Latest News & Public Notices

Taking care of your hot dog

30 December 2014

If you have a dog please remember that there's dog restriction times on beaches over summer.

Our compliance officers will be patrolling beaches and public places throughout the district with a special focus at beach exercise areas to ensure dogs are under control and dog droppings are picked up immediately. Any breaches to the dog control bylaws may result in instant fines being issued without warnings. Beaches receiving additional attention this summer are Whangamata, Onemana, Brophys Beach, Matarangi and Whangapoua but officers will patrol all beaches and public places randomly on a daily basis.

Our Council bylaw requires dogs to be on leads at all times in public places unless they are within designated exercise areas.

"Our message to dog owners is clear," says Compliance and Bylaws Team Leader Steve Hart.
"If you can't control your dog then put it on a lead to avoid problems with dogs annoying others."

"Dog owners also need to be mindful that they are responsible for their dogs actions and if their dog attacks another animal or person then they may face the consequences of the dog being impounded pending an investigation under the Dog Control Act 1996," says Mr Hart.

Dogs that attack may be classified as menacing or dangerous, owners fined and in the case of a serious attack the owner may be prosecuted and if convicted the dog may be destroyed and the owner banned from owning a dog for up to five years.

Currently a Whangamata dog owner is facing another court hearing for a fatal attack by three pig dogs on a much loved pet dog in August. In another case a dog from Tairua has been impounded and the owner facing a possible prosecution for a serious dog attack on an elderly Australian tourist in early December. The visitor was admitted to Waikato Hospital and required surgery to her facial wounds.

If your dog shows any aggressive behaviour you should immediately consider behaviour correction training and assess whether the dog is safe around people or other animals.

“Dog Control is a priority for our team so we are improving signage at beaches and stepping up enforcement action against owners who disrespect dog exercise area rules, do not pick up droppings, fail to control dogs," says Mr Hart.

"We are also working closer this year with Department of Conservation staff and dotterel minders to curb an identified issue of dogs disturbing Dotterel chicks or eating eggs," says Mr Hart. "This year we are asking owners exercising dogs off lead on beaches to put dogs on leads within 100 metres of any identified dotterel nesting area," says Mr Hart.

Everyone has a right to safely enjoy our beaches without being harassed by dogs and owners need to take extra responsibility to keep dogs under control at all times.”