Councillor's dog barked for 90 minutes non-stop

HE ONCE oversaw the council department that issued fines for barking dogs, but now Cr Andrew Antoniolli's household has received a $243 fine for a barking dog.

His family had already been issued a warning about their dog, but the straw that broke the camel's back was when it barked non-stop one night for 90 minutes while they were out.

Cr Antoniolli said the fine was "somewhat of an embarrassment" but insisted that he was taking the penalty on the chin and wanted to be "treated like anybody else in the community".

"As a person responsible for a household with a dog I am not immune to the problems people have with dogs or the problems neighbourhoods have," Cr Antoniolli said.

"But as soon as a complaint had been lodged about the dog I stressed to the department head that we were not to receive any special treatment.

"To ensure the officers were comfortable dealing with the matter as they would anybody else I have only discussed the matter with the department head."

DOG DAYS: Former council pound spokesman Andrew Antoniolli with Delilah the dog at the opening of the local after-hours animal drop-off.
DOG DAYS: Former council pound spokesman Andrew Antoniolli with Delilah the dog at the opening of the local after-hours animal drop-off. Rob Williams

The council had previously issued a compliance notice to Mrs Antoniolli, who is the registered owner of the Maltese-Shih Tzu-Border Collie cross dog, about the ongoing noise after a near neighbour had complained.

The pet is one of Cr Antoniolli's daughter's dogs but as she was under 18 it could not be registered to her.

The Antoniollis put measures in place to quieten the dog and the QT understands that did the trick.

But a lengthy recording was provided to the council by the complaining neighbour last month after the dog barked incessantly.

The council then sent out a compliance officer who also recorded the noise and confirmed the dog was a nuisance.

A fine was subsequently issued of $243.

Council has informed the neighbour who had complained that action has been taken.

The next stage of the process if the dog does not desist from barking is a removal order.

"We are taking responsibility for the situation," Cr Antoniolli said.

"On the night that (lengthy barking) happened the whole family went to see the local performance of Wicked and that was the first time in a while where the dog had been home on its own at night.

"Everything we had been doing had been working but for whatever reason there was a lapse in the dog's behaviour.

"It was quite unfortunate and also it was quite embarrassing.

"But we are continuing to work with the council to address the matter.

"We have now engaged a dog behaviourist to assist us with the dog's problem.

"It is my daughter's dog and she is taking responsibility for the dog.

"We are working with her and the neighbours.

"The council has been great and the support and advice provided on this has been second to none.

"I can say as a customer our family appreciates that."

Cr Antoniolli said that he had acted with probity throughout the entire case.

"I have not been informed who the complainant was," he said.

"I have access to the system that can tell me but neither myself nor any staff under my responsibility has looked it up."



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