Wellington Scoop

Miramar vet wants smarter dog control policies: five suggestions

Press release from Alan Probert
With the number of acts of animal cruelty and dog attacks on the rise, debate over possible solutions is also intensifying. Wellington veterinarian Allan Probert is calling for smarter dog control policies and believes that local government has to be part of the solution as well.

In addition to calling for tougher penalties for cruelty to animals, Allan is also actively working to develop policy solutions to dog attacks and the many other issues associated with canine control in Wellington.

“Discussions around changes to dog control policies are complex. There are a number of policies that Wellington City Council could consider:

1. the free desexing of dogs as part of the first year of their registration. Doing this would reduce the numbers of strays (reducing strain placed on Wellingtons animal control and welfare resources) as well as decreasing a lot of the inherent aggressive potential, which should in turn see a decrease in dog attacks. I suggest refunding registration in year one once evidence of neutering and speying is provided to Council.

2. Microchipping-“I believe that microchipping has been an unqualified success as part of a raft of measures to reduce the risk of dog attacks”. However microchipping should be free to all owners as this would get most if not all dogs onto the national data base.

3. My vet hospital is about to build Wellington City’s first secure dog exercise area which will offer better control for off-leash dogs. Many cities both here and overseas (e.g. Christchurch and New York.) have already shown the value of such policies.”

4. Owner licensing – owners rather than breed are much more of an issue. A very large proportion of dog attacks in Wellington are Labrador crosses! Owner education should be a big part of dog ownership, much like gun ownership and similar rules should apply. Additionally this would mean that Dog Control officers would concentrate their efforts on the poor owners rather than the good owners, who rarely if ever cause a problem.

5. School education – should be a mandatory part of the dog control contract in Wellington and officers should visit all schools regularly as part of their role.

These changes could funded by the profit that Council makes from its current dog activities, rather than using this profit as part of its general account. Council could reinvest this money into an innovative and comprehensive dog policy This policy is due for revision and all dog owners must make sure that they are part of the process.

For more information, Allan can be contacted on 027-241-4393, 04-380-9820 or 04-499-9699.


  1. WRZ, 24. January 2012, 16:27

    Listening to Allan Probert will make the pitbull problem worse.

  2. The City is Ours, 26. January 2012, 3:20

    The Council already has an initiative which rewards dog owners who complete a course and gain their responsible dog owner certificate to qualify for a reduction in their annual dog license fee. Woof Woof.