Waitaki Herald : December 24th 2014
6 WAITAKI HERALD, DECEMBER 24, 2014 Dog attacks worry council By DANIEL BIRCHFIELD firstname.lastname@example.org taki District Council staff. So far in 2014 there have been A 18 reported dog attacks, compared with 13 in 2013. During November alone, four people were attacked, with each incident involving pitbull-type breeds. This month, one attack has been reported. Council regulatory services manager Lichele Guyan said the upwards trend in incidents involving dogs was disturbing. ‘‘We’ve had a staggering num- ber of wandering, lost and found dogs reported, with 344 in the past five months. This is 71 more complaints than the same time last year, and council is very concerned with this growing trend. ‘‘We haven’t had such a bad month this month, but we have had a lot of wandering dogs, which is where the problem starts for animal control officers.’’ With the holiday season in full swing and the evenings being warmer, Guyan said there were n increase in the number of dog attacks in the Waitaki district is concerning Wai- more people out walking, and she had concerns for their safety. ‘‘We want to ensure our streets and neighbourhoods are safe places for everyone.’’ Dog owners are being reminded that it is their responsibility to ensure their dogs are well cared for, have water on hand, get regular exercise, and are not able to leave the confines of their property without their owners. A dog must be under control at all times, even on an owner’s property. ‘‘We want dog owners to take good care of their pets, ensure they are on a lead, have a suitable receptacle to clean up any dog excrement, and are well behaved, to keep our community safe,’’ Guyan said. ‘‘The majority of dog owners take these responsibilities very seriously. However, we have a growing problem, and we need some dog owners to step up and take responsibility.’’ The council’s new Dog Control Policy and Bylaw came into force on November 3, and council staff are developing educational material to assist dog owners. There are heavy penalties if a Roseanne Thomas, Oamaru ‘‘There is a street I don’t walk down because there is a large dog that sits at the gate, not tied up. It might not do any harm but you never know what could trigger a dog.’’ dog attack does occur, including the dog being put down. The council investigates any reported attacks, and has the power to issue infringement notices. In certain instances, a dog may Annabel Thomas, 17, Oamaru ‘‘I’d be worried for little kids but not necessarily peoplemyage or adults. But I do think all dogs should be fenced in.’’ Juanita Toki,mumof three, Oamaru ‘‘I’m not really worried because there’s no dogs in the centre city. You don’t see them roaming around with people. And there’s the dog park, which I think is good.’’ be classified as dangerous, which incurs a higher registration fee. The dog is also required to be neutered and to wear a muzzle in public. ‘‘We urge people who see a wandering dog to report it to [dog con- trol], which is available at any time on 433 0300,’’ Guyan said. ‘‘A photo and date would be helpful. We recommend, however, that people do not approach wandering dogs, as their behaviour can be unpredictable.’’ Meeting Santa Naughty or nice?: The man in red has been keeping a watchful eye on young and old throughout the year in preparation for the big day tomorrow. Will you wake to a lump of coal or a beautifully wrapped present on Christmas morning? Leitham, 3; Pfeiffer, 6 months, and Trystyn, 10, hanging out with Santa Claus. Photo: NICOLA WOLFE/FAIRFAX NZ NEWS YOURSAY A recent release from the Waitaki District Council has shown an increase in dog attacks this year. Reporter Nicola Wolfe hit the streets of Oamaru to find out whether members of the public are concerned about dog attacks in the area. Photos: Nicola Wolfe/FairfaxNZ Opening day: Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher officially opens Friendly Bay’s public toilets. Photo: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD/FAIRFAX NZ New toilets open for business By DANIEL BIRCHFIELD email@example.com Oamaru’s newest public toilets have been officially opened at Friendly Bay. The toilet block, located at the end of the Friendly Bay playgrounds flying fox, features a pair of unisex toilets, a disabled toilet and a shower attached to the wall. Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said the opening, which took place last week, was ‘‘tongue in cheek’’, featuring a toilet paper ribbon being cut with a plunger, to let Oamaru residents know the much-needed facility was open. ‘‘There’s been a lot of calls for it,’’ he said. ‘‘It provides a bit more than a basic toilet. It’s certainly going to help serve the public well and it’s important to know we have got this available now.’’ While there is a public toilet in the area, near the Penguins Nest cafe on Marine Parade, Kircher said it wasn’t up to scratch and was an ‘‘interim solution’’. He said council looked at sev- eral designs and settled on one similar to the toilet block at the Oamaru Public Gardens. When asked if the toilets will be open 24 hours a day seven days a week, Kircher said he would like them to be, however council plans to monitor how that goes in the interim. Waitaki District Council recreation manager Eric van der Spek said the toilets came in at a cost of $110,000, well below the budgeted figure of $140,000.
December 17th 2014
January 7th 2015