Fee insult adds to pet owner’s grief

Karl Badstuebner with a photo of his dearly departed Tia.
Karl Badstuebner with a photo of his dearly departed Tia.

Sadly for the Cooloongup resident, Tia died soon afterwards and when he was finally able to send her tags back he expected to be reimbursed, as he had in the past, for the period of registration that was no longer needed.

But amendments made to the Dog Act 1976 that came into effect in November suggest a reimbursement will be given only when a dog has been sterilised after fees have been paid, and it makes no mention of reimbursement after the death of a dog.

‘I contacted them (the City of Rockingham) to complain and see what was going on, but they told me that because of the recent change in legislation they can no longer reimburse in the case of death,’ Mr Badstuebner said.

‘I contacted a legislation officer (from Department of Local Government and Communities) and they said none of the changes affected reimbursement when your dog dies.’

City of Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels said he sympathised with Mr Badstuebner’s grievance, but confirmed the City would be following the Act and issuing reimbursements only to dog owners who sterilised their dog after paying their registration.

‘I understand the great sadness of losing a beloved pet, but reimbursement following a death is not available,’ Cr Sammels said.

Mr Badstuebner said he was determined to resolve the matter, even if he had to find other avenues, and stressed the issue was not the money.

‘Money was never the primary reason for this,’ he said.

‘It just doesn’t seem right they can enforce this and when you’ve been grieving you don’t need the aggravation.

‘I don’t know if (the City of Rockingham) are hiding behind the legislation because they say it’s up to the legislation but the legislators say it’s up to individual councils ‘