Incoming pets to Glenfield Road Animal Shelter have exceeded last year’s figures by double for the New Year period, and Council are urging the public to take responsibility for their animals.
City Compliance Coordinator for Wagga, Brett Burt, said the numbers so far are shocking.
“In the last 11 days we’ve had 18 dogs come in, which is double what it was last year, and 11 cats which is also up on last year,” Mr Burt said.
“It’s a serious problem in our community, and so we are being strict on enforcing the laws around pet ownership because we need to find a solution,” he said.
Mr Burt said one of the main issues being noticed is a rise in dog attacks and related aggressive behaviour.
“We had 107 dog attacks over the year, which is more common than it should be,” he said.
Allowing aggressive behaviour to be expressed by dogs comes at a high price.
“There’s actually hefty fines for someone whose dog has attacked someone, or even if they have just ran at someone with vicious intent – they can be charged $1320,” he said.
Mr Burt said the rise in incidences may be related to increased pet ownership in general.
“Our animal population is increasing, which could be the reason for the increased instances of more attacks and animals coming in to the pound,” he said.
According to Mr Burt, authorities are urging people to do two main things when it comes to pet ownership, even providing incentives to get the message across.
“The government runs a savings incentive – to register your dog normally, it costs you $207, but if you get them desexed, that price drops down to only $57,” he said.
“Another incentive is the fines being so high now under companion animal legislation, which are going up pretty much every year to discourage poor pet ownership.
“So really the two key things are getting your pets desexed, and learn the legislation so you know the importance of responsible pet ownership – otherwise it will cost you big time.”