The Ashburton Guardian. Magna Est Veritas, et Praevalebit. THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 1881. The Registration of Dogs.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 5 p. vi. J
To morrow a number of residents in the Eorough and Wakanui districts have, we believe, to appear before Mr Wood, R.M., on charges laid by the police, for the non-registration of dogs. That every owner of an unregistered dog should be made to pay for his or her neglect, is perfectly fair and reasonable, when every facility has been placed in the way for getting the registration effected. Those who wilfully try to evade the Act, and for months persist in keeping these dogs, without paying the fee of ten shillings, ought to be treated as they deserve. There are, however, exceptional cases which have been lost sight of, evidently, in the haste that has prompted our local police force to carry out their instructions in the matter of dogs registration. To these we wish to draw the attention of the various public bodies in whom is entrusted the matter of enforcing the provisions of the Act. We learn that there are a great many of those who are now summoned who have no desire to evade the Act, but, owing to there being some delay in the appointment of the proper officer for registration for the district of Wakanui, the registration was deferred. The Registration Officer for Wakanui was appointed by the County Council. A short time after his appointment, his resignation was sent in and accepted. The County Council wrote to the Wakanui Road Board, asking them to recommend a suitable person, which they did, but owing to so much time having elapsed before the County Council received their reply, another officer —Mr Mainwaring—was appointed. His notification as Registrar, was, we hear, gazetted on the Bth February, and he has since then undertaken the duties. The County Council rt its last meeting passed a resolution that all dogs were to be registered before the 31st of Marcii, consquently many were under the impression that if the dogs were registered before that date, they would not be summoned by the police. This resolution was passed, we believe, so that the police shall be entitled to a fee of 2s 6d for every unregistered dog found by them after that date. This premium, we are afraid, will be found to work prejudicially, in some cases unfairly. We hear that already little urchins are employed by the police as petty informers, and this, if true, is decidedly objectionable. If certain duties are given to the police, they should carry them out themselves, and not employ “ hirelings” of this description. As before stated, every owner of a dog should be fined if his dog is unregistered, but when difficulties (as they have appear in the way of getting registration effected, certain restrictions ought to be placed upon the police, who will now receive a direct premium for hunting up dogs without collars. We do
not wish to infer that blame is attached to the police for what has been done in this matter, but would like to see that every precaution is taken that they do not exceed their duties in their anxiety to carry out the instructions given them, especially when 25 per cent, of the total registration fee is pocketed by them. One thing, however, we feel must be mentioned, and that is, as far as our present local force is concerned, we have to thank them foi the impartial way they have hitherto done their duty. According to the Dog Registration Act, 1880, every dog found without a proper registration label on the collar can be destroyed, and of course the owner fined. This will give a greater facility to those who wish to make a little money, as many dogs lose their collars, and again they are generally made of such poor leather, that often the badges or labels come off. With all due deference to the County Council for their desire to increase the revenue, by the registration of dogs in the county, we would like to see the commission of 2s 6d dispensed with altogether, as the Act was never intended to encourage payment to “ dog ” informers.