Animal control petition launched
The Gore District Council has brought forward an initiative to work with dog owners, but a woman at the centre of an online spat with the council is organising a petition about the animal control department’s performance.
Pehni Prattley posted on social media last week about her alleged treatment by council animal control staff after her dog Cuzzie, a German shepherd cross, was impounded in July last year.
Council staff say they were acting on a complaint that the dog was wandering and unregistered. Prattley denies the dog was wandering.
Since making the post, Prattley says she has had ‘‘plenty of support’’ from people who are unhappy with the service they have received from animal control staff.
‘‘It’s not just me, there’s hundreds of people who aren’t happy.
‘‘I definitely think a petition is what we need. We need to get a real person who cares about us and our dogs.’’
Gore district mayor Tracy Hicks said on Friday he supported the actions of animal control staff, and that vote of confidence was backed by council regulatory and planning general manager Ian Davidson-Watts on Tuesday.
‘‘The way our dog ranger is executing his duties is bang on. It is a tough job and it is never easy dealing with emotive situations,’’ Davidson-Watts said.
He had no issue with the way the ranger acted when Prattley’s dog was impounded.
The social media post prompted the council to bring forward a plan to set up a working party of dog owners to assist the council to deliver better service.
In the wake of the online postings, Davidson-Watts said the council decided to look at the way it carried out animal control duties
‘‘We need to be front-footed on that, and if there is a service delivery issue we need to look at that.
‘‘It needs to be an ongoing process, but people also need to be educated about the council’s role in animal control and how rangers carried out their duties.
‘‘We can’t have the town looking like the wild west with packs of dogs roaming everywhere. We are there to prevent the mauling of a small child and if that happens on my watch I would be absolutely horrified.’’
He said Prattley was welcome to join the working group, and she said it was something she would consider.
Pehni Prattley is starting an online petition about animal control after her dog Cuzzie was impounded.