'Proactive approach' on nuisance dogs

Invercargill City Council will take a proactive approach to roaming dogs and dog poo, city councillors were told yesterday.

Mana Matchitt, who interrupted a council meeting in September to voice his concern about dog control in south Invercargill, spoke at a meeting of the regulatory services committee yesterday.

Mr Matchitt told councillors he was still concerned about dog poo and the nuisance value of barking dogs to neighbours.

"I see dog s... on most streets I walk down; sometimes I smell it before I see it," he said.

He said it was not acceptable when children played on the streets.

He referred to an animal control document in the council meeting agenda that showed 78 dogs had been picked up from July 1 to August 31 this year.

The document also shows that for those dates; 212 complaints were made about wandering dogs, 150 complaints about barking dogs and 24 complaints had been received about aggressive dogs.

"Something has to be done," Mr Matchitt said.

"How can people get away with not picking up the dog s... and not registering their dogs?"

ICC Environmental Health Services manager John Youngson said dog control had reviewed the problem and its report was filed yesterday.

He told Mr Matchitt the dog control report reflected his observations. Dog control would examine the problems of wandering, fouling and barking dogs in the next two weeks but a change would not happen overnight.

"We want to take a more proactive approach rather than the usual reactive approach," he said.

Solving the problem would mean taking a "hard and a soft" approach - that would mean large fines and education.

"The foundation has been laid to launch a new service," he said.

The Southland Times