Dog at­tacks halved by team ini­tia­tive

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Sta­tis­tics from the South Waikato District Coun­cil for 2010 and this year have shown a 50 per cent drop in dog at­tacks for the district.

Ac­cord­ing to South Waikato District Coun­cil, last year’s com­bined at­tacks on peo­ple and an­i­mals sat at 28 cases.

Now the num­ber of re­ported dog ver­sus hu­man (and dog ver­sus an­i­mal) at­tacks has halved to 14 re­ported in­ci­dents for this year.

Se­nior an­i­mal con­trol of­fi­cer Kerry Beck­ett said the fall in numbers could have some­thing to do with the an­i­mal con­trol team’s knuck­ling down on ‘‘rush­ing’’ dogs.

‘‘ It is the first sign of an ag­gres­sive be­hav­iour when they run up and ap­proach peo­ple in an ag­gres­sive man­ner.

‘‘It has to hap­pen in a pub­lic place of course but if a dog comes off a prop­erty on to the foot­path to rush a per­son and their lit­tle dog, we can do some­thing about that.

‘‘I just thought why not work with pre­vent­ing dog at­tacks, stop­ping them be­fore they hap­pen,’’ Ms Beck­ett said.

The re­moval of roam­ing dogs and a de­ci­sion not to re­home dogs show­ing that ‘‘ rush­ing’’ na­ture had played a role in the de­crease in at­tack numbers, how­ever, Ms Beck­ett said there were signs to look for be­fore a dog at­tacked.

‘‘It is a pretty con­sis­tent num­ber of rush­ing dogs that we en­counter. We are just hop­ing the word will get around and peo­ple will tell us their dogs are do­ing this (rush­ing).’’

FEWER AT­TACKS: Early ag­gres­sion signs marked.

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