26 Aug 2016

A Christchurch canine congregation

1:52 pm on 26 August 2016

A long line of dog owners has queued up for a canine welfare clinic in one of Christchurch's most deprived suburbs.

Yesterday's clinic in Aranui was provided by the Canterbury SPCA and aimed to reduce the number of unneutered and wandering dogs in the area.

Harry Lynn (right) with his dog Baxley.

Harry Lynn (right) with his dog Baxley. Photo: RNZ / Rachel Graham

Dog owners could get free advice, dog biscuits and microchipping, and heavily discounted vouchers for de-sexing and worming.

Ezra Berry brought his six-month-old Staffordshire-cross, Spartan.

Spartan had been microchipped already but Mr Berry had put off desexing because of the expense, he said.

"It will make a lot of a change I think," Mr Berry said.

"Because he's quite emotional, hopefully that will calm him down a lot more - make him a nicer dog."

Harry Lynn also headed down to get a desexing voucher for his 10-month-old Staffordshire terrier, Baxley.

Mr Lynn's son-in law, Todd, said having the clinic in the neighbourhood was a good push to get it done.

SPCA Canterbury has been running the clinics for a couple of years and is the only SPCA in the country to do so.

Victoria Salmon and her dogs Blackie and Pepper.

Aranui dogs Blackie and Pepper Photo: RNZ / Rachel Graham

Spokesperson Raina Roberts said the aim was to help financially struggling families and reduce the number of unneutered dogs in the area.

The organistion offered desexing vouchers for $40 each, compared with up to $300 at some vets.

"We've found over the last few years there's been trouble in certain areas with wandering dogs, dogs that are hit by cars, and obviously de-sexing is probably the best thing to do in those areas to try and keep the population down and manage those issues," Ms Roberts said.

Christchurch City Council animal control officers were also on site to offer free microchipping of dogs, free muzzles and advice.

Council education coordinator Kym Parnham said many people did not know what was required of them as a dog owner.

"A lot of them don't know [what to do] so they'll keep their dogs locked up at home, or keep them locked up in the yard, and it actually turns the dog fearful and anti-social," Ms Parnham said.

"So we try to encourage them to get them socialised, and meet people and meet other dogs."

There were 37,000 dogs in Christchurch and ensuring that as many as possible were desexed and microchipped helped make the wider community safer, she said.

About 87 percent of dogs in the city are registered.

There had been a big reduction in dogs going through the city pound in recent years, dropping from 1835 dogs in 2014 to 1177 in the last year.

(8 dogs were euthanised in the last year.

Raina Roberts said the clinics would continue as long as the SPCA had funding for them.