Signs reminder to dog owners

Department of Conservation ranger Simon Alefosio-Tuck and his dog, Sam, check on the new wildlife...
Department of Conservation ranger Simon Alefosio-Tuck and his dog, Sam, check on the new wildlife signs at Tomahawk Beach. PHOTO: DAN HUTCHINSON
Dunedinites are being warned not to ''let your dog go wild''.

Saving wildlife from dogs and dogs from wildlife is the aim of 24 new signs that have been erected by the Department of Conservation and the Dunedin City Council.

The signs have been erected at beaches from Warrington to Brighton and are based on pamphlets sent out by Doc and the DCC reminding dog owners about controlling their dogs on beaches.

Doc ranger Simon Alefosio-Tuck said just because people could not see wildlife did not mean it was not there and the chances were their dogs would find it first.

He said people should keep their dogs on leads around marine mammals such as seals, sea lions and penguins and take a wide berth around them on the beach.

People had the right to walk their dogs on most Dunedin beaches but they were still required to keep them controlled at all times.

Mr Alefosio said the signs followed a more direct campaign early last summer when they spoke to dog owners at several popular beaches around the area.

There were particularly vulnerable marine species on the beaches certain times of the year. In September young seal pups turned up on beaches ''bewildered'' and without their mothers for the first time. Last year a pup was attacked by a dog.

Mr Alefosio said people needed to be on the lookout all the time.

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