Woman campaigns for better signs at Marlborough parks
A woman passing through Picton wants unruly dog owners to respect her "personal space" by keeping their pets on a leash.
Southland woman Wendy Baker thought she would do some sightseeing in the port town, only to find dogs running free at parks where they should be on leads.
Baker said she was "quite upset" at the apparent disregard for rules, and has spoken to the region's animal control and the Marlborough District Council.
Baker, who has owned dogs herself, thinks better signage would help.
Baker, passing through on her way back from the World Masters Games in Auckland, was bitten by a dog several years ago while jogging in a public space.
She prefers to jog in areas where she does not have to worry about dogs coming up to her, she says.
"I just care about people and the dog bite issue. Thousands and thousands of people are getting bitten each year," Baker says.
ACC recorded 13,748 claims for dog bite injuries nationally last year.
Dogs should be on leads at the Victoria Domain, between Picton and Waikawa, at the Coathanger bridge area at the Picton Marina, and on Bob's Bay Track.
But a small laminated sign at the bridge is torn and peeling, and a sign at Victoria Domain is hard to see, Baker says.
"There needs to be more signage, and people need to be more considerate to others using the walkways. It's about respecting my personal space."
She decided to follow up the Picton incident by investigating the parks around Blenheim. She found some signs were out-of-date, such as the sign at Harling Park, which shows a dog on a lead.
Dogs are banned from that area altogether.
Animal control issues warnings and infringement notices to people in breach, but the council is responsible for sign maintenance.
Council reserves and amenities officer Robert Hutchinson says he is aware some signs are out-of-date, but added council did not have the funding to improve or update the signs.
"It's up to dog owners to make sure they know what the rules are," Hutchinson says.
A list of areas where dogs are allowed off their lead is available on the Marlborough District Council website.
- The Marlborough Express