Review of Dog Control Policy and Bylaw begins

Published on December 04, 2020

Dog on beach

Whanganui District Council is reviewing its Dog Control Policy and Bylaw and wants feedback from the community on a series of proposed changes.

The council has taken a wellbeing approach to the management and ownership of dogs in the Whanganui District for this review. This approach prioritises public safety while also focusing on the need for responsible ownership among dog owners with the use of education programmes. Proposed changes to the policy and bylaw include:

  • Requiring dog owners to pass a written test of dog ownership knowledge in order to qualify as a responsible dog owner for the first time
  • Increasing dog access on Castlecliff Beach by allowing dogs to be:
    • under control off a leash – north of the northern end of the lower Rangiora Street car park
    • under control on a leash – south of the northern end of the lower Rangiora Street car park at all times
  • Requiring dogs to be under control on a leash on all walkways, cycleways and shared pathways (excluding places dogs are prohibited such as premier parks and lakes)
  • Formalising the council’s existing policy on the rehoming of dogs.

Senior policy analyst, Justin Walters, says, “Dog ownership is an integral part of family life for many members of our community. Along with helping to promote exercise, dogs can also increase wellbeing in people as well as act as great companions, especially to the elderly. However, with the enjoyment of having a dog comes the need for responsible ownership.

“The practical way to teach a dog ‘new tricks’ is to first educate its owner. To achieve this goal, one of the features of the council’s new animal pound on Airport Road is a custom-designed facility to present education programmes about responsible dog ownership.

“All dog owners who gain their responsible dog ownership certification will also be able to claim a 20 per cent discount on their dog registration fees.

“Having appropriate rules on dog-access areas and owner education are the preferred ways to minimise the nuisance risk some dogs can pose to our community, and the council will continue to support this approach by requiring that all owners comply with council dog rules. Public safety is always the prime concern,” Justin Walters says.

The council’s current Dog Control Policy and Bylaw was adopted in 2015. The council is required by law to review its policies and bylaws within a five-year timeframe once a bylaw is adopted.

All consultation information is available on the Have Your Say page.

Submissions close at 5.00pm on Friday, 26 February 2021.



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