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City Dog Owners Urged To Speak Up

City Dog Owners Urged To Speak Up

Auckland dog owners are being urged to speak up for their right to exercise their dogs off leash in local parks. DOG (Dog Owners Group) President Dr Cathy Casey says that all dog owners must tell their local Community Board now why they need off leash access.

“If dog owners don’t speak up right now, there is a great danger that this dogophobic council will limit off leash exercise to small non-descript handkerchiefs of grass miles from anywhere” Dr Casey said.

DOG is encouraging all dog owners to lobby their Community Board members and communicate their needs by email telephone and fax before 29 August.

“It is time for responsible dog owners to be heard. We want access to local areas where we can safely let our dogs exercise off leash. Historically, sportspeople, families and dogs have happily shared local amenities. Since the attack on Carolina Anderson, the Council is behaving as if every family dog is a dire threat to society at large.”

Dr Casey says she is disappointed with the way in which Council has chosen to communicate with the public over the dog issue.

“DOG approached Council suggesting a joint mail-out and survey of registered dog owners to ensure everyone knows what Council is proposing by way of dog exercise areas. That offer was not taken up. Instead Council has chosen to communicate with the public through City Scene, a tabloid giveaway, which in many cases goes straight from the mailbox to the rubbish bin. A page in the local community newspapers would have reached a bigger audience.”

Dr Casey is worried that most dog owners will not be aware of the Councils plans until it is too late and the decisions on off leash access have been made.

“If dog owners don’t speak up now for off leash access to local parks, by September they could find access totally denied and Council dog wardens with books of $200 tickets waiting to pounce on them,” she said.

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