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14/12/2018 2:00 p.m.
14 December 2018
Dog walkers at Lake Ngāroto are being urged to keep their dogs on a lead when using the walkway after a rise in dog-related issues in the area.
Waipa District Council has received a number of complaints about dogs being off their lead and owners not picking up after their pets on the lake’s walkway. New signs outlining the rules, only put up two weeks ago, have been vandalised or removed.
Council’s environmental services team leader Karl Tutty said the rules are in place to ensure everyone had a safe and enjoyable experience at the lake, while also helping to protect wildlife in the area.
“The lake’s walkway is popular amongst walkers, runners and cyclists and with a busy track we need to try and minimise the risks,” he said.
“We’re not anti-dog at all; in fact we encourage people to take their dogs on the walkway if they’re on a lead, or use the off-lead area near the carpark. But we’ve had a number of people confronted on the walkway by off-lead dogs and this is simply not acceptable given the lake is there for everyone to enjoy.”
Council’s animal control staff have increased their presence at Lake Ngāroto to help manage the issues, but Tutty said he was disappointed that signage to remind dog owners of the rules had been vandalised.
“Regardless of whether there are signs in place or not, it is up to owners to be aware of their obligations. Signs are paid for by dog owners through their registration fees and this sort of behaviour is ruining it for everyone. We don’t want to have to exclude dogs from the area altogether.”
Under Council’s Dog Control Bylaw 2015, owners flouting the rules could be fined up to $300 or have their dog impounded.