Dog aggression rises after shakes

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 05:00 02/10/2012

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Christchurch dogs have been acting more aggressively since the earthquakes, with a 10 per cent rise in canine attacks, new figures show.

City council figures show that in the past year the animal-control unit has dealt with 1141 complaints about dogs attacking or acting aggressively, up from 1031 in the previous 12 months.

The council says the increase is mainly because of the quakes forcing people into temporary accommodation where there is no secure fencing to contain their dogs.

Of the 1141 complaints received in the year to June, 245 related to dogs attacking people, 424 to dogs attacking other animals and 472 to dogs rushing people.

A report prepared for the council by animal control unit team leader Mark Vincent said the council took took seven summary prosecutions against dog owners for offences against section 57 of the Dog Control Act during that period. All seven resulted in convictions, and in five cases reparation was ordered to be paid to victims.

Five of the convictions resulted in the dog owners being disqualified from owning dogs for between two and three years.

The number of dogs impounded by the council fell last year from 1966 to 1815. Of the dogs impounded, 299 were adopted back into the community, 1181 were returned to owners and 299 destroyed.

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