Submissions sought on dog proposal

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The Waitaki District Council is urging dog owners to make submissions on a new proposal outlined in the Waitaki Reserves Management Draft Plan.

The proposal recommends allowing dogs off leashes in neighbourhood parks between 7pm and 8am, establishing two designated off-lead dog exercise areas in Oamaru, allowing dogs on leads on sports fields and cemeteries (currently prohibited) and prohibiting dogs from being within 10m of playgrounds and protected wildlife colonies.

Waitaki District Council recreation manager Erik van der Spek said whether or not the proposals were adopted depended on the community.

“If the community want to see these proposals given approval then they need to send in submissions before June 4.”

Mr van der Spek said the proposal should gain plenty of response from the community.

“We love hearing from people and we know people will send in comment about this proposal.”

If the proposal gets the go-ahead, people who take their dogs to the specific fields where the restrictions have been lifted must control their dog at all times.

“People will have to control their dogs when they are off the leads, but while the dogs are on and off leads, the owners will need to pick up the waste from their pet,” said Mr van der Spek.

With two dog parks in the area, Mr van der Spek feels letting dogs off their leads at between the proposed hours shouldn’t be a problem.

“At these times of night, the fields are less likely to be populated by children, giving dogs more freedom to run around.”

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY