‘Without substantial evidence there’s limits to what we can do.’
This was the hard truth told to councillors at the Central Highlands Regional Council Communities Standing Committee meeting this week by Coordinator Ranger Services Andrew Philippzig-Mann.
In December 2017, council was presented with a petition by Capella residents asking for action to be taken to deal with roaming and aggressive dogs in the community.
Mr Philippzig-Mann explained that rangers responded to the petition with an investigation that revealed only 18 animal control requests had been received from Capella against 243 for the region in 2017.
‘There appears to be an unrealistic expectation within the community—not just in Capella, but across the region—that council does not ‘deal’ with dog complaints.
‘The overwhelming problem we, as enforcement officers have, is that we must have evidence to substantiate a complaint for action to be taken.
‘This goes for general wandering dog complaints, but is very much more important if it’s a dangerous dog or the dog is aggressive or menacing and causes fear,’ Mr Philippzig-Mann said.
Central Highlands Mayor Kerry Hayes said it was important for the community to know that complaints made to council are in the strictest confidence.
‘We’ve heard today about dog complaints being posted on social media, but this is not the place to be if you really want something done,’ he said.
‘If you want action to happen, then you need to be observant and pass on the details to council via the
1300 242 686 number or the firstname.lastname@example.org email address.’
Mr Philippzig-Mann explained that basic information such as the date, time, street name, house number, description of the dog and a detailed account of the incident, will go a long way to ensuring every complaint is investigated and dealt with to the full extent.’