MEDIA RELEASE COUNCIL STEPS UP DOG PATROLS FRIDAY 6 JULY, 2007 ISSUED BY THE WOLLONGONG CITY COUNCIL COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS DIVISION Phone (02) 4227 7100 / (02) 4227 7062 • Mob 0400 466 697 / 0419 251 607 Web http://www.wollongong.nsw.gov.au Wollongong City Council is stepping up its campaign to manage the city’s dog population by recruiting new Animal Control Enforcement Rangers, who will conduct patrols at off-leash areas, beaches and other public spaces. The three new Rangers will commence duty at the end of July and will focus on increased enforcement of the NSW Companion Animals Act. Canine owners who disregard signs, do not pick up after their dog, or fail to comply with dog restrictions in public places will be targeted. Recent changes to the Act have also expanded Council’s responsibility to effectively manage companion animals, and to be aware of all restricted breeds and dangerous dogs in the city. As part of this commitment, the new Rangers will begin a program to identify the location of all dangerous and restricted dogs in Wollongong. This will involve a public awareness campaign and a series of backyard audits. The Lord Mayor, Councillor Alex Darling, said after years of widespread education campaigns concerning canine responsibilities, owners who fail to comply with dog restrictions in public places will face on-the-spot fines ranging from $165 to $1760. “Although public education will continue, Council believes it’s now time to take a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to benefit the whole community, including the majority of dog owners who do follow the rules,” the Lord Mayor said. “Companion animal legislation has been in place since 1998 but we still see dog attacks, dogs off their leads in non-approved off-leash areas, and owners disregarding signs and not picking up after their dog.” “In a recent review, the community, including dog owners, expressed a desire for tougher enforcement, so I urge everyone to be responsible and comply with animal laws for the sake of public safety,” Councillor Darling added. If residents are unsure about their dog owner responsibilities, they can call Ranger Services on 4227 7710, or Council’s Animal Shelter on 4225 2727. Council’s website, www.wollongong.nsw.gov.au, also contains related useful material.