Greater Taree City Council has launched a ‘Learn to Love Your Dog’ campaign to help educate the community on the responsibilities of dog ownership.
Greater Taree City Council’s Senior Environmental Health Officer, Dan Bugitti said that the campaign aims to educate the community on the responsibilities of dog ownership, including dog selection, desexing, registration, microchipping and dog welfare with the overall goal to reduce the number of dogs going to the Council pound, subsequent euthanasia rates and the number of breaches occurring.
“It’s a startling fact that the Taree City Pound has an average of 720 dogs enter the facility each year and of that number almost half (47%) are euthanased, 18% released back to their owners and 35% are sold or re-homed. We want to reduce the number of animals that enter our pound facility in the first instance but we can only do this with the community’s cooperation.”
Mr Bugitti said that the campaign over the coming months, through a range of planned activities, will focus on the key message that a dog is a lifetime commitment and there are a number of considerations that need to be made when committing to owning a dog, such as the legislative responsibilities of microchipping, desexing, life time registration and notifying council whenever there is a change of address for where the dog is being homed.
“There are also lifestyle factors to be considered when selecting a dog such as yard size, time available to walk and play with your dog, socialising with other dogs, the type of dog suitable for children, family allergies and boarding arrangements when holidays are taken. Dogs need exercise and company to keep them healthy and regular vet checks are important, as well as preventative medications such as flea and tick protection. All these things are part of the commitment to being a responsible dog owner. There is also a monetary cost of owning a dog and this can average between $1,000 and $1,500 a year, or more, depending on the size and special needs of the dog,” Mr Bugitti said.
To assist with the ‘Learn to Love Your Dog’ campaign, the education branch of the NSW RSPCA has partnered with Council to assist with educational activities. After having a presence at the Old Bar Beach Festival over the October long weekend, RSPCA education officers will be attending other major festivals and events around the Manning over the coming months. Other activities will include microchipping days at the Council pound, education talks at schools and community groups and behavioural assessment days.
Council has a range of information available regarding the responsibilities of dog ownership including a ‘learn to Love Your Dog’ fact sheet.