We won?t bow, say city dog inspectors

ag18/805/7.SNAPPY Rockhampton dog owners retaliated after copping almost $20,000 in fines last weekend for unregistered mutts.

Inspectors were sworn at during a tirade of abuse which turned personal.

One officer had a curse put on him.

Another was bitten on the leg by a dog while he was standing on a footpath.

The abuse was so bad animal control officers were not willing to be interviewed or photographed by The Morning Bulletin yesterday fearing retribution.

The canine crackdown to capture rego evaders saw 130 Division 3 residents issued with on-the-spot $150 fines.

Four stray dogs were impounded and, at one home, five pooches were found (maximum allowed is two).

The $19,500 in infringement notices issued at the weekend could soon be repeated if attitudes don't change with the council planning further systematic inspections.

The council's environmental services committee chairman Tony Williams said it was disappointing the way some people had treated inspectors.

"Our officers are only doing their sometimes very difficult job ? trying to make the city a safer place to live,'' Cr Williams said.

The council gives advanced warning to dodgy dog owners by advertising systematic inspections and sending reminder notices.

Registration expiry dates can also be found on tags and registration papers.

In 2003, a dog owner copped two fines after he persisted with verbal abuse against a city animal control officer who caught him with an unregistered pet.

On that occasion, the officer said: "You are abusing an officer, that is another ticket''.

Cr Williams said the current procedure of dealing with people who intimidated or abused officers was through the courts.

That course of action was chosen recently after an enraged motorist, being issued a parking ticket at a Rockhampton shopping centre, struck an officer's infringement notice book, which hit him in the face and landed about five metres away.



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