Too many dogs in our towns

South Waikato News - - Conversations - LUKE KIRKEBY

South Waikato towns are be­com­ing over­run with dogs de­spite a ban on them in the cen­tral busi­ness district.

The prob­lem has caused one coun­cil­lor to fire up and ask for larger signs to be erected telling peo­ple of the ban.

‘‘The num­ber of dogs in town is be­com­ing a joke, there are dogs all over the place,’’ Pu­taruru Ward coun­cil­lor Adri­enne Bell said dur­ing the South Waikato District Coun­cil Cor­po­rate and Reg­u­la­tory Com­mit­tee meet­ing on Thurs­day.

By­laws state that no dogs are al­lowed in the cen­tral busi­ness dis­tricts be­tween 8am and 6pm, but Bell said many peo­ple are flaunt­ing the rule.

‘‘The ma­jor­ity of them seem like nice peo­ple and they have nice dogs which they are walk­ing on leashes so I think it is just a mat­ter of peo­ple not re­al­is­ing.’’

While signs were re­cently put in place alert­ing peo­ple to the rule Bell felt they were too small for peo­ple to no­tice. The signs are the size of an A4 sheet of paper.

‘‘[Last Wed­nes­day] there was even a dog fight. We have big signs say­ing no skate­board­ing so I don’t see why we can’t have the same say­ing no dogs,’’ she said.

She said the signs also need the coun­cil’s num­ber clearly vis­i­ble on them, par­tic­u­larly for driv­ers who may see roam­ing dogs. Grif­fiths St, Pu­taruru, was iden­ti­fied as the main area for roamers.

‘‘It is usu­ally when you are out in your car that you see them and ob­vi­ously by the time you get home, look up the coun­cil’s num­ber and ring, the dog is go­ing to be long gone,’’ she said.

Reg­u­la­tory group man­ager Sharon Robin­son said there were no plans to change the signs but im­prove­ments would be likely.

‘‘We will con­tinue to ed­u­cate and pa­trol in these ar­eas and are look­ing at other in­for­ma­tion op­tions like in­clud­ing stick­ers with a phone num­ber and Quick Re­sponse Code to maps rather than re­plac­ing en­tire signs,’’ she said.

From April 1 to May 31 108 dogs were picked up for roam­ing in the district from which 20 per cent were reg­is­tered.

Ac­cord­ing to the meet­ing’s agenda there were also seven dog at­tacks. There are a to­tal of 3,873 dogs known to be in the district.

A map out­lin­ing dog free zones is avail­able.

PHOTO: ANNA LOREN/ FAIR­FAX NZ

Dogs are not wel­come in the cen­tral busi­ness dis­tricts of South Waikato towns.

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