When a dog control officer left a note on Mike Nelley's fence about his two fox terriers, he had no idea that within 24 hours the dogs would be gone and it would cost him more than $220 to get them back.
"There's no such thing as private property any more," said Mr Nelley.
The Hamilton man paid the penalty for refusing to register Bonnie, eight, and Clyde, six.
Under the 2004 amended Dog Control Act, dog control officers have greater powers to seize unregistered dogs.
Which is exactly what happened last week when the council received a complaint about an unregistered fox terrier getting into rubbish bags in the Yeats Cres area.
Dog control manager Janice Burns said once the council had a complaint, it had to act on it.(Ya, and the owner can't appeal because they don't want to release the complainant's name. Basically anyone which a grudge with you can complain about anything about your dog, and you get a black tick beside your name... )
An officer posted a message on Mr Nelley's fence last Tuesday asking him to contact the council urgently about his dog.
When he failed to do so, officers the next day went on to the section and seized both Bonnie and Clyde. "I don't think you should have to register your dog. Why don't you have to register your cat as well? It's the only animal you have to register," said Mr Nelley.
"You've got no option and no rights, it seems."(Ah, Mr Nelley,,, someone has to pay for all those dog control officers issueing tickets for a dog urinating on a neighbour's fence unsupervised. More laws mean more complaints = paying more mean dog officers who have no sympathy with the amount of work you do to make your dog socialised)
When he was told it would cost him $223 to get them back –- the seizure and registration fees –- he saw red. He managed to scrape the money up and on Monday his dogs were back home none the worse for wear for their three-day stay at the pound.
While the council gave a tick to the fencing around Mr Nelley's property, he is aware fox terriers have a reputation for being able to get out of anywhere.
"They're pretty clever dogs," he said.
Mrs Burns said fencing for fox terriers had to be better than for bigger dogs, as it was often smaller dogs that caused trouble once out.
Fox terriers could be among the worse because they were "snappy animals" that could nip ankles and loved getting into rubbish.
"You're creating a health hazard when that happens. We're trying to control that."
The council knew there were still unregistered dogs in the city and many of them, like Bonnie and Clyde, were well cared for. (so why penalise him even more?!... go after those dogs who aren't well cared for)