Nearly 5,000 more people were issued with dog licences in Co Cork last year compared to 2016.
In total there were 32,224 dog licences issued in 2017, compared to 27,351 in 2016.
The council was able to rehome 382 stray dogs put into its pounds last year out of a total of 460 which were seized.
Meanwhile, dog wardens issued 277 fines for not having a licence, which was up by 100 on 2016.
Louis Duffy, the head of the council’s environment directorate, said he believes the sizeable increase is down to a number of factors.
He said the economy is picking up and council dog wardens have been making a push to ensure owners get the €20 annual licence for their pets.
It is also believed that more people are buying pets — again as a result of the economy’s pick-up.
Dog wardens issued 2,172 notices to people who didn’t have dog licences last year, up from 1,288 in 2016.
However, there is a drawback, as some councillors pointed out.
Cllrs Kay Dawson and Noel McCarthy say there is a growing problem with dog fouling in many towns and villages.
They were speaking at a meeting of the council’s Northern Division in Mallow and urged council officials to get more active with crackdowns on this.
Mr Duffy said it is difficult to prosecute dog owners as fouling usually takes place in the early mornings and later evenings when dog wardens are not working.
Cllr McCarthy said more anti-dog fouling notices should be erected, especially along popular walkways.
Mr Duffy said the only way to clamp down is with the aid of members of the public who should report owners who do not clean up after their animals.
Members of the council’s Charleville/Fermoy municipal district council recently asked their officials to see if they could draw up bylaws which would prevent dog owners walking their pets in certain areas of towns and villages in the municipal district.
Meanwhile, continuing on the theme of animals, Mr Duffy provided councillors with a report which shows that the number of stray horses put down last year was up on 2016, even though fewer strays were collected by the local authority.
The report also showed that of the 90 stray horses collected in 2016, 57 were euthanised, whereas of the 87 collected last year 64 were put down.
Mr Duffy said the reason was because so many of the horses collected in 2017 were in a very poor state of health and it was kinder to put them down.
He said the county council strives to try and rehome them when possible. In total 17 were found new homes last year, which was four up on 2016.
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