victim and their family and our Council staff who are required to conduct interviews, visit the victims, the stock owners and impound the offending dogs.

“Dog owners need to fully understand the implications and magnitude that uncontrolled or roaming dogs have on our community.

“Dogs have been bred to be domesticated, they depend on human company but still have their ancestor instinct to be domesticated amongst their own kind and hunt or bite.

“Owners need to step up, and those who don’t, need to know that Council will be taking appropriate actions in response to each case where owners will be accountable, be it infringements to impound or prosecution.

“Council wants people in our community to feel safe to walk along a footpath or street or simply be outdoors.

“Those owners who have their dogs off leads or not controlled and confined need to think about how others in the community feel when their dog approaches someone and how intimidating that can be. Owners also need to be more vigilant, check fences for holes, check your leads, chains, and kennels to ensure they are safe and secure.”

19 September 2022

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