War on Bundy's unregistered dogs
MORE than 6000 unregistered dogs and a $600,000-plus shortfall in paying for animal control has Bundaberg Regional Council barking mad.
So, beginning next month, animal control officers will go door-to-door to sniff out unreg
There are about 16,000 dogs in the council area, and health and regulatory services manager John Duffield estimates 35% of these are not registered.
“If you don’t have any surveillance then people think they won’t get caught,” Mr Duffield said.
“A lot of people are willing to take the risk and we want to find them.”
Mr Duffield said many people did not understand the importance of registering their pet.
“Lots of people don’t recognise that registering helps them find their dog if it goes missing,” he said.
Councillor Mary Wilkinson echoed this warning.
“It will save people so much heartache,” she said.
“It’s not worth the family tragedy of losing a pet.”
Cr Wilkinson said responsible pet owners would register their animals.
“It’s simple. If you love your pet, you register them,” she said.
Cr Wilkinson said the council did everything it could to get lost dogs back to their owners.
“It’s really hard for us to reunite dogs and their owners if there is no identification,” she said.
“If we can’t find the owners, we do our best to find them a new home.”
Mr Duffield said the council animal control program cost $800,000 each year to run and not even a quarter of this was raised with registration fees.
“It is a vital service,” he said.
“The greatest number of complaints that council receives are about animals.”
Owners caught with unregistered dogs can face on-the-spot fines and legal action.
“If people do the wrong thing, they can’t expect council not to take action against them,” he said.
Mr Duffield said while many owners thought they would not get caught, people talked.
“There are lots of neighbours who let us know,” he said.
To register your dog, phone Bundaberg Regional Council on 1300 883 699.