– In what seems to be a clearly emerging trend across Australia, Local Council Dog Catchers are being given unprecedented powers to enter private properties, looking for unregistered or dangerous dogs.
In a move that is sure to get some dog owners hot under the collar, Moreton Bay Regional Council, north of Brisbane, has become the latest Regional/Shire Council to grant such powers to its Rangers/Officers/Dog Catchers.
The Daily Dog will call such people the “Dog Police” in this article in order to simplify the different titles they may be called. However no matter the title, these people are being given the power to enter your yard without your authority – ostensibly to check for unregistered dogs. As we all know however, and common sense dictates, such Governmental intrusiveness will not end there.
Although not able to enter houses (well that’s a small relief!), the Dog Police will be able to go into your carport or open garage, looking for unregistered dogs (and cats too, we should mention). This applies whether you’re home or not, with the Dog Police not required to notify the property owner of their presence. To the pups4sale team such unfettered right of entry creates a host of dangers, both for the Dog Police and the property owner, such as:
. Will the dog owner be prosecuted for assault if he spots someone in his garage,suspects the person is a thief, tackles him to hold him for the Police and then finds out it is a Dog Police Officer he is holding?
. If there is a guard dog on the premises that is not registered and it (naturally) defends the premises against an intruder, will the dog be seized and destroyed just for doing its job?
. What if the property owner orders the Dog Police off his property? Can he do that? If the Officer refuses to leave without completing the check he is (apparently) lawfully entitled to do, can the property owner use reasonable force to remove him?
As you can see, by granting the Dog Police such powers, Councils are setting their staff up for injury and even worse. In fact we believe it is only a matter of time before such people are injured in the line of duty. Australians take their private property and right to privacy very seriously, despite a plethora of laws being passed in recent years by all levels of Government that apparently waters down such rights.
Surely the Dog Police can do their job of keeping suburbia free of wandering dogs simply by doing the job they already have now; picking such dogs up off the street.The current system works when the Dog Police are doing their job (which doesn’t happen in every Local Council area!), so there is no need to escalate the matter to involve entering people’s private property.
The one upside of the inevitable serious conflict that will arise as the result of the passage of such intrusive laws is they will be challenged in Court. As we have stated, someone is going to get seriously hurt as a result of implementing such legislation, and as part of the ensuing legal process such laws will naturally be held up to scrutiny in terms of their validity. We at pups4sale hope the laws are found to be invalid for the reasons outlined above and more, however we value the thoughts and comments from fellow dog owners on this issue too….