22 March 2019

Media: Rotorua Daily Post
Topic: Roaming dogs

Enquiry

We have been told about vicious roaming dogs that 

At about 12pm yesterday on Puriri Cres a dog was attacked by "two roaming mutts". The person managed to get them to stop and said they rang the SPCA who came and took the injured dog to the vet but has had to subsequently be put down.

They said the council is now looking for the attacking dogs. A friend theirs saw the dogs "rip a cat to pieces" on Wednesday on Wrigley Rd but were unable to stop them. 

They described the dogs as one being medium sized, tan and the other a medium sized brindle looking dog which had a collar on. 

Can the council confirm this was reported to them?

Have the dog been found?

Will there be a tightening of rules around roaming dogs that are clearly causing a lot of distress to the community?

Additional question sent later:

It was additionally said that "the dogs and owner are known to the council but continue to not do anything about it." 

In addition to my previous questions, which I would still like answered, could you please tell me why the council is not responding to the vicious dogs that are killing other dogs? 

Response

From Animal Control Team Lead Dylan Wright:

Council's Animal Control team were first alerted to the attack at Puriri Crescent by SPCA staff who were initially contacted by the witness to tend to the injured dog.

An Animal Control officer visited the witness who was only able to provide a general description of the two dogs involved in the attack.

The attack was reported to Council sometime later by the owner of the dog which was attacked.

These dogs have not been identified nor were they previously known to Council. Prior to this attack, Council was alerted to two attacks on animals in nearby areas. A dog trap was left at one of the properties to try and capture the offending dog(s) however as there were no witnesses in either instance, Council cannot be sure that it was the same dogs.

The Animal Control unit have also increased patrols in the Hillcrest area.

We would like to encourage anyone who witnesses roaming dogs to report them direct to Council on 07 348 4199 (24/7) as soon as possible with as much information as they are able.

We understand that often people do not report roaming dogs or will choose to post photos on social media for fear the dog or owner will be punished. However we need these reports so we can try and avoid the situation wherein an animal or person is attacked. 

It is the owner's responsibility to ensure their dogs are secured on their own property at all times. If dogs are not out roaming then attacks like this would not happen.

General information (please note these are not quotes):

  • In the past three months (Dec, Jan and Feb) Council's Animal Control unit has received 279 calls about roaming dogs. This number makes up about 23% of all jobs lodged.

  • Council has a team of seven active Animal Control officers with a minimum of four attending complaints and patrols daily Monday to Friday and a minimum of two on weekends. Afterhours officers are on call after 4.30pm and respond as needed to jobs phoned through to our afterhours team.

  • Attacks are considered a 'priority one' job which means they are responded to immediately 24 hours a day.

  • Council's Animal Control officers respond to all jobs lodged as soon as possible. If they are not responding to a particular job they are out on general patrol around the district.

  • Council's Animal Control team must work to the legislation set out under the Dog Control Act.

  • If you own a dog it is your responsibility to make sure it is secured on your own property at all times.

  • Roaming dogs should be reported to Council as soon as possible. Often people post pictures and information on private social media pages which means officers are not aware of roaming dog issues. If dogs are reported to Council, officers can attend sooner and are more likely to pick up the dog(s).

When reporting a dog (if safe to do so) a photograph of the dog and/or a detailed description of the breed and if known, the address from which the dog emerged or is known to live, is useful. This information will help animal control staff to follow up as appropriate

Page reviewed: 25 Mar 2019 4:18pm