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Stern reminder to dog owners


COUNCIL’S Animal Control Officers are barking mad over the scores of locals and visitors in Māhia who think it is their right to walk dogs on the road and footpath without a lead. 

Over the Labour Weekend period, Council’s Animal Control Team spoke to three people in Māhia who became “extremely abusive”, forcing them to produce a warrant card.

Mayor Craig Little said that after some heated discussions all three owners put their dogs on leads, but the abuse continued.

Mr Little said officers spoke to more than 40 people who had dogs off their lead over the long weekend, to try to make them aware that Māhia is an on-lead area.

This week, Council was also alerted to a dog attack in Nuhaka, prompting a stern reminder and warning to all dog owners.

With the summer holidays fast-approaching, and the increased number of visitors coming to our district, the time is right to remind dog owners of their responsibilities.

It’s important that compliance is met at all times, for your safety as well as your dog’s safety and members of the public, Mr Little said.

“It is important that all dog owners remember that no one loves your dog like you do so please keep your dogs under control at all times,” Mr Little said.

“It makes Council’s job extremely difficult when officers approach dog owners who become extremely aggressive and abusive towards the team.

Council has a zero tolerance policy for roaming dogs. If a dog is caught, it will be impounded.

If an owner is known they will be contacted. The dog will be returned when all fees and charges are paid.

Council wants to remind owners that the definition of an on-lead area is defined in schedule three of the Wairoa District Council Consolidated Bylaw, and is as follows:

  • Streets within any residential or commercial area, and all public places within these; and,
  • All public parks, carparks, public reserves and parts of parks and reserves under the control of Council, which are neither prohibited areas nor off-lead areas.

Council would also like to highlight the responsibilities of dog owners based on the following clauses in part seven of Council’s Consolidated Bylaw:

  • The owner or person responsible for the dog shall keep the dog under control at all times.
  • The owner or person responsible for the dog must ensure that the dog is restrained by a lead or leash, which is secured or held by a person capable of physically controlling the dog while in a public place or area not designated as an off-lead area.
  • Owners are permitted to exercise their dogs in Council’s designated off-lead exercise areas, providing the owners are able to control their dogs by command (including voice command, hand signals or whistlings), and carry a lead/leash at all times.
  • Council shall impound any dog found not under control or at large or off-lead when in a public area, including off-lead areas in cases where a dog is not under control as stated in 3.4.4.
  • Repeated infringements will require further measures to be taken, such as requiring the dog to be neutered, or may end up with Court action.
  • Dog owners are responsible for cleaning up there dog’s poo.  


31 October 2018

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