WDC is asking the public for feedback on its current dog policy and bylaw. Photo / NZME
The Whāngarei District Council (WDC) is seeking public feedback on dog rules as part of its review of the Dog Management Policy and Bylaw, which is required every 10 years.
A variety of issues are covered by the Dog Management Policy and Bylaw including where you can and cannot take your dog, beach access rules during summer, nuisance and dangerous dogs, and dog welfare.
A Raumanga-Otaika resident said the review was long overdue and she is “really rapt to hear something is finally being done”.
After moving to Whāngarei three years ago, she describes how out-of-control dogs have severely impacted her family’s lives. When they first moved, she and her grandson would walk to and from school every day.
“It was only really a matter of months before the situation with rushing dogs, roaming dogs and a very, very close attack on us both resulted in us having to get taxis to and from school for many months before other alternative transportation was arranged.”
She believes there is “something seriously wrong” when you are not able to go for a walk in your local area.
“I have had my right as a resident living in a city taken away from me.”
In her view, Facebook also tells a story of the out-of-control dog situation and irresponsible dog ownership within Whāngarei on a regular basis.
She has already made her submission as part of the WDC review, asking for “a real tighten up of the current laws”.
Some changes she would like to see are fence height restrictions, greater fines and penalties for those who choose to be irresponsible with their dogs and for Kāinga Ora to change their policy back to prohibit dogs on their properties.
She says Animal Management has been “absolutely outstanding” though.
The WDC Annual Report on Dog Control Policy and Practices 2021-2022 showed their proactive patrols in identified risk areas had increased to 384, compared to 269 in 2020-2021.
Public submissions on Whāngarei dog rules are open until 5pm, July 31.
There are a number of ways to place feedback, either in an online survey form or by dropping a pin on an interactive map, which can be accessed here.
Alternatively, there will be drop-in sessions held at the Whāngarei Central Library on June 20, June 28 and July 6.
As a reminder, dog registrations expire June 30 each year. Dog owners must renew their registrations by August 1 to get a discounted rate and avoid a penalty fee.