Late mother’s fall sparks call for dog signage
Julia Jasmine never got to give Porirua City Council another rark-up over what she felt was a lack of dog control signs.
The 66-year-old who had osteoporosis, a disease that left her bones brittle, died from pneumonia on December 23.
She had been trying to recover from a broken knee and other injuries suffered in August when an off-lead dog ran from its owner and onto a beach in Plimmerton, knocking her over.
Her daughter, Clarissa Barsanti, spoke to a council Annual Plan submissions meeting this week, demanding more be done to enforce dog control laws.
‘‘No-one should have to go through what my mum went through. The area where the man had his dog off-lead was not a designated dog exercise area, it was a public footpath ... an on-lead sign may have helped remind him of his responsibility, and thus prevent my mum’s injury.’’
As a general rule, dogs must be on-lead in public places in Porirua, unless there is a sign making an exception.
Barsanti believed the cheapest way for the council to enforce the law was with signage for dogs to be on leads.
She estimated it would cost up to $45,000 to install an extra 300-odd signs around the city, which could help people, including those with illnesses or allergies, or even dogs that needed to be protected.
Her mum was cautious. She avoided walking her own dog, an Australian sheepdog called Miss Morgan, around others as much as possible, sometimes hiding behind trees if one came too close, and wore homemade padded legprotectors.
‘‘So she tried to find places she felt safe. But those places became smaller and smaller, to the point where I thought something’s got to be done, this is just not fair.’’
She made a submission to last year’s annual plan with help from her mum. But was frustrated after being later told she had to resubmit the requests for funding in a long-term plan.
Council general manager of policy, planning and regulatory services James Jefferson said the policy was to put signs for exceptions, such as areas where dogs were prohibited, or where they could be exercised off-lead, ‘‘to avoid a proliferation of signage which can become counterproductive’’.
‘‘We acknowledge the very real concerns Clarissa has about the dog signage issue and recognise the amount of time she has put into her submission.’’
But it would wait until a
What does the council do if someone complains about a dog off lead in an on-lead area? DURING WORKINGHOURS:
Animal control officers respond to these calls as quickly as possible.
If the dog is with an owner, they will be advised of the need to keep their dog on-lead in off-lead areas.
If the dog is roaming unaccompanied the officer will try to capture it so it can be taken back to the pound where it will be identified and linked with an owner where possible.
The owner will have to pay pound fees before the dog is released to them. The council may also issue the owner with an infringement fine if they have a history of letting their dog roam. OUTSIDE WORKINGHOURS:
Animal control officers will respond to reports of a roaming dog if an animal or person has been rushed at or set upon; the dog has been contained; they are requested to attend by police. review process of its dog control policy and bylaw, which goes out for public consultation next month, was complete before tackling signage.
The council gets about 22 complaints a week about roaming dogs.
Julia Jasmine loved walking her dog, Miss Morgan.