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Dog Control Policy and Practices Report for 2013/2014

6 Oct 2014, 9:29 AM

For nine months of the year under review the day to day delivery of the Dog Control Service in the Waitomo District was provided by an external service provider under contract. The Contractor employed two Dog Control Officers with the Contractor being responsible for both dog registration and dog control.

The Contractor was required to carry out dog control throughout the District in accordance with the Dog Control Act 1996 (the Act) and Waitomo District Council’s (WDC) Dog Control Policy and Bylaw.  WDC’s Dog Control Policy aims to ensure that dogs are controlled so that people can enjoy dog ownership without adversely affecting other members of the community.

In September 2013, in anticipation of the upcoming expiry of the existing service procurement arrangement, WDC carried out a review of the delivery options for animal control services.  Following on from that review WDC confirmed that from 1 April 2014, the WDC organisation would deliver all dog registration and animal control services across the District.

The Act requires WDC to review dog registration fees annually and set the fees by Council resolution.  Owners who neuter their dogs and those who adhere to conditions set out in WDC’s special ownership scheme are offered discounted registration fees as an incentive to encourage responsible ownership.

WDC’s Dog Control Policy requires the inspection of the properties of all urban dog owners.  Such visits allow a Dog Control Officer to check if new dogs have been acquired and that dogs are being well looked after and adequately kennelled.  Similar inspections are carried out in the rural area with 10% of dog owners properties inspected.

The visits provide an ideal opportunity for a Dog Control Officer to build a relationship with dog owners and where appropriate pass on helpful tips about responsible dog ownership.

WDC understands that problems experienced are similar to other territorial authorities in terms of managing the local dog population.

The statistics confirm evidence that roaming dogs particularly in urban environments are a continuing problem.  Routine and frequent patrols in the urban areas are undertaken in order to ensure that the nuisance of roaming dogs is kept to a minimum.

The statistics also indicate that barking dogs are a continuing problem possibly exacerbated by the requirement that all dogs, unless they are under control, to be confined to the owners’ properties.

The provisions in the Act which allow a Dog Control Officer to remove a barking dog from a property in the owners absence has been a useful tool for dealing with persistent barking dogs.

WDC maintains a zero tolerance policy in circumstances where a dog attacks people or other animals.  When incidents of this nature occur the offending dog owner is encouraged to give his or her dog over for destruction.  This procedure has proved to be a useful tool in removing a number of aggressive dogs from the local dog population.

Recently there has been increased public concern that stray dogs in the District are on the increase and the number of dogs which appear to be unregistered is escalating.

Because of these concerns WDC will ensure that urban dog control becomes a priority in the ongoing delivery of the District’s dog control services.

  • Dog Control Statistics 2013/2014

Registration Statistics

2013/14

2012/13

2011/12

Number of registered dogs

4021

4001

4016

Number of probationary owners

0

0

0

Number of disqualified owners

0

0

0

 

Number of Dogs Classified as Dangerous under Sect 31 Dog Control Act 1996

2013/14

2012/13

2011/12

Sec 31 1 (a) due to owners conviction

0

0

0

Sec 31 1 (b) due to sworn evidence

0

0

0

Sec 31 1 (c) due to owners admittance

0

0

0

 

Number of Dogs Classified as Menacing under Sec 33A

2013/14

2012/13

2011/12

Sec 33A (b) (i)

1

1

1

Sec 33A (b) (ii)

27

27

19

 

Number of Dogs Classified as Menacing under Sec 33C

2013/14

2012/13

2011/12

Dogs belonging to a schedule 4 type or breed

27

28

19

  

Infringement Notices

2013/14

2012/13

2011/12

Number of infringement notices issued

24

45

22

Number of infringement notices cancelled

1

7

2

Number of infringement notices sent to court

23

38

19

 

Number of Dog Related Complaints

2013/14

2012/13

2011/12

Total Number of Dog Related Complaints

317

303

255

After hours

45

67

28

Barking

90

28

70

Roaming

140

158

120

Rushing/biting

3

9

6

Stock attacks

11

14

8

Domestic animal attacks

8

11

5

Fouling

5

4

6

Care

15

2

12

 

Number of Dogs Impounded

2013/14

2012/13

2011/12

Impounded Dogs

151

175

97