Council sticks with status quo after dog zone review

Caroline Bay to remain dog-free area

RHONDA MARKBY
Last updated 05:00 26/02/2013
Sophie
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/FAIRFAX NZ

AFFECTED PARTIES: Assistance dog Sophie and her owner Brett Kane were among those in the council chambers yesterday to hear submissions on the Timaru District Council’s bylaw and dog control policy review.

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Caroline Bay will remain a dog-free area, with dogs allowed on the beach for only six months in winter.

The draft dog control policy and bylaw review suggested dogs might be allowed on the bay below the high tide mark for an extra month - from April 1 to the end of October, rather than the end of September as at present.

There had also been the suggestion dogs might be allowed on the boardwalk and other tracks within the bay area, but councillors have opted to remain with the status quo, recognising Caroline Bay is largely a playground area.

One of the reasons given for not extending dog "beach time" is the blue penguins living there.

While some submitters asked for dogs to be banned from the bay to protect wildlife, councillors felt the birds were surviving and doing well with the present summer ban on dogs, and agreed to stay with that option.

Dogs will not be allowed in the Otipua Wetlands as the trust which owns the area does not allow them. But they will continue to be allowed on the other side of the creek.

Councillors have gone against the staff recommendation that the Saltwater Creek walkway be a designated dog-on-leash area due to it being a popular and busy walkway. Instead, they will be allowed off the leash as long as they are under effective control.

Councillors agreed with submitters who said it was unrealistic to expect a dog to respond to its owner "without hesitation" when off the lead, instead opting for a definition where dogs must not be causing a nuisance or danger to a person, must be under continuous surveillance, and the person walking the dog must get the desired response from the animal by hand signals, voice, gesture or any other means.

While dogs are allowed in the central business districts of Temuka, Geraldine and Pleasant Point, Timaru's Stafford St remains a no-go area between Sefton and North streets.

Dogs will be allowed in other parts of Timaru's CBD.

An act before Parliament will decide whether dogs are allowed on food premises, and will influence what happens in the district.

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- The Timaru Herald

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