More talk about dogs 

Dog owners keep their pets on a lead while they walk around Lake Te Koo Utu.

Waipā council staff are on the road this week to get more comments from residents about dogs.

They will be in Cambridge at the Farmers’ Market on Saturday and at the car-boot sale in Bank St, Te Awamutu on August 6.  They will also have pop up stalls in both towns.

District Growth and Regulatory group manager Wayne Allan said more than 250 people had already submitted to the council about dog exercise rules, exercise and prohibited areas and other aspects of dog control.

“The feedback will help shape potential changes to dog control policy,” he said.

Confusion reigned last month when council put out comments which suggested dogs could be banned from some areas. It led to the council apologising when the backlash dominated social media.

Allan said feedback already covered where dogs should exercise and the rights of those who do not own dogs to enjoy the district’s reserves.

“People have got plenty to say which is great.  The feedback will provide some solid guidance as to whether or not we need to make changes to our dog policies that better reflect what our community wants,” he said.

Three dogs enjoy the dogs only exercise area.

One dog off the lead at Lake Te Koo Utu.

“I don’t think we are necessarily anticipating massive change, but we do need to be aware that as the district grows and the population increases, so will the number of dogs. That has an impact on our parks and green spaces and also impacts on non-dog owners.  And of course, we have legislative requirements that we have to meet, including providing adequate dog pound facilities, bins and signage. So there’s a bit to work through.”

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