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Auckland offers amnesty on dangerous dogs

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/04/2016

Auckland Council is offering an amnesty on menacing dogs to encourage owners to get their animals, particularly American pit bull terriers, on the books.

Owners who don't currently have their dog registered have until the end of June to do so for the 2015-16 year and they won't have to pay the $300 fine.

The council will also waive the registration fee for the 2016-17 year, which can cost up to $252, and is offering de-sexing, microchipping and muzzles for just $25.

The amnesty is aimed at reducing the harm done by menacing dogs in vulnerable communities - which are mainly around south Auckland, the council says.

After the amnesty, the council will start seizing dogs and fining owners.

The public debate around dog control has reignited since a pregnant woman was attacked by two dogs in Christchurch earlier this month.

The council says its statistics show dog attacks are on the rise.

In January there were 113 attacks and 90 bites recorded, around twice the numbers 14 months earlier.

Pit bulls and their crosses are 20 times more likely than any other breed to be involved in a serious attack.

There is also an over representation of dog attacks in some areas of the region, particularly in the south, says council animal management boss Geoff Keber.

Councillor Calum Penrose says the council is best placed to take the lead to reduce harm in vulnerable communities.

"A dog attack affects an entire community. It leaves victims with permanent scars, both physically and emotionally, and can tear families apart," he said.

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