Life in the Doghouse

Farmer Freddy's dog, Dino, pays an unexpected visit to his neighbour - who isn't happy about it.

Farmer Freddy, pleased that he has not had any more visits from Laura, the inspector from the Department of Labour, is sitting at the table having a cuppa. Hearing the roar of a motorbike outside, he rushes out the back door only to be confronted by his neighbour, Roger.

"That dog of yours has been over at my place having a go at my sheep again" fumes Roger. "If he comes over one more time I'm ringing the council."

"Go ahead!" Freddy dares.

Roger gets on his motorbike and tears off down the driveway.

Meanwhile, Dino, Freddy's border collie, comes leaping back to Freddy, unaware of the commotion he has just caused.

"I'd better find out what the story is," Freddy mutters to himself. "Dino's the best farm dog I've ever had".

He gets on the phone to Pebbles, his lawyer daughter, and tells her what has just happened.

"You can't just let Dino run wild, Dad" Pebbles explains. "You have an obligation to keep him under control at all times."

"But he's just a farm dog having a bit of fun - he's not causing any harm."

"That doesn't matter Dad. You have to take reasonable steps to ensure that Dino doesn't cause a nuisance to any person or cause distress to any stock. If Dino is found wandering around on someone else's land, then the dog ranger can seize him and impound him. Roger can also seize Dino if he believes that Dino is causing annoyance to his sheep and pass Dino over to the dog ranger. And what's more, if Roger finds Dino running at large with his stock, then not only can he pass him over to the dog ranger, but he can also have Dino destroyed."

"Crikey" says Freddy - "that all sounds a bit drastic".

"Maybe, but it's what the Dog Control Act says. Also, have you got Dino registered with the council? You can be fined up to $3000 if you haven't. And you also have to make sure Dino wears the label or disk issued by council."

"Yes, don't worry, I had him registered him a couple of weeks back. I don't have to get him microchipped though do I?" asks Freddy.

"No. Since you keep Dino for stock work, he's classed as a working dog and working dogs don't have to be microchipped."

"Thank goodness," Freddy exclaims as he hangs up the phone. "I had better go and tie Dino up though. Also, I'd better buy Roger a beer. He had a real flea in his ear about Dino. I don't want him barking up the wrong tree."


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