Thursday, 25 October 2007

Dog gone

When I see stories in the Cairns Post about Council pursuing fees from residents about non-existent pets, it strikes me of a Council falling asleep on the job.

We hear from time to time of Government departments and businesses sending out notices for demands and mail can go astray to a recently deceased person. Honest mistakes can occur, I admit.

However, when Jane Martin of City View told Cairns City Council she would no longer register her dog as it had passed away, she was still sent a notice to register her dog or be fined.
The Post revealed that other dog owners also received a similar letter of demand.

I always get frustrated why businesses can't pick up the telephone these days. It seems in this age of digital communication, too many rely on non-verbal, non-face-to-face methods to deliver or engage in debate.

It appears that after a recent "dog audit"the Council work on supplied information where dogs may live. This would probably include if you rang and dobbed in your neighbour. Council told the Post that if “it looks like a dog still lives there or there might be a new dog, then the officer will issue a notice. It could be that they have seen a dog bowl or a sign on the fence.”

What a silly way to conduct authentic checks to validate the real existence of a pet at a residence. I might pop off to The Warehouse at Smithy and buy a bunch of $2 plastic pet bowls and pop them over Sno Bonneau's fence and dog, I mean dob him in.

A thing called the telephone, that was invented in 1876, can be used to quickly connect with people. This would be the first port of call before firing off a demand invoice. Otherwise it seems merely like a revenue grab.

I'm aware that Council "lost" the records of dog neutering several years in a row and sent out demands for payments for full dogs - a difference of $50 several years running. A CairnsBlog reader has told me he pursued this with Council and was told to produce evidence that the dogs were neutered for four years in a row. He told them that if they kept sending demands he would bring in either the dog or the balls, but was not providing them with another piece of paper about his dog's non existent testies.

For every one of these letters that arrive at an unwelcome destination, this Council will loose a vote of confidence. And rightly so. Any business that sends out a bill, that is not correct or is not invalid, deserves the full force of retribution, and Council's get less respect for such goofs as we expect them, by very nature, to be closer to us. We expect our local Council to understand us and therefore want better communication than say a local shop or business, as it is a body we fund to manage our local affairs.

I think this Council will see a lot more barking and some reely rough rough treatment at the next election.

1 comment:

Paul - Edmonton said...

I am the owner or 2 dogs, 2 cats, and 3 fishtanks. The 2 cats are kept inside, for their safety, and the safety of the surrounding wildlife. As for the 2 dogs, I refuse to pay council registration for them. A lot of people ask me why I dont register them, and the answer is simple. This council provides nothing for your dog registration. It is one of them most expensive councils to register a dog as well. When I lived in Brisbane, scattered through the city and suburbs are leash free parks. These parks are fully fenced, which enables you to let your dog off the leash and let them run around while you sit back and watch. Some people call me lazy, but, I cant run as fast, or as long as my dogs can. These parks enable bigger dogs to run hard, and stretch themselves out. As for the animal control department of the council, they are fairly useless. I have seen them drive past dogs that are roaming the streets, then stop in at an address and issue the owner with a notice of some sort of infringement, and then drive off without even trying to catch the roaming animals. There are several other stories that I have been told about the animal management department, but I do not know all the details, so I will not mention them. But, if they are true, then this department should be reported to the RSPCA for these things.
This could be a good spot for people who have had to deal with the council in regards to animals to voice thier concerns. We have all been focusing on how this council has affected the people, but not our animals, or the native animals in our area