Dog looking through fence.
Dog looking through fence. Claudia Baxter

Council to go door to door hounding pet owners

SOMERSET residents can expect uninvited guests on their properties in the coming months, as council officers search the region for unregistered dogs.

At its meeting on Wednesday, Somerset Regional Council councillors unanimously agreed to a plan to start a systematic inspection program to ensure dogs are microchipped and registered.

The council's inspectors will be able to enter properties - but not the actual houses - without the permission of landowners to carry out their inspections.

In the last financial year 4141 animals were registered but the council estimates there could be another 400 or more unregistered animals at properties across the region.

The inspections will be carried out at urban and rural residential properties throughout Somerset that don't have dogs registered for the 2019/2020 financial year, especially those that had registrations in past periods but haven't renewed them.

The goal of the inspection program is to ensure owners know their responsibilities, to follow up on new and overdue registrations, and possibly reunite lost dogs with their rightful owners.

The program will begin on August 5, and last for six months.

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