ROGUE PETS: $1.4M boost for council patrol squad
IRRESPONSIBLE pet owners are on notice as the council prepares to pump more than $1.4 million from the budget into its animal management program to crack down on missing or roaming pets.
The pet-mad Fraser Coast region enduring repeated attacks by aggressive dogs and ongoing issues with roaming animals and lost pets, and the Fraser Coast council has drawn up plans to crack down on irresponsible management.
Seven new staff and four vehicles will be added the council's animal management sector as part of a significant budget boost to improve pound services.
The investment is part of a $1.4 million financial windfall to improve the animal management sector and the Fraser Coast's adoption and pound centres.
The boost will give the Fraser Coast Regional Council's animal management teams greater capacity to respond to nuisance complaints and missing pets across the region and re-homing impounded animals.
It follows the council receiving more than 5000 animal related requests, including almost 800 complaints about barking dogs and nearly 600 reports of wandering dogs, over the last year.
Fraser Coast mayor George Seymour said the upcoming budget would allocate $411,000 to employ seven new animal management officers and purchase equipment like mobile devices, body cameras, voice recorders and catch poles.
Another $200,000 will be allocated for four new fit-for-purpose vans.
"In putting together this financial year's budget, we've tried to prioritise areas of concern for the community," Cr Seymour said.
"Animal management is a priority and one thing we recognised was the need to recognise the number of officers, the hours the pound is open and how we respond to the community."
Cr Seymour said the budget would also allocate $822,500 in capital works for upgrades to the Hervey Bay Pound and Fraser Coast Adoption Centre, which includes the construction of additional dog runs and the replacement of the cats donga.