Dog Rules.

As most of you are probably aware by now, there was an incident with a dog recently in which Les was bitten, and required medical treatment for the bite.

This isn’t the first such incident; Kevin Hester was bitten by a dog on the ferry, and this also nearly resulted in an attack on a child, narrowly avoided thanks to the intervention of Dylan. The dog was subsequently reported as dangerous, and required to be muzzled.

I have been irritated by underfoot dogs as I’ve come off the ferry, as have many others. Imagine tripping up whilst hauling your chilly-bin and face-planting onto the cheese-grater wharf steps. Thankfully all dog owners seem to have got the message that dogs MUST be leashed in the wharf area. Let’s keep it that way.

Every summer there are the inevitable complaints about dog faeces left lying in stinky little piles on our roadsides. I confess, this is particularly egregious for me, as I’m blind as a bat and like to go barefoot everywhere. Simon has to walk ahead of me yelling “Mind that turd!”

There is also the issue of our ground-nesting birds and little blue penguins. These are particularly vulnerable to dog attack. We want to protect our native species that are vulnerable to dogs; the banded rails, the spotless crakes, the pateke, the korora, the oystercatchers. I also don’t want to see quail being chased by bored dogs. It’s a fineable offence if your dog kills or disturbs native wildlife.

I see the biting of Les as a catalyst for some positive changes in our community. No-one is suggesting that Rakino should be free of dogs, just that dog owners abide by the rules as set out by the Auckland City Council. Most of you will be surprised to learn that those rules are identical to rules that apply in Auckland City itself. You must keep your dog leashed when in public places, like on roads. Your dog must be under control at all times. This means your dog can’t bowl up to someone else at the beach, pee on their towel, hump their leg, jump on their head, attack their dog who happens to be on a leash. Your dog may not bail people up, rush people, or knock anyone over. Your dog is not permitted on DoC land.

The best thing for Rakino would be if responsible dog owners set the culture for everyone, and enforced it. I’m not a dog owner, and I have no desire to police other people’s pets.

My suggestion is that all dog owners peruse the rules which I am linking to here and come up with some controls which means this summer no-one gets annoyed or menaced by a dog, no-one stands in dog-shit, and none of our nesting birds get interfered with by a dog. We can all have a good holiday, including the island dogs. Comments are welcomed; you’ll need to log-in or sign-up to do so.

Thanks all!

Have your say on this by commenting on the RRA meeting post