Upper Hunter Shire Council is reminding residents to report to Council any sightings of aggressive dogs and to ensure their own pets are secured.
Dog owners must ensure their animal is:
· Microchipped and registered
· wearing a collar with a tag identifying its name, and the owner’s address and phone number
· on a leash or otherwise secured on your property at all times.
An unrestrained and unsupervised dog can be a danger to other people and animals. The fine for dogs that attack, bite, harass, chase or rush at a person or animals is $550.
In the last year Council investigated 228 companion animal customer requests or complaints and 119 animals were impounded. Over 97% of customer complaints/enquiries for Animal Control are responded to within 24 hours.
Council’s General Manager Waid Crockett said Council was responding to reports of unsecured dogs as well as assisting some property owners to identify animals that attacked livestock, through CCTV surveillance.
“Council and many members of the community are concerned at the number of roaming dogs, particularly in light of attacks on livestock,” Mr Crockett said
“While many dogs on the street are not wild dogs and are not attacking livestock, they still should not be out.”
Council has two Compliance Officers - or Rangers that in addition to their work during the day are on a roster system for after-hour emergency call-outs.
Compliance Officers will always respond to complaints and enquiries regarding animal control matters. Incidents are always fully investigated and enforcement action taken where appropriate, once sufficient evidence is gathered.
Animal Control is only part of the workload for our Compliance Officers. Their duties also include operating the animal shelters, swimming pool inspections, onsite sewage management inspections, investigation of pollution incidents, noise, wood smoke, abandoned vehicles, development compliance, traffic, footpath trading licences, littering, illegal dumping and monitoring alcohol free zones.
“The Compliance Officers respond to calls from the public about dangerous and menacing dogs and stray animals that show signs of aggression,” Mr Crockett said.
“Council cannot always respond to all after-hours calls about every stray animal on the street.
“Council is doing what it can with available resources. We rely on the public to report incidents so they can be properly investigated.
“Ultimately dog owners need to ensure their animals are secured.”
Upper Hunter Shire Council is a local government authority and provides an extensive array of services including health and building; town planning; aged care; sporting and recreational facilities; roads; libraries; garbage collection; airport facilities; saleyards; public venues; water; children, youth and families and tourist information.