An­i­mal con­trol pe­ti­tion launched

Newslink - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - RACHAEL KELLY

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.

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