RRC takes lead

IS the council about to let the dogs out?

Ann Riches certainly hopes so.

After adopting a hardline stance regarding the control of dogs across the region, the council appears to have softened its approach and to be listening to the concerns of dog owners at Duthie Park.

Last month Ms Riches was among those fined $200 for letting her border collie Tilly off the lead in a section of Duthie Park outside the authorised off-leash area.

On Friday she was one of several pet owners who met council representatives to voice their concerns and she is pleased with the positive moves.

For years dog owners have let their animals off the lead without incurring penalties as they made their way through this section of the park.

Now, after cracking down, the council is looking at extending leash-free areas.

“I am living in anticipation of a positive outcome for all dog owners in the community,” Ms Riches said.

Councillor Tony Williams said residents raised several issues that the council would take to the table for consideration.

Cr Williams said they were confident of a positive resolution for pet owners in extending these areas as well as a number of moves to better educate the community about local laws. “We hope to extend the off-leash shaded area towards Thozet Road,” he said.

Cr Williams said a concern raised by the community was a lack of proficient education for pet owners.

“We have plans to educate the community more by working with the RSPCA to hold puppy classes and education on responsible ownership of pets in the new year,” he said.

He said after discussions with pet owners, they would look at including brochures with the rules of owning a dog to be provided with registration notices.

Dog owner Andrew Morgan, another resident to cop a hefty fine, still felt “insulted”.

“I don’t think the community is well enough informed about the rules for dog owners, and that comes back to a lack of communication,” he said.

Despite his anger, Mr Morgan said after Friday’s meeting he thought council had finally taken a proactive approach by listening to the community.



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