Noisy pets a nui­sance

East and Bays Courier - - P4 P6 - MANDY TE

Noisy an­i­mals are caus­ing headaches for some Auck­land res­i­dents.

And with day­light sav­ings start­ing on Septem­ber 24, the num­ber of noise com­plaints Auck­land Coun­cil re­ceives is likely to in­crease as roost­ers start crow­ing in the small hours.

The coun­cil reg­u­larly re­ceives noise com­plaints re­lat­ing to dogs, chick­ens, roost­ers, and even, on oc­ca­sion, para­keets and pea­cocks.

In the year to June the coun­cil’s an­i­mal man­age­ment team re­ceived 8300 com­plaints about dogs bark­ing.

Be­tween Oc­to­ber and Au­gust, it re­ceived 230 poul­try-re­lated com­plaints, 87 of which came from cen­tral Auck­land.

Auck­land Coun­cil by­laws and com­pli­ance man­ager Max Wilde said it re­ceived rooster com­plaints year-round.

‘‘Some will crow at pretty much any­thing – a dog bark­ing, a car door slam­ming, even a se­cu­rity light com­ing on,’’ Wilde said.

‘‘But once the clocks change, roost­ers start crow­ing from 4am and peo­ple get grumpy,’’ Wilde said.

San­dring­ham res­i­dent Raewyne Crewe and her part­ner have seven chick­ens.

Although Crewe had re­ceived one noise com­plaint about her chick­ens in the past, most of her neigh­bours were ac­cept­ing of them and liked re­ceiv­ing eggs, she said.

Of the noisy dog com­plaints, about 4000 were from cen­tral and east Auck­land.

Auck­land Coun­cil an­i­mal man­age­ment man­ager Tracey Moore said 103,000 dogs were reg­is­tered last year.

In 2015, coun­cil started tri­alling elec­tronic col­lars on noisy dogs.

Elec­tronic bark col­lars have been con­tro­ver­sial as they mod­ify a dog’s be­hav­iour through vi­bra­tions, shocks and re­leas­ing a cit­ronella spray.

‘‘Our mon­i­tor­ing shows that bark col­lars can be ef­fec­tive in re­duc­ing bark­ing,’’ Moore said.

Coun­cil did not sup­ply elec­tronic bark col­lars but worked with own­ers to en­cour­age their use when noise was an on­go­ing prob­lem.

It was im­por­tant for own­ers to un­der­stand why their dog was bark­ing, and that there were other ac­tions they could try first be­fore us­ing an elec­tronic bark col­lar, she said.

Eller­slie res­i­dent David Fo­ley said his dog used to bark so he bought an elec­tronic col­lar.

‘‘He still barked for a day or two un­til he learnt the con­se­quences of the col­lar which they have to go through,’’ Fo­ley said.

‘‘Now when he has the col­lar on, he doesn’t bark.’’

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