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Councillors Face Dog-House Fate

Councillors Face Dog-House Fate

Councillors face the prospect of losing their jobs in the Rodney District Council because of their hard-line attitude to dogs.

All candidates in next month's election are being asked to publicly declare how they feel about the council's hard-line attitude to dogs and dog owners -- which is unquestionably more draconian than that of any other territorial authority in New Zealand.

And dog-owners are being systematically mobilised to combat what they regard as the mindless and unjustifiable hatred of "man's best friend" which is being fostered by the present council -- and which is forcing many desperate ratepayers to break the by-laws in order to be able to fulfill their obligations under the Dog Control Act to exercise their pets adequately.

Responsible dog owners are now turning to http://www.GiveMyFriendaFairDeal.org.nz People can find out there which candidates in the upcoming Rodney District Council elections are s upportive of responsible dog owners' attempts to achieve a more friendly set of dog policies. Liz Flyger, database co-ordinator, said this week "We've already got contact details for over a thousand Rodney dog owners and the database is growing rapidly. People are very angry."

Despite extensive submissions from responsible dog owners at the recent Dog Policy Hearings, requests to bring the Rodney policy in line with North Shore and other Councils around Auckland were completely ignored.

Rodney Council is even ignoring its own policy! Policy 6 of the recently adopted Rodney Dog Policy states: "The City and District Councils of the Auckland Region must work proactively towards closer alignment of policy, bylaws, services and practices in respect of dogs, to provide greater certainty for the citizens of the Auckland Region."

In Rodney's Schedule 3 (Off Leash Areas) it states "No public places are currently listed in this schedule." In addition dogs are never allowed off leash on any Hibiscus Coast beaches, even in the winter time when many of the beaches are mostly deserted.

Marianne Mannering, Whangaparaoa resident said: "Responsible dog owners know that not everyone wants a dog and some people may not want to be close to a dog, so they keep their pets under control. But equally dogs need a fair go. What we want for our pets is appropriate off-lead exercise areas, just as are found in North Shore and across Auckland."

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