New Zealand Dog News

Reviewing the dog news in New Zealand with editors comments. Someone needs to keep reviewing how our dogs are doing in society.

March 10, 2012

Editorial: Dog control at heart of vexed fee-rise wrangle

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Statistics for 2010-11 show more than 3300 dogs impounded in Auckland were destroyed after being unclaimed by their owners and deemed too dangerous to be adopted. A higher reclaim fee would only aggravate this.

Given that, the dog owners' case against the increase in registration fees must rest on the concept that control is a community issue, rather than a burden to be placed on the shoulders of dog owners.

This view is underpinned by the many roles of man's best friend, not least in providing companionship for the elderly and the ailing, and in enhancing community health and wellbeing through activities inherent in dog ownership.

In that context, it is reasonable to argue that there is as much reason for ratepayers to subsidise dog control as there is, say, to subsidise council swimming pools. Ironically, the $5.5 million that KPMG estimated it would cost ratepayers for free entry to the council's 24 pools is almost identical to what they would have to pay if the dog registration fees were to remain as they are.

Auckland's beaches provide a readymade alternative to the council pools. That severely undercuts the case for free entry. Dog control costs create far more of a dilemma. The ultimate answer probably lies in a licensing system that would require owners to do a course in dog behaviour and care.  MORE>>

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