Shocking number of unregistered dogs in our region
NEARLY one thousand unregistered dogs have been discovered in five months since Somerset Regional Council first launched its systematic dog inspection program.
The inspections commenced in August, with council operatives investigating properties in urban and rural-residential properties in the Somerset that didn't have dogs registered, or previously had animals registered but didn't renew those registrations for the 2019/2020 period.
The goal of the program was to ensure homeowners were complying with the registrations and microchipping requirements of the Animal Management Act.
Inspections continued through most of the remainder of 2019, but did not operate in December.
In total, 5057 properties were investigated in 2019, and 980 unregistered dogs were found, completely surpassing the expectations of council.
"We were expecting to find 400-500 animals by the time the program was finished," Peter Tabulo, council's Director of Planning and Development said.
"We're probably going to crack 1000 before we're done."
So far, program officers have completed inspections through towns and surrounding areas of Esk, Lowood, Fernvale, Kilcoy and parts of Toogoolawah.
In November, council resolved to allocate additional funding to the program, to continue carrying out inspections in and around the smaller towns in the Somerset.
The effectiveness of the inspections - even in areas they haven't been carried out - has been demonstrated by the rise in the number of animals registered in the region.
In the 2018/2019 financial year, 3,804 dogs were registered, but this number has risen to 5,014 so far in the 2019/2020 period.