Dog attacks halved by team initiative
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.