Barking up the wrong tree

Cr Bruce Thomas, second right, wants to know why neutered rural dogs do not attract a discount while other councillors l-r Liz Stolwyk, Clare St Pierre and Grahame Webber listen.

Waipā dog registration fees have been set for the year, but one district councillor wants to know why rural dog owners do not get a discount for neutering their dogs.

The council’s full schedule of fees and charges were adopted at this week’s meeting. The schedule includes administration, building, cemetery, professional, development contributions, library, recycling and facility fees.

But it was the dog fees which attracted the interest of Pirongia ward councillor Bruce Thomas.

From July 1, dog owners in urban areas will get a $10 discount off the $92 fee if their dog is neutered and another $15 rebate for suitable fencing.

The fee for rural dogs is $53 with no discounts.

All fees are due by June 30 or if paid after August 1, attract a 50 per cent penalty.

“There is nothing mentioned about neutered fees for rural dogs,” said Thomas. “When a person asks me ‘my dog is neutered, an urban dog gets $10 off, why can’t I?’”

Mayor Jim Mylchreest said the discount in town was an encouragement to stop dogs wandering.

“Rural dog fees have always been cheaper and there’s never been that discount in my memory,” he said.

“A dog’s a dog and they do the same thing anywhere,” said Thomas.

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