An initiative to help reduce the spate of dog attacks has been launched by Auckland Council which will focus on vulnerable communities.
An amnesty has been made available to owners of menacing dogs which will significantly reduce the cost of registering, micro chipping, de-sexing and providing muzzles for dogs, particularly those of the American Pit Bull breed.
The amnesty will run until the 30th of June this year and during that period, owners who have failed to register their dogs until now will have the $300 failure to register fine waived.
It will also provide de-sexing, micro chipping and muzzles for a nominal $25 fee.
However, the Council has highlighted that following 1 July 2016, Auckland Council’s Animal Management team will conduct a widespread enforcement campaign and seize unregistered menacing dogs and fine the owners.
Councillor Calum Penrose, Chair of the Regulatory and Bylaws Committee who announced the amnesty today says the spate of recent attacks highlights the need for action.
Penrose says, “A dog attack affects an entire community. It leaves victims with permanent scars, both physically and emotionally, and can tear families apart.
“However, we recognise that this amnesty is a short-term solution and we cannot do this alone. We are calling on the support of the government to make changes to the Dog Control Act to require all councils throughout New Zealand to tackle this issue.”
Auckland Council’s Manager Animal Management, Geoff Keber, says that in Auckland, statistics show that pit bulls and their crosses are 20 times more likely than any other breed to be involved in a serious attack.
“We also know that dog attacks in the region are on the rise. In November 2014, there were 58 recorded attacks and 55 bites, however by January of this year, those numbers reached an all-time high, with 113 attacks and 90 bites recorded.”
The Council says they will begin advertising information that can assist those wanting to participate over the coming weeks. In the meantime anyone seeking more information should contact the Council.