Debate on dog parks in by-law review

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Two options for dog parks in Tamahere are up for discussion as part of a review of the Waikato District Council’s dog control by-law.

The choice is between a new, fenced dog exercise area at Te Awa Reserve or one at Tamahere Park. 

Also under discussion are proposals to limit the number of dogs in rural zones to two dogs per property, with some exemptions. Anyone wanting three or more dogs would require a council permit.

The proposal has arisen because, at times, large numbers of dogs are being kept unsafely on rural properties. 

Working dogs would be exempt from the rule and neither would it apply for multi-unit or Papakaainga housing, or at boarding kennels or dog daycare centres.

“Currently, there is no limit to the number of dogs that can be kept on rural properties in the Waikato district but there is a limit of two dogs on all properties which are not rural. Over the past five years, council has received 58 complaints about multiple dogs in rural areas. This has led to 156 dogs being found in poor conditions and showing signs of neglect,” said Animal Control Team Leader Tracey Oakes. 

Detailed information on the proposed changes is available on Council’s website: www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz/dogbylaw

Submissions are open now and the consultation closes on January 16. 

The council is legally required to review the bylaw, which provides an opportunity to look at ways to improve the rules governing dog ownership in the district.

“We have approximately 15,000 dogs in our district so it’s important that it strikes a balance between the wishes of dog owners, the welfare needs of dogs and the needs of wider community,” said Oakes. 

2 thoughts on “Debate on dog parks in by-law review

  • January 4, 2022 at 10:28 am
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    Considering there are over 15,000 dogs in the district, that would equate to about ONE complaint a month regarding multiple dogs on a property and less than 3 dogs a month found in a poor condition/neglected. Whilst neglected animals is not acceptable at any time. I do not find these figures of concern.
    I would be interested to know of these figures how many dogs were registered in the first place?
    I come from a family of dog lovers with our adult children coming and going and often have multiple dogs, plus we sometimes foster dogs also.
    I feel strongly that this law should not pass and time and money from the council should be put into better education and enforcement of existing animal welfare rather than adding further compliance costs to the majority of law abiding residents.
    And likewise, the cost to put in a fenced dog area in Tamahere which I do not feel is needed could also go towards this.

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  • December 3, 2021 at 4:42 pm
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    Dog Parks. From the WDC website the fenced area proposed seems small and with low fences; so exercising along the road verge on on your own property seems a better solution. Occasional trips to Cambridge Lake or Hamilton Gardens would assist with dog socialisation. Most Tamahere properties can exercise a dog using a variety of means within their own boundary.
    The Tamahere park area does not need more fences. It was intended to be an open space; trees, grass, greenery and just one separate for organised activities. Note I am a dog owner [2] and yet still believe the proposed areas are not necessary.

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