Complaints to Hume council about nuisance cats and dogs have surged by 33 per cent in the past three years, new data reveals.
Latest data from the council’s draft animal management plan reveal that 3333 complaints were made in 2016-17, up from 2493 in 2013-14.
Calls requesting the collection of stray and feral cats and requests for cat traps account for half of all animal nuisance complaints made to the council.
Complaints about contained and wandering dogs account for 48 per cent of the calls.
The data comes as the council prepared to release its draft animal management plan for public consultation.
The draft plan, which was adopted last week, aims to reduce the amount of nuisance cats in the community and increase animal registration rates and the number of impounded dogs being returned to their owners.
The council will also explore opportunities to partner with surrounding councils to create a regional animal shelter.
A report to council recommended that it expands its cat trapping program and investigates introducing a cat curfew in a bid to reduce complaints about nuisance cats and promote responsible pet ownership.
The report stated that 1962 cats were impounded in Hume in 2016-17, 75 per cent of which were euthanized after being declared wild, uncontrollable or diseased and without identification.
“The majority of cats impounded in Hume are feral and unowned, therefore there is no possibility or reclaiming or rehoming,” the report stated.
“Of the cats impounded that are not feral, the majority are not registered or identifiable, and are not reclaimed by owners.”
The draft plan also recommends that the council consider switching to lifetime registration tags from annual tags and invite local vets and shelters to become registration agents for the council.
“Registration of dogs and cats has increased in Hume over the last thee years, however it is estimated that there may be as many as 7600 unregistered dogs in the municipality,” the report stated.
The draft animal management plan will be available for public consultation until Friday, October 6.