Pound death row for dogs
Almost 1800 dogs were seized or impounded in Hamilton last year and despite the best efforts of animal control officers to rehome the animals, more than 600 were put down.
Figures obtained by the Waikato Times show seizures have jumped by 30 per cent in the last two years, and owners are often to blame, officials say.
Most seizures are for roaming or unregistered dogs, and city animal control staff say they constantly deal with dog owners who don't know the rules.
"We'll hold a good dog for [adoption] as long as we possibly can," he said.
However, seized dogs are battling the odds. Only 8 per cent find new homes, while 37 per cent are euthanased - more than 1140 in the last two years.
In an effort to avoid an influx of abandoned animals being put down in the new year, animal safety campaigners are urging people to think before they give a pet as a Christmas present.
New Zealand Veterinary Association veterinary resources manager Wayne Ricketts warned of the associated costs involved with the cute ball of fluff that is presented on Christmas morning and people need to consider this before signing up to own a pet.
"Think about how it will be looked after, when will it be de-sexed, vaccinations, health checks, how much it will cost on a daily basis and whether it will still be loved when it grows out of the cute kitten or puppy stage," he said.
The city council is legally required to hold seized and impounded dogs for seven days to give owners the opportunity to collect them. which means that if you have a friend caring for your dog, make sure they pay the fine !! otherwise you might come home to NO dog!!
The dogs then become the property of the council and are all put through a behavioural assessment to decide whether they're suitable for rehoming by adoption.
All dog owner rules and responsibilities are explained on hamilton.co.nz, and dogs available for adoption are listed on hamilton.co.nz/adoptadog.