LOCAL dog owners are being asked to ‘Go Fetch’ this September.
Douglas Shire Council is encouraging local dog owners to register their pets to help re-unite lost pooches with their owners and improve outcomes for impounded dogs.
Discounts are available for residents including pensioner concession and for de-sexed dogs.
The call for increased registrations also comes amid a recent spike in dog attacks involving unregistered animals in Douglas Shire:
- Last financial year, there were 103 dog attacks, or incidents involving wandering dogs rushing up to people, with 72.5% of them involving unregistered animals.
- A further 111 unregistered dogs were impounded by Council last financial year.
- Since July 1 this year, Council has impounded 39 dogs, with 77% of those unregistered and responded to 19 incidents of dog attacks, or incidents involving wandering dogs rushing up to people.
Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said registration was the easiest way to protect your pet.
“It’s astounding that more than 70% of the dogs ending up in our pound or in serious attacks are not registered,” he said.
“These numbers are simply not good enough and put our community at risk.
“We will be working with our local dog owners to get every dog on our books to improve animal welfare and public safety in our region.”
Council officers will also be conducting door-to-door surveys to increase dog registrations in Douglas Shire.
An Approved Inspection Program will get underway from 20 September 2021 to ensure dog owners are complying with Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008.
The legislation requires that all dogs in Queensland are registered once they are more than 12 weeks old.
Dog registration is required under State Government legislation and failure to register your dog is an offence which carries a $275 fine.
Inspections will involve backyard checks and Council officers will not enter properties if they don’t have to.
Mayor Kerr said compliance checks were necessary to keep the community safe.
“Registering your dog helps us re-unite you with your pet if it is impounded, or to notify you in case of an accident,” Mayor Kerr said.
“While our Local Laws Officers can enter properties under the Animal Management Act, our intent is to conduct the survey without doing so.”
Approved Inspection Programs in other Far Northern councils have led to a 33% increase in dog registrations.
Registration forms can be downloaded from Council’s website and submitted at Council’s Customer Service Centres.
A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) is below:
Can Douglas Shire Council officers enter my property?
Yes, but Council officers will not enter yards if they don’t have to. While Council officers may be able to complete the inspection without having to enter your property, section 111 of the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 provides ‘Powers of Entry’ for an authorised person under an approved inspection program.
What if I am not home, does Douglas Shire Council still have the right to enter my yard?
Yes, but Council officers will not enter yards if they don’t have to. As outlined in section 111 of the Act, an authorised person from the Council can enter your property without you being home. The officer will leave a card or notice in a prominent place such as the mailbox or front door to let you know that they have been.
Will I be issued with a fine?
If you are found to be non-compliant with animal registration you will be issued a Notice to comply that will provide you with 7 days to register your dog/s. At the expiration of the Notice, if Council records show you have not registered your dog, you will be issued with a Penalty Infringement Notice (fine) for $275.00 for each dog in your care that you have failed to register. If you require more time to register your dogs, you will need to contact Council on (07) 4099 9444 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org where, depending on your circumstances, you may be issued a short extension. This will be at the discretion of an authorised person.