The Stratford District Council received 49 dog-related complaints at the end of last year.
Dogs which wandered, barked, rushed and attacked were the reasons for the complaints during November and December.

Director of Environmental Services Liam Dagg says there were three dog attacks reported during November — one on a person and two on other animals.

He says all of the attacks were minor and the person involved received a bite to the right forearm, causing minor bruising and one puncture wound.

One of the animal attacks was on a cat which went onto the dogs' property but was uninjured.

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The second attack was on a small dog which was being walked on a lead by its owner and was attacked by a dog that came off its property as it walked past.

The dog received two minor puncture wounds to its abdomen and was checked out by a vet but did not need any further treatment.

Another dog attack was reported in December when a boy received minor bruising, scratches and a puncture wound to the back of his thigh during a family function on the dog owner's property.

The boy did not require medical attention.

Liam says wandering dogs made up the biggest number of dog complaints, with 30 reported during the two months. There were two reports of dogs rushing during the same time, and 13 complaints made about dogs barking.

Liam says when it comes to dogs barking, people should first speak with the dog owner as they may not be aware of it happening.

If this does not stop the problem, it can be reported to the Stratford District Council and an officer will investigate. Liam says it is best to contact the council at the time the dog is barking and after it has been barking for around 10 minutes.

"Council goes to the location of the barking to assess the situation and take what ever measures are necessary. On many occasions the dog is not barking when the officer arrives at the location.

"Barking is natural for dogs. What is not acceptable is excessive, loud, persistent barking creating a nuisance. Most dogs can be educated not to nuisance bark, some however need to be moved to another location. The key to resolving the barking is to identify and treat the problem. Council officers can assist owners to rectify the problem. "

Over the last five years council has had 1422 dog complaints.