Dog owners – “just be responsible”

With dog ownership on the rise in the Whakatāne District, the Council is receiving an increasing number of complaints about irresponsible dog owners. That’s the word from Whakatāne District Council Manager Community Regulation, Graeme Lewer, who says it’s time for dog owners to “just be responsible”.

“We’re fielding a lot of calls from upset locals about a number of dog feces left on the ground in our public spaces. The problem is widespread, but the biggest areas of concern are the high-dog-traffic areas such as the Warren Cole Walkway and access points to both Coastlands and Ōhope beaches,” he says. “Along with the unsightliness and offensive odors of dog feces, they’re a breeding ground for flies and diseases that can be transmitted to humans as well.”

“Taking on dog ownership is often a 10 year-plus commitment, and a big part of that responsibility is to ensure one’s dog doesn’t cause a nuisance for others in the community. That also means having control of your dog at all times, whether on a lead or through verbal commands when off a lead.”

Mr. Lewer suggests that anyone who experiences issues involving uncontrolled dogs, owners not picking up after their dogs, or dogs being exercised in prohibited areas, should contact the Council immediately. “If possible, take a vehicle registration number, or if the person is known, then please provide their details to us. The identity of the person reporting the issue will be kept strictly confidential.”

Mr. Lewer concludes: “As with most things, it is a minority that spoils it for the rest of us. We’re grateful for the many wonderful dog owners out there who act responsibly, and we ask them to keep leading by example.”

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