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Dog owners bite at amnesty

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/06/2016

An amnesty on dog registrations in Auckland has resulted in hundreds of menacing breed owners coming forward to put their animals on the books.

Auckland Council is hailing the amnesty as the city's most successful ever, with 610 owners signing up 676 dogs, with 10 days still to run.

Earlier this year, the council announced it would waive the $300 fine for an unregistered menacing dog, the registration fee - which can cost up to $252 - and offer de-sexing, microchipping and muzzles for just $25.

"We've had a fantastic response so far to our very generous amnesty and I urge dog owners to sign up now because we will not be extending it or offering it again," said councillor Calum Penrose.

Ninety-five dogs had been neutered and there was now a waiting list for the operation.

The amnesty is aimed at reducing the harm done by menacing dogs, particularly American pit bull terriers, 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 council 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.

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