19 December 2016 Be a Responsible Pet Owner this Summer

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19 December 2016 Be a Responsible Pet Owner this Summer

​With summertime well and truly upon us and people heading to the beaches, now is an opportune time to remind dog owners of the laws that keep the community and their pets safe when in public places.

Coffs Harbour City Council receives numerous calls in relation to dog complaints each year, with many being about dogs roaming unleashed in public places, in places where dogs are prohibited, and dogs defecating, of which on the spot fines can be issued for each offence.

Council Rangers recently conducted a blitz on beaches and in areas that are frequently the location of complaints. These active patrols prompted Council to issue a reminder to pet owners about their responsibilities when in public places.

Melissa Bouboulas, Acting Section Leader Compliance Regulatory Enforcement, said that generally compliance officers have seen an improvement in pet owners following the rules however there were some areas for improvement.

“A common misconception is that if there is no sign saying dogs must be on lead, it is alright for them to be unleashed, however the Companion Animals Act clearly states that a dog in any public place must be leashed and under effective control, unless in a designated leash free area. It is also the responsibility of the owner to clean up after pets in a public place, rather than leaving ‘doggy land mines’ for the unsuspecting public,” she said.

Council will continue with proactive patrols over the summer period to encourage and reinforce the need to comply with current legislation relating to dogs.

Information relating to dogs and any beach restrictions can be located on Council’s website under ‘Community’, at www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au, or by contacting Council’s Customer Resolution Officers on 6648 4000. Council also has free pocket size reference cards available to assist dog owners to be familiar with the rules.