Dog attacks in the Shoalhaven have declined by almost 20 per cent in the past six months, ranger Tony Pearman says.
The reduction in attacks has come after the launch of the Paws and Think campaign.
“In the Shoalhaven six months prior to the program Council recorded 120 dog attacks, in the past six months 98 dog attacks were recorded,” Mr Pearman said.
“It’s important to remember that 'dog attacks’ are a concern for rangers because of the safety aspect to the community.
“However, we need to remember that responsible dog ownership includes: microchipping, registrations, desexing, pets being under effective control, picking up after pets and complying with dog off leash areas.”
The Office of Local Government said a dog attack is: “Any incident where a dog rushes at, attacks, bites, harasses or chases any person or animal (other than vermin), whether or not any injury is caused.”
Paws and Think posters and brochures provide information about responsible dog ownership with an aim to stop dog attacks.
Mr Pearman said the campaign also helped owners register and desex their pets.
“Shoalhaven Animal Shelter and the Animal Welfare League now host regular microchipping and desexing days,” he said.
“Residents can received free microchipping and vouchers for desexing their pets.”
Mr Pearman said 168 animals had been microchipped as part of the program.
Lost dogs that aren’t microchipped – or whose owners don’t claim them – end up with Jodie Parnell at the Shoalhaven Animal Shelter.
In Shoalhaven, lost cats and dogs have a much better chance at life than they do in many other regions, and it’s all down to the dedication of the staff.
“Our euthanasia rate of adoptable animals is zero per cent,” she said.
“We have a Facebook page, which is basically our life.
“Every Thursday night, the animals we have for adoption are loaded up with photos. We try to spread the message, and so far it seems to work.”
We have a moral obligation to ourselves to do it.Jodie Parnell
Ms Parnell said the shelter could not rehome all animals, but they dedicate themselves to saving the ones they can.
“We can’t say we’re a no-kill shelter – I don’t think a true no-kill shelter can exist,” she said.
“We receive feral cats and dangerous dogs which are not rehomeable, and unfortunately those animals have to be euthanised.
“But our fit, healthy, rehomeable animals have all made it out the door to a new home.
“We don’t have to do it, but we have a moral obligation to ourselves to do it.
“It feels really good.”