Pet fines soar as impound rates fall

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Team leader City of Albany ranger Colin Hyde.
Camera IconTeam leader City of Albany ranger Colin Hyde. Credit: Picture: Laurie Benson, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Fines for escaped or unruly pets in Albany peaked last year and were more than double the 2017 total, City documents reveal.

The City of Albany recorded $20,000 in fines and penalties for animal control in 2018-19, a 230 per cent increase over its 2017-18 fines.

It was the highest since the City began including the statistic in its annual budget, in 2012.

The fines were handed out in a period in which one dangerous-dog owner was fined $1200 following an attack in Albany, and rangers said they received more than 100 reports of dog attacks a year.

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Meanwhile, impound charges dropped to their lowest figure since 2013, while impound rates were the lowest in three years, according to a City staff member.

The cost to impound animals racked up nearly $23,000 in charges for owners.

That figure was well below the average of over $41,000 since 2014.

City of Albany acting manager of ranger and emergency services Colin Hyde said the impound rate drop could have had various reasons.

“This may be due to residents being more aware of the impact that their wandering pets can have on the community, the danger that the pets can find themselves in and the emotional toll a lost pet takes on owners and families,” he said.

“It may also reflect the rise of social media and the ability the community has to resolve lost pet issues without resorting to the Rangers.”

Mr Hyde said the City’s aim was for zero fines.

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