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Dog owner responsibilities

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Dogs not being confined to their properties is a risk we don’t need in our community, says Wairoa District Council Chief Executive Kitea Tipuna.

People are concerned about dogs not being properly secured and controlled, causing harm, or being a nuisance to neighbours, neighbourhoods, and members of the public.

Mr Tipuna explained that dog owners have an obligation to ensure their dogs are controlled and confined. “On the property, there must be clear access to a door to enable people to contact you. It can be intimidating for people who are doing their daily jobs and are confronted with an uncontrolled and unsupervised dog.”

Mr Tipuna said the Council is receiving reports of postal workers, courier drivers, meter readers, and others being confronted while they are out working. If they are challenged by a dog, the services they are providing may not be delivered, which will impact the resident.

“Children in the community should be able to walk to and from school safely without roaming dogs confronting them. People should not be too fearful to walk in their local neighbourhoods because dogs are not secure and are left to roam outside their boundaries. We need to protect people in our community, particularly the elderly, the young, and the vulnerable.

“Dog owners are responsible for ensuring their dogs do not cause harm or nuisance. Dogs that are not properly restrained are a risk to the community and could result in the dog owner being banned from owning a dog in the future.”

Mr Tipuna said all dog owners are encouraged to check their boundary fences and gate latches and look at options such as mesh on gateways and signage.

“If members of the public feel intimidated by a dog and know which property that dog lives at, please let the Council know.

“Being a dog owner should be viewed as a privilege. We ask all owners to consider their obligations and responsibilities, please stick to the rules, and ensure your dog does not intimidate others, either at home or in public places.”

10 April 2024

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