Western Leader : February 9th 2012
www.aucklandnow.co.nz Thursday, February 9, 2012 NEWMARKET 09 522 1283 49 Remuera Rd (Opp. Dick Smith) Free Parking HENDERSON 09 836 1731 371 GREAT NORTH ROAD (OPP. WESTFIELD MALL) OREWA 09 426 5022 Hillary Square, 12 Florence Ave (next to AA Centre) FREE EYE EXAM* *WITH GLASSES PURCHASED All glasses have one year manufacture warranty 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed Member of NZ Association of Optometrists NZ FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED SINCE 1978 Affordable Quality Eyecare for Everyone Testing time for dogs By VANITA PRASAD Free rein: Claire Carrie enjoys walking her dogs Daisy and Oscar in Piha and wants an off-leash area for dogs on the beach to remain. Photo: VANITA PRASAD POTENTIAL pet owners should need to prove them- selves and get a licence before having a dog. That's one idea being sub- mitted to Auckland Council as it seeks feedback on proposed dog bylaws to replace the eight sets of rules from former city and district councils. The bylaws relate to canine registration, desexing, the number of dogs a person can own, how to deal with troublesome animals and where they are allowed to go. Changes from Waitakere City Council bylaws include extending the winter period dogs are allowed on beaches to Labour Weekend. The council wants to bal- ance the needs of people with- out dogs with the protection of wildlife and the needs of owners to exercise their pets. Waitakere ward councillor Sandra Coney doesn't believe the proposed bylaws go far enough to protect Piha's native birds such as blue penguins, dotterels and oys- ter catchers. Piha and Cornwallis beaches have specific pro- hibited areas under past and proposed dog bylaws. Dogs would be banned from South Piha beach between Labour Weekend and March but allowed in the area on a leash during the rest of the year. Dogs are also prohibited from rock or reef areas on the beach. But Ms Coney says Piha residents and visitors to the beach regularly flout the bylaws. What many people don't realise is that if they let their dogs chase after birds it causes bird disturbance which means they stop coming back to an area because it's unsafe.'' Ms Coney says the public submission period is a good opportunity for west Auck- landers to have their say on where dogs should be allowed to go. Piha resident and guide dog trainer Claire Carrie says not everyone sticks to the rules. I think the locals bend the rules a bit and sometimes I do too but my dogs are always under control.'' Mrs Carrie would like to see North Piha continue to be an off-leash area for dogs. It works really well and as far as I'm aware there haven't been any attacks in the area for a long time,'' she says. Glen Eden resident Ray Kernaghan wants to see a system where owners are licensed rather than dogs. You should be able to pass a test to show you're capable of owning a dog before you get one.'' Mr Kernaghan says he encounters many dogs on his daily walk through Glen Eden that aren't trained or cared for. I see people hanging on like grim death to these dogs -- they're not in control of them whatsoever. A lot of owners never take their dogs for walks and keep them chained up all day as cheap burglar alarms,'' he says. There were 13,745 dogs registered in Waitakere between June 2010 and June 2011. During that time there were 7473 callouts for dog related services including animal control and eutha- nasia. Public submissions close on February 27. The council will consider feedback between March and June and finalise the new bylaws which will come in to force in October. Visit the website www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz and click on proposed policy and bylaw on dogs to read about the bylaws and make a submission.
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