Off-leash dogs a big problem

JESS ETHERIDGE
Last updated 05:00 21/02/2014

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Letitia Reddington has had enough of the dog droppings left on her property.

She has seen dogs "challenging" small children and had to put down the family cat after it was attacked at the secluded Chelsea Bay Reserve, which borders her house.

The 24-hour off-leash rule in place since 2004 needs to be revoked before a real tragedy happens, she says.

"We just want the beach turned back to what it was."

Mrs Reddington says she is not anti-dog - they should just be on a leash while at the Birkenhead park for safety reasons.

The 10-year-old bylaw passed by the former North Shore City Council is under review, as are all dog access rules at Kaipatiki beaches.

Mrs Reddington and her husband Pat have lived on the border of the reserve since 1984 but she says they were never asked about the dog rule change.

Kaipatiki Local Board initiated the review of all access beaches in its area and any proposed changes will be publicly notified mid-2014, an Auckland Council spokesperson says.

The board may consider other off-leash areas as part of this review.

Decision-making on the review is guided by the council's 2012 policy on dogs, the spokesperson says.

"The council has received two complaints in the last year about this reserve, with people being concerned about dogs running loose in an uncontrolled manner."

If owners do not clean up after their dogs the public must contact council with identification, such as car registration, the spokesperson says.

"Most often council officers are not present when an offence occurs so we rely heavily on the public to provide the evidence needed to follow up."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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