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Thousands of dog complaints made to council

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Animal services team leader Brent Lincoln says dog owners will be issued a $300 infringement if their dog remains unregistered. Photo/File
Animal services team leader Brent Lincoln says dog owners will be issued a $300 infringement if their dog remains unregistered. Photo/File

Tauranga City Council responded to 700 more dog complaints last year to June 2016 while the number of dogs registered has jumped 14 per cent to 11,721 since 2012 - and is likely to increase new figures show.

Data also revealed thousands of dog owners still needed to register their pets for 2016/17 and would face increased fees if they failed to pay before Monday - or a $300 infringement fee.

Animal Services team leader Brent Lincoln said it was in the middle of the dog registration process for the year.

But council estimated there were still 4564 dogs unregistered following 7495 that had been registered to July 25 - a combined total of 12,059.

Read more: Demand for Katikati bypass falls on deaf ears

"Each of these owners will be visited over the coming months and issued with a $300 infringement if their dog remains unregistered."

In 2015/16 council collected $875,079 in dog registration fees that were used to pay for the Animal Services team and fund activity, he said with about $340,000 spent on the pound facility since 2013.

"Dog registration pays for the Animal Services team, which employs seven fulltime equivalent staff and a contractor for after-hours work. They investigate in excess of 5000 complaints, impound around 1000 dogs, visit several thousand dog owners and manage and operate the pound each year."

Staff responded to 5119 complaints in 2015/16 compared to 4395 in 2014/15.

"On average, Council will prosecute four dog owners each year for attacks on people or domestic animals and issue approximately 650 infringements for breaches such as roaming or owning an unregistered dog."

Tauranga dog owner Paul Friedrich said there had been incidences about roaming, aggressive, unregistered dogs in his neighbourhood which the council put in the pound "so that was all good".

A letter from the council about the matter showed the owner was fined and registered the dogs when they were retrieved, he said.

"That annoyed me from a dog owners perspective because they paid immediately and why should they get away with it."

A future complaint regarding the same dogs was not followed up on the day which disappointed Mr Friedrich "as we had kids running up and down the street and what happens if one of them gets taken out."

The Dog Trainer owner Susie Jones said most dog owners were responsible and her workload had increased as more people became proactive about training and socialising their dogs at a young age.

The registration fee in Tauranga was fair but the council could do a bit more for responsible dog owners although it had started to put doggy poo bins in some parks "which is a start".

Want a Dog?

A dog is a 24/7, 15-year commitment - they need daily exercise and care.

Ensure the dog you get is a good match for your family, both in personality and type.
Keeping a dog will bring a lot of additional expenses such as fencing, registration, veterinary and feeding, shelter and care.

It is important you budget for this before you get a dog.

In return you will receive companionship, loyalty, fun and a lot of great times

- Source Tauranga City Council

Registration Fees

If the dog is registered by July 31, discounted fee 2016/2017 year is $78.
Registration from August 1 to June 30, 2017 is $109.00.
- Source Tauranga City Council

- Bay of Plenty Times

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