OPINION: When is the Invercargill City Council going to do something about roaming dogs? Or, to be more precise, when is the council going to do something about the owners of roaming dogs?
There need to be serious consequences, not just a slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket, as is usually the case. If the council needs to make new laws to deal with the situation, then make them.
Prevention is better than cure. You can't cure a dead cat, or guinea pig, rabbit, small dog, lamb, chook or whatever else has been mauled to death by roaming dogs.
People should be able to have a pet without someone else's pet killing it.
And now it seems they'll not only go on to someone else's property but they'll even enter a strange house.
Our pets are not even safe in their own homes any more.
The council employs a dog control officer, doesn't it? Well why is he not doing his job?
I have had several experiences with him about roaming dogs. He says ''catch the dog and tie it up''. That is his job, not mine.
If he doesn't do the job then get someone who will. Something needs to be done.
Invercargill City Council director of environmental and planning services Pamela Gare replies: I agree with Alison that responsible dog owners take measures to ensure that their dogs are contained within their property and kept under control at all other times.
If a member of the public rings the council about a wandering dog they are asked where the dog is and whether it can be secured within a property by closing a gate so that an Animal Control Officer can collect it.
We do not encourage members of the public to catch wandering dogs because they could be placing themselves at risk.
In the last 12 months the council received 1403 wandering dog complaints.
When a wandering dog is caught and identified, on occasion it is returned to the owners rather than taken to the pound if there are good reasons for us to do so. The officer reminds the owners of their responsibility to keep their dog under control.
Where a dog has a history of wandering it is impounded. Unidentifiable wandering dogs are also impounded. In the last 12 months 545 dogs were impounded.
It is upsetting to hear reports of dogs attacking other animals and in the last 12 months the council has received 92 such reports. These are investigated and can result in the dog being classified as menacing or dangerous and the owners receiving a fine or prosecution.
Owners of wandering dogs can arrange for an Animal Control Officer to inspect their property and they are able to offer advice on how it can be modified to adequately restrain their dog. This service is also available to owners of barking dogs.
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