29 March 2019

Media: Rotorua Daily Post
Topic: Dog Attacks

Enquiry

Just doing a story on the dog attacks in the district. 

Also doing a story on the spate of dog attacks in the area. Many have said they feel unsafe and more cats have been killed. Accusations are being made that animal control is not coming where they are needed. Vicious dogs have been spotted in Koutu, Hillcrest and Fairysprings.

Council did comment when I asked last week but just thought I'd add in a few more points. 

-Can I please have comment on the deaths of animals this week?

-Have you noticed more dog attacks than usual? Or calls for roaming dogs?

-What is being done?

Subsequent questions received:

I have had reports of vicious dog attacks in Hillcrest. 

A woman spoke to me and said she saw her cat being mauled to death by 2 dogs and new of 5 other cats and a dog in the area that had been killed.

She said she is living in fear "I want to feel safe or move."

She is too scared to to let her children walk next door. 

"Next thing it will be a child"

She said animal control was very helpful. 

-Are these on animal controls radar - particularly Hillcrest? Is dog control spending a lot of time on dog attacks in the past few weeks? 

-Have reports made it to animal control?

-Will animal control take responsibility for these attacks? 

-What advice is there for people keeping themselves and their animals safe? 

-What advice is there if people think their dogs might be doing this? 

-What advice is there when people see a roaming dog?

Response

From Animal Control Team Lead Dylan Wright:

"We can confirm that in the past fortnight Council has had reports of three cats, a dog and a guinea pig having been attacked and killed. We have only had general descriptions of what the offending dogs look like. No one has been able to confirm where the dogs live.

Although attacks on animals have decreased from the same period last year, the Animal Control unit has noticed a spike of attacks on animals in the Hillcrest area but there is no obvious reason to say why this is. It could be as simple new dogs to the area.

Officer patrols have increased in Hillcrest and other areas known for roaming dogs. All roaming sightings in the Hillcrest area are being treated as top priority and are being responded to 24 hours a day.

We really want to encourage people to report roaming dog sightings to Council on 07 348 4199 as soon as they can with as much information as possible.

If pet owners are concerned it would help to keep your animals inside at night and make sure any property gates or fences are secure.

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 – it’s as simple as that."

General information:

  • In February/March 2018 Council recorded 278 calls about roaming dogs. For the same period in 2019 we have recorded 229 calls.

  • 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 time.

  • 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.

If you see a roaming dog it is important to try and distance yourself from the dog but do not run.  If possible get behind a solid object such as a fence, inside your home if you are on your own property or get to your car if it is nearby.

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Media: RotoruaNow (Sunlive)
Topic: Hemo sculpture

Enquiry

A wee note requesting a breakdown of contributions, or confirmation thereof, and from whom relating to the construction of the Hemo Gorge sculpture:

RLC $240,000 risen to $388,000 ($148,000 added to contribution).

NZTA $200,000

Te Puia $50,000

Red Stag/Civic Arts Trust $100,000 (combined) Is a breakdown possible?

Individual prospect $15,000 (did the suggestion publicised in 2017 (circa!) materalise?)

Also, are you in a position to acknowledge in view of the later revised costs whether partners other than RLC in the sculpture project were asked to contribute more, or was the latest figure of directly from council coffers, specifically the arts budget?

Response

The information shared in the news article of 21 March 2019 is the most up to date public information.

As provided in the excerpt below Council agreed to increase the original funding by $118,000 and the rest of the overall increase would be covered by project partners.

If you would like details of their contributions we encourage you to seek that information directly from them.

“Council confirmed that it would continue the construction of the sculpture and increase its final contribution from $270,000 to $388,000 with project partners and Red Stag Timber, Rotorua Civic Arts Trust, Rotorua Trust, Infinity Foundation and Lion Foundation contributing the rest”

 

Page reviewed: 13 May 2019 8:26am