Thursday, February 21, 2008

I Have to Register my Dog by 4pm Today

The only problem is... I don't have a dog!

I got up this morning to find this notice stuck to my front door.

Click on image to enlarge and read

Now I know that owning Burmese cats have been likened to owning puppy dogs because of their playfulness and intelligence, but last time I looked, they were still cats, and didn’t have to be registered.

I txt'd the cellphone number to say I didn’t own a dog. He txt me back with ‘Thanks’. But the more I thought about it, the more annoyed I was about the notice.

Firstly, it was an order – I must get my dog registered by 4pm today. Not complying by that time would end up with being fined. No research was done by the council to find out if there really was a dog on this property or not – it was just assumed there was, and I must comply.

When I pointed this out – there was no apology. I was told that this was the standard letter and they weren’t going to change it. They said they had 2500 dogs on the North Shore that were now unregistered and they had to go around and check each address. Well – since when has this become my problem?

Secondly, they left a cellphone number to call. Cellphone calls cost money. Okay – I txt'd back, but it still cost me time and money to sort it out – more time for me as I can’t hear on the phone and had to txt, but I also fronted up in person at the council offices to make sure it was sorted and that they wouldn’t send me an infringement notice, simply because it would take too long to text all this.

Lastly, they said that the dog in question that was registered at this property was a Chihuahua, which was indoors, so it wouldn’t be obvious if I had a dog on this property to them. But did they cross reference a name as to whom owned/lived in t his property, against the name who owned the dog? No. Wouldn’t you expect this to be done before one was threatened with a fine? Yes!

I feel like I was made to feel guilty of a crime I didn’t commit. I’m a law obiding citizen. Where has ‘innocent until proven guilty’ gone?

My complaint in the way they handled this went unheeded. They simply didn’t care!


Bron said...

Yes well the North Shore City Council has always been bloody minded and stupid when it comes to things like this. Once I parked my car at the boat ramps (by the beach) in a perfectly legal spot. When I came back at the end of the day the Council had been and changed over all the signs (for the summer season no doubt) and my car was now parked in a spot reserved for "boat trailers" and had a parking ticket attached! You'd think that the Council would have the common sense to tell the wardens not to ticket people on that day wouldn't you!!!! When I complained that I thought it was not only unfair but a bit devious (what a great way to catch people out!) they said I had to pay anyway. Then on a separate occasion a tree that belonged to the Council grew into the drain at the house I was living at and blocked it. My landlord asked the Council to sort out their tree (since he wasn't allowed to touch it being that it was on Council land). They said they wouldn't. But then a couple of days later sent him an order to fix the drain problem (caused by their tree he wasn't allowed to touch) or they would send someone to do it and send him the bill. In the end he did end up paying for the drain to be dug up on his own driveway (causing an unsightly mess) because the stupid Council refused to take responsibility for their own tree on their own piece of land! So they basically made their problem his problem. Which seems to be what they are really good at. Screwing money out of people unfairly!!!! So this dog thing does not surprise me one bit!

Bron said...

Oh and another thing. Clearly someone there must be very incompetent. I mean how can it be possible that there is a Chihuahua registered to your addresses when a) you haven't ever owned a Chihuahua and b) you're the only person to have lived at that address since you built the house yourself!!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Next time.. take a lawyer and show up in person with him. Threaten to take it to court. By showing up with a lawyer and the notice to take the council to court, they can back down in just 2 mins flat and apologize.

A few years ago, someone on my council area thought I owned a deaf dog. I grew angry because I didn't. I called up a lawyer and went down to the council chambers. Not only did they apologize and recinded the fine, but they gave me the neighbor's name who reported it. Wouldn't you know it that when we went to present the bill, he had moved out the same council day meeting? Isn't that nice. My lawyer's still chasing after the guy. He already has garnished the guy's wages.

Council's make mistakes. But it's when neighbors make a mistake more than the council, it adds up to a total burden on everyone involved.