Amnesty to encourage people to register dogs

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Waitaki District Council is offering an amnesty to all dog owners who have yet to register their pets.

The due date for registration was July 31, but 10 per cent of dogs that have been previously registered remain unregistered.

Regulatory Services Manager Lichelle Guyan is urging dog owners to ensure their pets are registered.

“Council has agreed to an amnesty until October 30, 2014, before a penalty will be applied to the fee,” said Mrs Guyan.

“From a community safety perspective it’s important that all dogs are registered. I encourage those owners to pay their registration fee now during this special amnesty so that they do not incur a penalty and infringement.”

Failure to register a dog is an offence under the Dog Control Act 1996 and carries an infringement fee of $300.00. From November, infringements will be immediately issued for any unregistered dogs identified in the district.

Mrs Guyan said the number of dogs in the area had increased slightly.

“They have gradually increased each year since 2011, but between last year and this year, the increase of dogs is the biggest yet and so far about 90 per cent of the 5651 dogs in the Waitaki region are registered.”

If people register their dogs then they will not receive a penalty.

“It’s quite a steep penalty, but we hope people will register their dogs we don’t want to have to be handing out fines.”

It doesn’t matter if the dog has not been registered for five years if they come forward and register it there will be no back fees, Mrs Guyan said.

Dog registration fees can be paid at council offices in Oamaru or Palmerston.

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY