New initiatives for barking dogs

22:19, Aug 15 2013

Invercargill community group South Alive will work with the Invercargill City Council on an initiative to reduce the growing number of barking and wandering dogs in south Invercargill.

Invercargill City Council environmental health services manager John Youngson said wandering and barking dogs were the main animal control complaints and most came from south Invercargill.

Elles Rd, Tweed St and Tramway Rd were among the most common areas, he said.

The South Alive housing group planned to work with the council to develop a programme to address the issue and held a meeting last night with council representatives.

South Alive housing group convener Margaret Cook said the project, named Responsible Dog Ownership, would work well with the establishment of the new dog park in Elles Rd.

Mr Youngson said the council also planned to implement another initiative within the next few months.

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When the council received a complaint about a barking dog it would send a warning letter, but the new initiative would mean owners in the high-complaint areas would be visited and given education and support, he said.

Invercargill City Council figures show the council received 2034 animal complaints between January 1 and August 15 this year, up from 1867 the same time last year.

The figures show there were 849 complaints about wandering dogs this year, up from 791 last year.

Barking dog complaints had more than doubled from 222 in 2009 to 446 this year.

The number of complaints about dogs attacking people was down to 42 this year from 50 last year.

Council team leader for animal control Steven Boyd said it was rare to seize a dog and it would only be done in cases of real distress.

Two dogs had been seized in the past two years for barking but about three a month were seized for other non-compliance issues, Mr Boyd said.

The Southland Times