Free desexing of ‘high-risk’ dogs

Free de-sexing of ‘high-risk’ dogs is being offered by the Invercargill City Council as part of a $40,000 funding package provided by the Government ahead of its proposed law change.

The law change, which is likely to take effect in the next few months, affects the way menacing and dangerous dogs are kept. One of the requirements under the new law is the neutering of all high-risk dogs. There are currently 129 dogs in Invercargill that are considered high risk, and owners will be visited by Animal Services staff who will discuss the proposed law change and free neutering.

Council’s Compliance Manager, John Youngson, said people had from now until June 30, 2017, to take advantage of the offer.

“It is a first-in-first-served programme,” he said. People will be issued a purchase order that they can take to any vet clinic in Invercargill to have their dog neutered. Dogs that are not already microchipped can have this done for free also,” he said.

Council’s Legal Advisor, Michael Morris, said the changes were expected to become law soon. “While the Council has had a bylaw about this for a number of years, the proposed changes will strengthen this by making it a requirement under the Dog Control Act,” he said.

Other provisions include:

  • Keeping high-risk dogs in a fenced area at home which allows visitors dog-free access to at least one house entrance.
  • Displaying signs at the front of the property alerting people of a high-risk dog.
  • Ensuring dangerous or menacing dogs wear collars identifying them as high-risk. These dogs must also wear muzzles and be on a leash in public places.
  • Obtaining a high-risk dog licence.
  • Seeking consent from the local authority to transfer the dog to a new owner.
  • Informing any new owner that the dog is classified.