Delinquent owners slammed

19:00, Nov 29 2012

The number of dogs destroyed in Marlborough after their owners failed to reclaim them from the pound has doubled since last year.

Animal control subcommittee chairman Peter Jerram slammed owners who failed to take responsibility for their dogs, following a meeting yesterday of the Marlborough District Council environment committee.

Owners failed to claim 148 of the 281 dogs taken to the pound in the year to October, Cr Jerram said. About a third of these were re-homed and about 80 were destroyed.

This compared with the 30 to 40 animals put down in 2010 and 2011, he said.

"The reality is that it's very difficult to find homes for animals that have been abandoned to the pound."

A vet administered a fatal injection to the unwanted dogs, Cr Jerram said. Bolt guns were no longer used.


It was disturbing that so many people were unwilling to pay pound fees to reclaim their animals even though they knew their animals could be destroyed, he said.

This might be a sign of tough economic times, "but people looking to take on a pet should think through the costs of food, surgical sterilisation and training required for a dog to be healthy, happy, and socially acceptable", said Cr Jerram, who worked as a vet for more than 30 years.

Cr Jamie Arbuckle replaced Cr Jerram yesterday as chairman of the Marlborough District Council dog control sub-committee.

Cr Jerram stood down after two years as chairman so he could devote more time to the resource management plan review committee.

A report to the committee says the 10,090 dogs registered in Marlborough included 2012 working dogs. Three were classified as dangerous, 72 as menacing, and two people had been forbidden to own dogs.

DOG CONTROL In the 2011-12 financial year: 266 infringement notices were issued to owners, 175 for unregistered dogs and 58 for uncontrolled or roaming dogs. 1911 complaints were received about dogs, including 137 about a dog attack or rush. Most related to lost or found dogs or dog nuisance. The council ordered a dog to be destroyed after it attacked another dog. The council successfully prosecuted a person who was then fined $300 for having a dog in a public place. Another person was fined $1075 allowing a dog to foul in a public place and not removing its faeces


The Marlborough Express