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Recognition For Earlybird Dog Registrations

2nd November 2004

RECOGNITION FOR EARLYBIRD DOG REGISTRATIONS

Getting their dogs registered on time proved a lucky windfall for three Manukau City dog owners.

Tracey Glendinning and her Siberian Husky Rocky, Dennis Pederson and Reuben his Rottweiller, and Minnie Mariu and her seven dogs Johnny, Crystal, Pedro, Belair, Cheynee, Honey and Boss, all received prize packs from Butch Pet Food and the council's animal management contractors DSS.

The winners of the prize pack, which included dog food and accessories, are drawn from everyone in Manukau whose dog was registered by July 1, says DSS team leader field officers Zarene Gerbich.

"We have been running the promotion for the last four years as a way to recognise those people who take their dog ownership responsibilities seriously and get their dog's registration in on time," Zarene says.

She says legally every dog over three-months-old must be registered and the cost varies from city to city. In Manukau dog registration is $80 each year. Late registration, after July 1, costs $100.

However, for those owners who get 'approved' owner status the cost is $40.

There are a number of restrictions to becoming an approved owner including having their property inspected by an animal management officer to ensure it meets set standards, in particular fencing and access.

They must also pass a straightforward dog management test.

To keep the approved status, dog owners must not have any substantiated complaints made against them.

There are over 17,000 dogs registered in Manukau every year, says Zarene. But, there are 4,000 previously registered dogs that are unaccounted for so far this year.

She says the main reasons for unaccounted dogs are death and moving to a new address either within the city or to another area.

Zarene says by law people need to contact the council with any change of circumstances for their dog.

A positive benefit of being a registered dog owner is that legal protection is available if another dog attacks their dog.

"The cost of prosecution against a dog attacking a registered dog is covered by the council," says Zarene.

Dog owners who do not get their dog registered face a $300 infringement and can also have their dog impounded if they do not comply.

Non-registered dogs, those found wandering and other impounded dogs are taken to the dog shelter located on Roscommon Rd.

Dogs that are not reclaimed in seven days face an uncertain future.

A number have the opportunity of being adopted but first they must have a temperament test and veterinary examination. Those that don't make it to the adoption phase are put to sleep.

Zarene says: "The shelter is a nice place to adopt a dog from but ultimately we want to stop dogs going there. To assist with this dog owners need to be aware of their responsibilities with regard to dog ownership and council dog bylaws as this can differ between councils."

Dog bylaw information comes with your dog's registration details.

To find out further information about Manukau City Council's dog bylaws visit the council website: www.manukau.govt.nz.

ENDS

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