Fouling complaints rise

Dog owners need to take responsibility or they will face a $300 fine if their dog is caught fouling, Dunedin City Council senior animal services officer Peter Hanlin says. Photo by Samantha McPherson.
Dog owners need to take responsibility or they will face a $300 fine if their dog is caught fouling, Dunedin City Council senior animal services officer Peter Hanlin says. Photo by Samantha McPherson.
Owners who do not pick up their dog's faeces on footpaths and sports fields are continuing to cause an unpleasant issue for members of the public and Dunedin City Council's animal services.

The DCC received 46 fouling complaints from June 27, 2013, to June 27, 2014 - an increase on the 38 received the year before.

Dunedin City Council senior animal services officer Peter Hanlin is urging dog owners to take responsibility.

''Every owner needs to pick up their dog's poo and carry plastic bags with them when they take their dog for a walk. It's your responsibility as a dog owner.''

If owners are caught, they can be fined $300 for not cleaning up after their dog.

Kettle Park and the walking tracks between St Clair and Middle Beach, alongside Ross Creek and John Wilson Ocean Dr were problem areas, he said.

''Young children and adults who play sport on the weekend shouldn't have to worry about it in these marked areas. Dogs are not allowed to be exercised in marked areas on sports fields. If dog owners don't start cleaning up after their dogs, it will get to a stage where dogs may be prohibited from these areas.''

While there have been no fines issued this year, the DCC has increased staff patrols and added signs to remind people to keep their dogs off the marked areas and pick up any dog faeces.

The DCC cannot fine a dog owner unless they witness the offence or receive a complaint from a member of the public who witnessed the offence. There were bag-dispensers at popular dog-walking areas and owners were encouraged to use the bags. Mr Hanlin said the public were ''our eyes and ears''.

''If anyone sees a dog owner not picking up their dog's poo we can investigate the complaint if they have the name of the dog owner, the number on the dog's tag or a car registration,'' he said.

While most dog owners were ''very good'', the small percentage who did not pick up their dog's faeces reflected badly on other owners.

Dogs on sportsfields

I always 'pick up' after my dog, as do the majority. However, I am constantly frustrated by the amount of other owners who have not the slightest interest in keeping the parks and paths clean for others. Quite simply, the risk of a $300 fine is not a sufficient deterrent. Make the fine $1000 and double their next year's dog registration fee. Also put a few 'plain clothed' animal service officers around the parks for a few weeks. 

 

Dog faeces

Many walk unleashed dogs along Highgate/Beta Street and do not pick their dog poo. Often the streets are disgusting - especially nasty for small children walking in it.

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