More Auckland dog owners doing the right thing

Last Updated : 18 Oct 2021
More Auckland dog owners doing the right thing

Dog registration is up in Tāmaki Makaurau as Auckland Council releases its 2020/2021 Animal Management Annual Report.

The report details the council’s dog control activities for the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.

Acting Manager Animal Management, Elly Waitoa, says we know Aucklanders love their dogs, and that registration is a key tool for keeping our beloved pets and our communities safe.

“We’ve seen a large increase in the number of known dogs over the last year, jumping up from a total of 112,530 last year to 118,552 this year. That’s a more than five per cent increase, and we want to thank these dog owners for doing the right thing and registering their pooch.

“Overall, it’s been a great year for registration compliance, with a 94.8 per cent success rate, up 0.4 per cent on last year. This is a huge achievement for the team, given the current financial challenges that many people face from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

While it’s great to see high levels of registration, the team’s number one priority is reducing the number of incidents when dogs cause harm to people or other animals.

“There were 58 fewer attacks on other animals reported this year, but attacks on people increased by 71 cases, a rise of just over 10 per cent. In total, the teams investigated 1585 dog attacks, which is a slight increase 0.8 per cent from last year,” says Elly.

“While this rise is disappointing and concerning, if you take into account the increase in dog numbers, it actually indicates a slight downward trend in aggression-related incidents across the region.

“Of course, one attack is one too many. We’re determined to reduce these numbers and are proposing a number of targeted initiatives to help. We’re currently developing a heatmap to outline the areas that have higher levels of dog attacks, and will work with the community to put measures in place to help bring these levels down.

“We encourage Aucklanders to continue to report dog attacks to us so we can investigate and prevent further attacks from occurring.”

Councillor Linda Cooper, Chair of Auckland Council's Regulatory Committee, says the report highlights the excellent work the Animal Management staff continue to do, despite the challenges of COVID-19 restrictions.

“The Animal Management unit continued to deliver essential services during the various alert levels and lockdowns experienced during the year.

“The hardworking and caring team are continuously improving the way they do things to ensure Auckland Council is leading the way in all aspects of animal management.

“I applaud the team for once again delivering positive results, especially in a tough year.”

Additional annual report highlights

  • A two per cent increase in the number of dogs being classified as menacing due to their behaviour.
  • A 54 per cent decrease in the number of dangerous dogs.
  • Over 130 prosecutions against dog owners for serious breaches of the Dog Control Act 1996.
  • A 7.8 per cent increase in nuisance barking complaints.
  • 5228 dogs were impounded this year in the council’s animal shelters, a decrease of almost five per cent from the previous year.
  • An increase in dogs successfully returned to their owners this year, with over 71 per cent of all impounded dogs making their way back home.
  • 328 dogs adopted from our shelters.
  • Field officers responded to 24,523 requests for service, slightly lower than the previous year.
  • 7825 proactive patrols and property visits completed during the year.

Looking ahead

Auckland Council is undertaking a project to actively promote Responsible Dog Owner licensing (RDOL) across the region, with a focus on increasing the percentage per total population of dog owners obtaining an RDOL by the end of the financial year.

To qualify for an RDOL you have to meet all criteria, which include no compliance breaches and registering your dog on time. To take the free online test, or for more information on the RDOL, visit the Auckland Council website.

You can read the full report here [PDF].

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