17 May 2019
Dog owners have been reminded they are responsible for their dogs at all times in public places, including designated off-lead areas.
A spate of complaints has prompted a reminder from Waipa District Council for dog owners to control and pick up after their dogs.
Council has recorded a number of complaints of dogs rushing people and a significant incident between two dogs in an off-lead area. Council also impounded a dog loose in public and found its owner unaware in the nearby exercise area.
Environmental services team leader Karl Tutty said while dogs are permitted off-lead in defined exercise areas, dogs still need to be under control.
“Off-lead doesn’t mean out-of-control. We want to make sure everyone can enjoy our off-lead exercise areas so we remind owners to supervise their dogs at all times, both for the safety of your dog and for the general public.”
“While we appreciate it’s a good opportunity to read a book, catch up on social media, or spend time socialising with other dog owners, leaving your dog unsupervised while that’s happening is not acceptable.”
“If you aren’t confident you can control your dog in a public area, we ask that you keep the lead on, even in designated off-lead areas. Your dog is your responsibility, no matter where you are.”
The number of off-lead areas available across Waipā has increased in recent years and Council has provided new agility equipment and more bins to assist dog owners to clean up after their dogs.
“As always, dogs in all public places need to be cleaned up after. The ‘I didn’t see it’ response when asked to pick up after your dog simply means you aren’t supervising it well enough. It’s a matter of respect for all park users.”
“Owners will face enforcement action and risk changes to areas where dogs are allowed off-lead if we don’t see improvement in behaviour.”
Failure to control your dog, and not picking up after your dog, are both offences. Each offence can result in a $300 fine payable by owners. For up to date information on off-lead areas in Waipā district, visit www.waipadc.govt.nz/dogs.