28 October 2012
Owners of ‘menacing dogs’ are being warned to have their dogs de-sexed or face a fine and seizure of their dog.
Rotorua District Council (RDC) recently resolved to enforce the full provisions of section 33E of the Dog Control Act 1996.
This means, that the owner of any dog classified as a ‘menacing dog’ under the provisions of sections 33A or 33C of the Act must, within one month, produce a certificate issued from registered vet certifying that the dog has been neutered.
RDC Animal Control supervisor Kevin Coutts says the majority of people affected are those who own American pit bull terrier types and dogs crossed with that breed.
“The council made this decision because of the overwhelming statistics about these dogs that have been collated nationally and locally over the past five years.
“These stats show American Pit bull terrier types, while only making up 1.5 per cent of the national dog population, are responsible for nearly 19 per cent of all dog attacks on people. Two of the most recent attacks in Rotorua have been very serious, with one the worst I’ve seen and ever likely to witness.”
Mr Coutts said these types of dogs are also over represented in attacks on other dogs and domestic animals.
Owners of menacing dogs have received a letter from the council explaining the policy change and have been given a timeframe to comply.
“We expect most owners will get their dogs neutered promptly and willingly but we will take action, including issuing $300 infringement notices and seizing dogs, where owners have not complied.
Mr Coutts said dog owners could contact the SPCA for assistance as that organisation would soon be commencing a discounted neutering programme for those who people who qualify.