Shock number of pets impounded or surrendered to council
A new document has revealed about 2,800 cats and dogs were impounded and more than 600 surrendered to Rockhampton Regional Council in 2019.
The Animal Management Strategy, endorsed this week at a council meeting, also outlines some new strategies for better responsible pet ownership in the Rockhampton region.
Community education, vet partnerships, and pet registrations are just some of the key items outlined in the policy which will be in place until 2023.
Councillor for Planning and Regulation, Ellen Smith, said she was thrilled to see such an important document officially endorsed.
"Our Local Laws staff do an incredible job year-round, and this strategy complements the work that has been done up until this point, and the work ahead," Cr Smith said.
"It's a great public document and shares with the community how we as a council are working toward improved responsible pet ownership in our region.
"It lists the issues we face in this area at the moment - such as unregistered pets, animal identification, and wandering pets.
"What's more though, is with each issue listed, there are strategic and tangible ways we are working to improve these.
"We have some fantastic education campaigns ahead, we're looking to roll out programs where we continue to partner with agencies and businesses both local and wider, and we even some events planned - so be sure to watch this space for details of these as we move forward."
In a sweet addition to the document, Cr Smith said a number of residents might also spot some familiar furry faces in the strategy.
"Some time ago, we put a call out on Facebook for residents to share pictures of their dogs with us and we were inundated," she said.
"We have used many of these photos already in one of our campaigns, and we're excited to also feature a few four legged locals in this strategy.
"They will continue to be featured in our upcoming campaigns which will be rolled out over the upcoming months."
Some of the key details of the new Animal Management Policy:
DOG ATTACKS AND AGGRESSIVE DOGS RESPONSE
Dog attacks and complaints of aggressive dogs total around 300 per year, however it is noted this is not entirely accurate as not all actual incidents are reported to council.
Council will respond immediately to dog attacks.
Dogs surrendered as a result of attack will be euthanised after a 24 hour cooling off period.
Penalties will be invoked according to circumstances and legislation.
In 2019 council received more than 2,100 notifications of wandering or restricted animals. In total more than 950 dogs and 890 cats were collected and taken to the Animal Management Centre.
Council will return non-aggressive dogs to their owner, free of charge on the first offence, if the dog is registered and microchipped.
If impounded and the dog is a "first impound", it may be released free of charge, if it is registered and microchipped, and claimed within one day.
UNWANTED CATS AND DOGS
In 2019, council had 310 dogs and 314 cats surrendered by owners at the Animal Management Centre.
Council will continue to offer reduced registration fees for desexed and microchipped dogs and conduct regular promotions to ensure responsible pet ownership.
ANIMAL MANAGEMENT CENTRE
On average 120 dogs and 100 cats are impounded each month due to wandering, seizures and surrenders.
ANIMAL NOISE NUISANCE
In 2019 council received more than 770 complaints regarding barking dogs and nearly 120 nuisance complaints.
Other points of the strategy include community awareness and information of keeping animals registered and getting them microchipped.