Dogs continue to be a source of complaints in Manurewa, a problem made worse by people turning to social media rather than Auckland Council to report issues.
Manurewa Local Board member Glenn Murphy says it may be people giving owners time to get their wandering dogs under control before Auckland Council’s Animal Management staff get involved, but it means problem dogs can be left to roam.
“Residents post on social media but unless a complaint is raised directly with the council, Animal Management are powerless to act.”
“We’ve been communicating with residents and Animal Management around the issue of a general lack of official reporting.”
“Residents must follow the reporting process for roaming or vicious dogs because Animal Management can’t act on hearsay and needs direct contact from someone who personally witnessed the dog roaming.”
“The law and our processes simply do not allow Animal Management to act on rumours or hearsay, so it’s extremely important people do report dog-related issues directly.”
To do that, Murphy says anyone can call 09 301 0101 or 0800 462 685, their complaint is then assigned to an investigating officer and dealt with accordingly.
“It could be that people don’t wish to get involved or to be seen as the ones complaining, especially when dog owners can be very protective of their animals, but they need to be aware all complaints are entirely confidential.”
“And if the dog that people are concerned about is dangerous, we want it off the street before anyone is hurt.”
Murphy says COVID-19 restrictions mean more people are out walking, making wandering dogs more visible, though there is no excuse for dogs to roam uncontrolled.
While attacks are up on last year, Auckland also has more dogs than ever – almost 120,000.
Any breed can be classified as dangerous if its aggressive behaviour poses a threat to people or animals, if an owner admits a threat or is convicted of an offence such as the dog rushing a person.
More than 5000 dogs were impounded across Auckland last year, most returned to their owners, and about 300 were adopted.
“I would like to give people some assurance that Animal Management staff are proactively patrolling locally when they can,” Murphy says.
“Since the start of lockdown in August, Animal Management South has attended more than 200 reported jobs and impounded more than 80 dogs in Manurewa alone.
“More than 200 have been impounded in that time across South Auckland, which given the size of the area, illustrates the huge task the team has in ensuring jobs are attended in a timely way and I want to thank them for all their hard work to keep our community safe.”