Surveillance of stray dogs steps up

February 15, 2000 Tumut & Adelong Times

Tumut Shire Council has adopted a strategy to help counter a perceived stray dog problem in Tumut. There have been a number of complaints in recent months about roaming dogs in the town area, including two incidents of mauling attacks.

In an attempt to address the problem, council's Ranger will adopt a more flexible working time span, enabling early starts, late finishes and weekend work. Council is currently advertising for the position of permanent Ranger, with the new flexible conditions to be written into the job description. Council currently has a temporary Ranger employed, who has been working outside of usual office hours.

Environment Officer Ken Fletcher said Council was attempting to respond to the problem as best it could. "I can't say if the problem has increased in recent months or not - we don't keep statistics - but certainly there has been some well-publicised incidents," Mr Fletcher said.

'We want to make dog owners aware that repeat offenders will be fined, and to let the general public know that we are here to help."

Residents with concerns can contact council's Ranger, Stuart Tidmarsh on 02 6947 057 or mobile 0417 512 086 to report information.

"Where possible after-hours patrols will be undertaken in an attempt to resolve the issues," Mr Fletcher said, "Recent 6 a.m. starts and 9 p.m. finishes have been undertaken and will continue. "The purpose of these late night-early morning hours is specifically targeted at dog owners who create problems after normal business hours.

"Weekend patrols will also become a regular aspect of the job. The after-hours patrols are proving beneficial in terms of number of dogs impounded and the public presence. Council is providing a more comprehensive animal control service to residents, with patrols targeting problem areas based on information provided by the public."