Taking aim at dog problem

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The Waitaki District Council is developing a campaign to help combat wandering dogs and attacks following a spate of reports to Animal Control.

WDC’s Animal Control received 58 reports between December 22 and January 5 ,with seven being attacks _ three on people and four on either stock or other dogs.

The high level of reports follows eight dog attacks in November, with four on people, the highest number of attacks in two years.

Regulatory services manager Lichelle Guyan said the campaign was being developed following concern about the recent level of dog complaints.

“We will be working with other professional organisations such as vets and dog psychologists to ensure our campaign will, not only be cost-effective but will also help keep our community safe and dog owners fully understanding their responsibilities.”

The three attacks involving people between December and January are being investigated and in two instances medical treatment was sought.

Animal Control is also continuing to investigate an incident of a serious attack on another dog at a private property on Eden St earlier this month.

The attacked dog received substantial injuries which required surgery and its owner was taken to Dunedin Hospital with injuries suffered during the incident, although not as a result of a dog bite.

The offending dog was taken into Animal Control custody several days later with the assistance of Oamaru police.

Mrs Guyan said it was important for the public to keep away from and report any wandering dogs or attacks, even if no injuries had occurred, as it was useful for Animal Control to have a record of dog behaviour should a more serious incident occur.

Dog owners have a responsibility to ensure their dogs are well cared for, have water on hand, get regular exercise, not able to leave the confines of their property without their owners and be under control at all times.

When a dog attack is reported, the council will investigate, including interviewing any witnesses, and an infringement notice will be issued if one is warranted.