While Napier City Councillors are commending improved dog control statistics, an animal advocacy group has blasted the report for "omitting" major issues.

Yesterday the Napier City Council regulatory committee adopted the annual dog control report for the 2015/2016 financial year.

The report showed improvements in dog control statistics - including a decrease in the overall number of dog complaints received, from 3089 in 2014/2015 to 2718. The only complaints to increase were about roaming dogs.

It noted the number of dogs impounded had decreased by 343 since 2014/2015, with a larger per cent of those impounded returned to their owner. The number of dogs euthanised decreased from 179 to 78.


A change in procedure was credited with increasing the number of dogs registered with the council - to 7905 from 7370 the year before - and decreasing the amount of infringement notices issued to 23 - compared to 411 the previous year.

Councillors commended efforts made by council staff, including a new focus on community education, and a stronger community presence.

Council director city strategy Richard Munneke said council had been working to influence good behaviours, of which education was a key component.

Napier mayor Bill Dalton congratulated all staff "for the work that's gone into the dog pound situation".

"There's no question I think we came into some unfair criticism but there's been a huge amount of work done and it's operating very well."

Last year a Ministry for Primary Industries investigation was conducted into the Napier pound, requested by animal advocate group Watchdog! who cited alleged breaches of the Animal Welfare Act.

An inspection report from this found that "predominantly the pound was well run" although four major non-compliances and two minor non-compliances were identified.

An investigation report is expected to be released early this year.

In response to the report, Watchdog! spokeswoman Jessica Maxwell said the council had written a "glowing account as seen through rose tinted spectacles".

"The fact that there was huge dysfunction and management issues in the Animal Control Unit has been omitted," she said.

"The fact is NCC was operating a non-compliant facility in which both dogs and staff suffered."

She said those responsible for the improved statistics had left their jobs "in a distressed state after witnessing dogs being abused during this time".