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More ‘doo’ for your dollar

Council raising dog registration fees

STEVE RENDLE
[email protected]

It may come as a surprise, but it shouldn’t come as a shock – dog registration fees for Masterton district are on the rise, but for most dog types the increase is a single dollar.

That dollar could make all the difference when it comes to turning Masterton District Council’s poo bins into the waste equivalent of Fort Knox.

There are an estimated 5590 registered dogs in the district, but if you think the fee increase is barely worth making given the relatively small amount that will be raised, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

The council is intent on cleaning up the poo bin dilemma it faces when bins intended exclusively for our best friends’ deposits are used by householders for domestic waste.

The solution is likely to be a new design of bin, from Ezeleash, which makes it easier for poo packets to be deposited but discourages using the bins for other rubbish.

This would likely see the disappearance of the faithful, green dog bins which have taken a lot of “rubbish” from dog walkers over the years. The council says the green dogs may be re-used in areas where domestic waste isn’t a problem.

The registration fee increase is not the total source of funds for a proposed 10.9 per cent increase in the Animal Services budget to cover the bin upgrade, increased vehicle costs, and promotion of the new responsible dog owner policy.

The rates component for 2018/19 is set to increase from 10 to 15 per cent.

“That change picks up most of the increased costs,” the council says.

“The end result is the income we need from dog fees for 2018/19 is $323,000 [up from $315,000].

“The increased fees proposed achieve that extra revenue.”

Urban dog owners [except those with dogs classified as menacing or dangerous] can apply for responsible dog owner status, which would trim 25 per cent of their fees if they meet the criteria:

Registration fees paid by July 31 in two previous years;

Dog has been de-sexed [exceptions possible for certified breeders];

Dog is kept securely on property with one door accessible to visitors without encountering dog;

Dog’s shelter complies with council requirements;

Dog is microchipped [if registered for the first time after July 1 2006];

Dog not subject to complaint or infringements for two years.

Proposed new fees are urban neutered, permit breeder, and rural first dog [$81], rural second and subsequent dogs [$21].

The increase for urban entire dogs is $2, up to $132, but the fee for dangerous neutered dogs remains unchanged at $125.

The council will make a call on the new bins by the end of the year.

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