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Manukau Residents ''Could Do Better'' As Dog Owner

Media Release
16 April 2004

REPORT SHOWS MANUKAU RESIDENTS "COULD DO BETTER" WHEN IT COMES TO RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERSHIP

A report presented last night to Manukau City Council's Environmental Management Committee shows that some Manukau dog owners "could do better" when it comes to behaving responsibly.

"Thank you to the majority of dog owners in Manukau who care enough about their dogs and the community's well being by registering their dogs," says Councillor Noel Burnside the Chairperson of Council's Environmental Management Committee.

However, in the year 2002/2003 Council recorded an increase in the number of dog complaints and impounding, 8404 complaints and 3,265 dogs impounded compared with 7,283 complaints and 3,062 dogs impounded for the previous year.

Also of concern was a decrease in the number of registered dogs for the 2003/2004 registration period 15,372 down from 16,977 or 88% down to 84%. Over 90% of the dogs impounded last year were unregistered.

Councillor Noel Burnside is concerned by these figures. "I would like to remind dog owners of their responsibility not only to their dogs - to feed, care and exercise them - but to the community in general in the way the dog is controlled and behaves.

"All dog owners are legally responsible and must meet the requirements of the Dog Control Act 1996, The Manukau City Consolidated Bylaws 1992 and Animal Welfare Act 1999," says Councillor Burnside.

To encourage more owners to register their dogs, registration fees for the year 2004/2005 are to be held at their present rate.

"Our registration fees have remained unchanged since 1995. The dog registration fee is $80 or $1.53 per week.

"For owners who meet our responsible dog ownership criteria the fee reduces to a mere $40 per year or less than one cent per day. Therefore there is no excuse for owners to say they cannot afford to register their dog. That's equivalent to a carton of beer and a packet of cigarettes," says Councillor Burnside.

Apart from it being a legal requirement for owners to register their dogs, registration ensures that should your dog stray and providing it is wearing a registration tag, the information contained on their tag enables Council's animal management contractors to contact their owners and arrange for them to be reunited.

"Council is committed to improving both its dog registration rates and to reducing the number of dog complaints in the City," says Councillor Burnside.

ENDS


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