SIXTY dogs in 70 properties and only two registered.
That's the shameful statistic from the first day of a recent property inspection program conducted by Central Highlands Regional Council rangers in Blackwater and comes a week after the RACQ named Central Queensland as having the highest rate of pet owners that fail to vaccinate, worm, tick check, microchip and register their dogs.
"Appalled" was the reaction from Mayor Councillor Peter Maguire.
"Registering your dog isn't voluntary. It isn't a choice to make. It's the law-in every town in Australia bar none.
"Apart from it being the law, there are several other good reasons to register your dog. Most importantly, if it gets lost or stolen it can be returned to you.
"During the inspection program rangers are issuing a warning notice and you've got 14 days to get your dog registered, which costs just $30 for a desexed dog. When the 14 days is up you'll be facing a $235.60 fine for
each unregistered dog," the mayor said.
Microchipping is also mandatory for dogs over 12 weeks of age, the mayor explained.
"It's microchipping and registration for every dog-no matter whether it's big or small, old or young or ever leaves your house.
"Day after day, dogs are coming into our pound and we don't have a clue who owns them. If the owner does show up, they're up for a fine for a wandering dog, a fine for an unregistered dog and pound fees of $40 per day.
"If the amount of unregistered dogs and wandering dogs isn't enough of a problem in this region, the avoidance of pet ownership responsibility via Facebook is even more alarming,' the mayor added.
"You're doing no one any favours by reporting wandering dogs via Facebook. Where's the accountability for pet owners here? People think their dogs can roam whenever and wherever they want because the most that'll happen is someone will post a picture of it online, give it a drink of water and wait for you to come and collect it.
"Unless people realise there are consequences-generally financial ones-for not doing the right thing by their pets, nothing is going to change around here.
"Apart from that, we often cop criticism for not having enough rangers to respond to animal complaints, but every wandering dog dealt with via Facebook is one less statistic for us to justify more resources.
"I can't stress this enough. A dog is for life. It's a commitment, like parenthood, that comes with financial, legal and moral responsibilities-the people in this region need to step up."
Council advised that the inspection program targeting unregistered dogs is taking place across the region within the next few weeks. For dog registration enquiries telephone 1300 242 686 or visit