Council hounded with requests for extra pets
A FLOOD of applications for extra dogs has been received by Somerset Regional Council, and they believe the recent inspection program may be the cause.
Since it was announced in July, Somerset's Systematic Dog Inspection Program has met with controversy and discontent, but its results have spoken for themselves, with more than 800 unregistered dogs found so far, twice as many as expected.
In addition to the discovery of these unregistered animals, council has also encountered an influx of applications from landowners to keep more than the allowed number of dogs.
"It seems like we're just getting more and more applications coming through for extra dogs," Councillor Otis Ogg said.
In the Somerset, a household is permitted to have two dogs, but can apply to have more than this provided the property is over one hectare, outside of the urban footprint, and is safe and secure for all of the animals.
Between January, and the approval of the inspection program on July 10, only five applications for additional dogs were processed by the council.
In the four months since the inspection program began, 10 further applications for extra dogs have been received.
"I don't think it's that we're getting more dogs, it's that more people are registering them," Councillor Dan Hall said.
So far, all 10 of the applications have been approved without issue, with most of the animals already being desexed, microchipped, and well taken care of.
"In all of these reports, there hasn't been a single complaint about the dogs," Councillor Robert Whalley said.
"We've got good controls in place, and the owners are doing the right thing."