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Report on Dog Control Policy and Practices

29 Oct 2015, 2:09 PM

Council received a Report on Dog Control Policy and Practices for the 2014/15 financial year, at the monthly Council meeting held on Wednesday 28 October.

The report provides a publicly available summary of the discharge of dog control responsibilities, as required under The Dog Control Act 1996.

You can read the report below.


 

Introduction

This is Waitomo District Council’s report on Council’s Dog Control Policy and Practices for the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015, as required by section 10A of the Dog Control Act 1996.

Background

The Dog Control Act 1996 (“the Act”) requires all territorial authorities to report annually to central government on their Dog Control Policy and Practices.

The format of the report follows that prescribed by the Secretary for Local Government, Department of Internal Affairs.

Implementation of Dog Control Policy

The total number of active dogs on Waitomo District Council’s dog register at the end of the 2014/15 registration year was 3698. 

Regular contact has been maintained with dog owners via the Animal Control Officer’s Facebook page, public notices, flyers and regular articles in the Waitomo Way and the Waitomo News to promote high standards of dog care.

Waitomo District Council’s policy for dogs to be kept on a leash in public places is mostly being adhered to.  New signage has been installed in exercise areas and prohibited areas to remind dog owners and the general public of WDC’s requirement.

The Act requires Waitomo District Council to review dog registration and impoundment 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 properties of all urban dog owners.  Such visits allow an Animal 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.

There are currently no dogs classified as dangerous in the Waitomo District and 16 dogs that are classified as menacing.

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

The provisions in the Act which allow an Animal 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 aggressive dogs from the local dog population.

For the 2014/15 financial year Waitomo District Council delivered all dog registration and animal control services across the District.

The Waitomo District Council Dog Control Policy and Bylaw continue in force, and both are proving effective.  A review of these documents commenced in September 2015.    The revised Policy and Bylaw are scheduled for adoption by Council in December 2015.

WDC will ensure that owner education becomes a priority in the ongoing delivery of the District’s dog control services.