Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council's Craigavon headquarters.
ARMAGH City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has completed the recruitment process of two new dog wardens over the summer months, members of its environmental services committee have been told.
Council’s environmental health department is responsible for all aspects of licensing and enforcement activities in dog control.
Three full time dog wardens and a part time assistant dog warden/rehoming officer operate the service, supported by administrative and licensing staff.
Speaking at the committee’s meeting on Tuesday, September 7, Council’s environmental health manager (public safety and protection), Elizabeth Rainey, provided the committee with an update on the progress of filling vacancies within the department.
“The recruitment exercise to fill the two vacant posts was completed in June,” said Ms Rainey.
“There was one new warden commenced in post on July 1 and the second new warden on August 2.
“We now have a one year contract, which is currently in the recruitment process and interviews are planned this month.
“We are hoping that, by the end of September, we will have our full compliment of three dog wardens and a part time assistant dog warden.”
Councillor Julie Flaherty thanked the team for the work on recent issues and welcomed the new staff to their roles.
Putting on record his thanks for the team’s efforts so far, Councillor Lavelle McIlwrath asked how wardens could be contacted over the weekend.
“What is the plan for weekend cover for call outs for our dog wardens,” he asked.
“I know there are possibly plans to have a rota but how do we, as councillors, get in touch with a dog warden at the weekend?”
Ms Rainey explained that when all the posts are filled, the weekend rota will become operational.
“At present, calls are currently triaged and myself and the head of the department triage all the calls,” she said.
“If you have any out hours of issues about dog attacks please refer them to me. All the calls are triaged through my mobile number and I will contact a dog warden.
“So many of the calls may not necessarily need a dog warden coming out. The PSNI and the neighbourhood inspectors have my number and that of the reception at Council.
“That has been in place for a number of years and has worked fairly successfully.”