New Council Dog Control Contract in Place
Westland Dog Services were recently appointed as the Westland District Council’s new dog control contractors with their contract taking effect from 1 November 2017.
Westland Dog Services has significant animal control experience. The two-person team is based in Hokitika and has been charged with responding to all dog control incidents in Westland.
Due to Westland’s large geographic area, in some situations our dog control contractors cannot attend immediately. The contract requirements are for Priority 1 (P1) matters to be attended to within 30 minutes (plus travel time). P1 matters include:
- Dog attacks on persons, domestic animals, poultry, stock or protected wildlife
- Dogs rushing at persons or animals
- Dog attacking stock
- Pick up of a dog that is confined or restrained in some manner
- Barking dog complaint where a Bark Abatement Notice has been issued
Before 8am and after 5pm on weekdays, and all day on weekends and public holidays, only P1 matters are addressed. Other matters, referred to as Priority 2 (P2) and including wandering or barking dogs where a Bark Abatement Notice has not yet been issued, are addressed during weekday business hours only – within 4 hours (plus travel time). South of Mt Hercules, a phone assessment is usually conducted first to determine whether attendance is required.
All dog control complaints are managed by Westland District Council. This means that all dog control issues should be reported to Westland District Council (phone 03-756-9010) in the first instance. When a call is received regarding an incident, the issue is logged in our service request system which gives us the ability to track the status of a complaint, view the history of a complaint and access any files or images that the public have sent us. This data then provides accountability enabling us to report on the number of reported incidents.
This has always been the process, however, our previous contractors were often contacted direct by members of the public which sometimes meant that Council didn’t have full oversight and may not have been aware of complaints that were made direct to the contractors and thus couldn’t follow these up.
In the near future, our contractors will be supplied with electronic technology that will enable them to update the status of a complaint from the field. This real-time entering of reports will improve the timeliness of information provided to Council which we believe will improve the level of customer service offered to the public.
For after-hours dog control support, members of the public can obtain support via Council’s phone number. The after-hours phone message has an option to press a button to be connected direct to our dog control contractors, who will deal with matters according to the priority system.
Westland District Council has a temporary impounding facility in Hokitika currently. Construction of the building exterior of a new, permanent impounding facility (also in Hokitika) has been completed, however, interior works still need to be completed before this new facility can be used.
Group Manager for Planning, Community and Environment, Jim Ebenhoh, says, “As we transition to new contractors, there may be teething issues that we need to address. Constructive feedback from members of the public is always welcome.”