The leash loosened for Auckland dogs
New laws for Auckland dog owners came into play on Friday, 1 November 2019. These rule changes extend the hours in the evening and months of the year dogs can access the majority of Auckland parks and beaches. Now Auckland dog owners have enough daylight to walk their pets after work.
Dogs need exercise in Auckland and now we don’t have to wait until 7.00 pm before we can walk our dog on the beach.
The previous bylaw meant in many areas, dogs were restricted until as late as 7 pm and up until March 31. The new rules, setting access at 10 am to 5 pm, December 1 to March 1, apply across the region where a time and season rule for dog walking is already in place.
From December 1st to March 1st, dogs will be allowed on Auckland beaches from 5.00 p.m. This gives dog owners an extra two hours in the evening to enjoy walking and playing with their furry friends.
There are 100,000 dogs in Auckland. For one in five Auckland families, dogs are best mates and trusted family members, not to mention exercise enforcers and excellent ball and stick fetchers. New more restrictive rules were suggested in July, but after a massive outcry from dog lovers, with the majority of over 8,000 submissions opposing the changes, Auckland council made a U-turn.
Councillor Linda Cooper, chair of the panel that made recommendations to Auckland Council on the change in bylaws, said,
“Across the region, dog owners have told us they want more time to enjoy parks and beaches with their dogs, not less. We have listened to these views together with the views of non-dog owners.”
According to Auckland Council’s policy document, their aim is to keep dogs as a positive part Aucklanders’ lives by:
- maintaining opportunities for owners to take their dogs into public places,
- adopting measures to minimise the problems caused by dogs
- protecting dogs from harm and ensuring their welfare.
For information on where you and your mates like to walk, check out https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/plans-projects-policies-reports-bylaws/our-policies/Documents/policy-on-dogs-2019.pdf
I think we all accept that there are laws about dogs in public places to avoid conflict between pooches and people, not everybody is fond of dogs. The majority of dogs are well-behaved with owners who care for them and clean up after them. However, sadly, there are always exceptions, which is why access for dogs to Auckland beaches and other public spaces is limited.
The law changes come from Aucklanders wanting dogs to be a positive part of our lives, but with this comes enforcement of responsible dog ownership. The new bylaw states that when they’re in a public place or premises, dog owners must ensure the immediate removal and disposal of their dog’s doings in a way that does not cause nuisance. If a dog has been found to be uncontrolled more than once in a 12-month period, dog owners may be required to neuter their male dog, or face fines.
Auckland Council is also hoping to encourage rehabilitation, so if a dog has been classified as menacing, the owner can ask the Council to reassess their classification. If owners can provide evidence of a dog behavioural assessment report, or if their dog does not have any further infringements in a 12-month period and the owner obtains a responsible dog ownership licence from Auckland Council, their dog’s status can be changed.
We know dogs need exercise and when your dog stays with us at our dog boarding kennel, we give them exercise and playtime twice daily: first thing in the morning and again in the afternoon. We may not be able to take them all to one of Auckland’s beautiful parks, but all their play and exercise time closely is monitored by our team of trained staff.