Redland councillors have approved a city-wide check for unregistered cats and dogs

LEADS ON: Council will check houses to ensure all cats and dogs are registered. North Stradbroke Island residents are canvassing the idea of a phased-in ban on cats and dogs to save koalas and other widlife.

LEADS ON: Council will check houses to ensure all cats and dogs are registered. North Stradbroke Island residents are canvassing the idea of a phased-in ban on cats and dogs to save koalas and other widlife.

COUNCIL officers will go door-to-door in a city-wide house inspection program to check for unregistered cats and dogs.

The crack down will run from January to April and comes after a raft of complaints about pet owners who let their animals roam.

Council receives almost 4000 animal complaints annually and impounds about 1300 animals.

Redland City councillors have approved the move although it does not see any further extension of powers past those already held by civic staff.

A report to councillors said that identifying ownership was a fundamental requirement to allow council to address community concerns.

If more animals wore identity tags, it would improve council’s ability to reunite owners of wandering animals and follow up overdue registration.

The program will allow officers to go to the front door of private or business premises from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Cr Julie Talty said she was concerned the move would allow council staff “to snoop around back yards’’ looking for other matters.

A council officer said staff did not snoop but – if in the normal course of their business something illegal was noticed – action was taken.

Cr Talty said it was hard to believe that staff would be able to tell if an unregistered cat was in a house, given they did not bark.

Cr Murray Elliott said it was pointless wasting time over such a mundane matter and councillors should move on.

Cr Paul Gleeson said there was nothing to be feared in the move, although it was much easier to find the owner of an unregistered dog than the owner of an unregistered cat.

In a related issue, Cr Paul Golle has defended himself after attacks on Facebook from some people over his appeal last week for people to restrain pets.

Cr Golle said residents had complained about being bitten by dogs off leash in parks, dogs having leads on but being left to run by walkers, dogs charging out of properties and attacking other dogs and owners.

“(Incidents included) a resident hospitalised for a week due to dog attacks, dogs off lead chasing children while parents attempt to intervene and more recently a resident was attacked with a hammer over a dog off-lead incident,’’ Cr Golle said.

Cleveland resident Lea, who did not want her identity revealed for fear of bullying, said a hot spot for dogs off-leash was the showgrounds and surrounding sports grounds and open areas.

“Groups of dogs wander everywhere,’’ she said. “Cr Golle was right and I’ve complained to council about it.

“It’s horrendous. There’s hardly anywhere you can go without finding big dogs wandering.’’

She said she had picked up her small dog to avoid large dogs rushing at it on footpaths and suffered aggression from the owners even though her animal was on a lead but not theirs.

“Golle is on the right track. The article was fantastic,’’ she said.  “People assume their dog will not do anything but it is too late when another animal or a small dog is injured or killed.’’

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