A Kaikohe Dog Day is offering owners a chance to get their pets "chipped and snipped" without cost as part of a council drive to encourage responsible dog ownership in the town.
The initiative comes after dog attacks around the Mid North, most recently when Kaikohe 93-year-old Jim Morgan and his terrier-Chihuahua cross Sandy were ambushed by dogs in Harold Ave for the second time in a year.
Adding to the council's dog dramas is the closure last month of the privately operated pound at Okaihau, leaving the Mid North temporarily without a facility for stray or impounded canines.
Now the Far North District Council is running a pilot programme which will include a Nga Kuri Auau o Kaikohe Dog Day at Memorial Park on June 9. Kaikohe dog owners will be offered free, on-the-spot microchipping of their pets, which may also be eligible for free neutering.
Compliance manager Darren Edwards said by encouraging responsible dog ownership, Dog Day aimed to reduce the "unacceptably high" number of dog incidents in the town.
Council records showed there were 1027 dogs registered in Kaikohe, 35 of which were dangerous or menacing. Animal management officers were called out 525 times in the past year in Kaikohe.
"Responsible dog owners register, microchip and neuter their dogs. We know that these dogs are less likely to wander and less likely to attack people or other animals," Mr Edwards said.
"We also understand that cost can be a barrier to responsible dog ownership. Dog Day aims to encourage owners to do the right thing for the community and their pets by reducing some of those financial barriers."
Owners of menacing dogs could be offered free dog registration for one year if they allowed their pet to be microchipped and neutered.
Dogs could be classed as menacing if they had threatened people, stock, poultry, pets or wildlife. Five dog breeds were automatically classed as menacing: Brazilian fila, dogo Argentino, Japanese tosa, perro de presa canario and pit bull.
If the Kaikohe pilot was successful, similar dog days could be held across the district from July.
Nga Kuri Auau o Kaikohe Dog Day will start at 10am and feature demonstrations from the police dog team, conservation dogs and spot prizes. A professional photographer will be on hand to take photos of kuri with their owners.
Funding for the council's $15,000 pilot programme came from the Department of Internal Affairs.