Council takes the lead

Dog lover Shariff Attia is Circular Head Council’s new Animal Control and Compliance officer, winning over lost dogs with treats and a game of fetch. Picture: Ashleigh Force.

Role. If there is a dog at large in your neighbourhood – who you gonna call? Circular Head Council.

Shariff Attia, a Circular Head local of 13 years, has taken a new role with Circular Head Council, helping to reunite lost dogs with their owners.

“I catch them with Schmackos and a tennis ball – they’re my tools of choice,” he laughed.

“I’ve had a lifelong experience with dogs and various roles in compliance [through] Australian customs and quarantine in New South Wales.

“It’s a good role for me, it ticks all my boxes. I love people and I love dogs – I think it will work well.”

Circular Head Council general manager Tony Smart said the council recently moved to employ a part-time Animal Control and Compliance officer to improve services in the municipal area.

Previously, the council shared a contract with Waratah-Wynyard Council for an external contractor covering the two municipalities.

“Following a review, both councils found that they would be able to get better value across both areas by employing individual staff at each council,” Mr Smart said.

“As a result, both of these roles are still able to provide backup, coverage and support to each other during times of leave or after hours.”

Mr Smart said while the council was responsible for dog control under state government legislation, the role had larger responsibilities.

“It’s not only about collecting stray dogs, it’s also about educating dog owners about looking after their dogs in a responsible way,” Mr Smart said.

“We will also be looking to utilise Shariff to take on other duties such as dealing with litter, abatement notices, and other compliance issues.”

Mr Smart said since the council had moved to publishing photos of lost and found dogs on its Facebook page it had noticed a significant increase in reuniting dogs with their owners.

“Avoiding the need for the physical collection of dogs or putting them in the pound is in everyone’s interest and to see dogs return home is always good,” Mr Smart said.

“This is why council reminds dog owners that it is not only a legal requirement, but also a great idea to register their dogs with council so that they cannot only avoid the costs of their dog being impounded, but also so we can return them home faster.”

Where suitable, unregistered dogs that are not claimed, are offered to the Burnie Dogs Home for re-homing.

To report a lost or missing dog, phone the council on 6452 4800.

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