New Zealand Dog News

Reviewing the dog news in New Zealand with editors comments. Someone needs to keep reviewing how our dogs are doing in society.

November 09, 2011

Porirua dog-poo bylaw may be binned

Porirua's much-mocked Pooper Scooper Bylaw could be dumped.
The bylaw was introduced five years ago in a bid to force dog owners to carry a device, such as a plastic bag, to pick up their pooch's mess.
However, questions have been raised over enforcement of the rule, as dog rangers do not have the power to search people's pockets for a device or force them to display the contents of their pockets.
No-one has received a $300 fine for failing to carry a pooper scooper and the council has no intention of coming down hard on perpetrators should the bylaw be retained.
The preferred option, put to the Porirua City Council committee yesterday, is to keep the bylaw as it stands. However, a decision will not be made until the public have their say next month.
Deputy Mayor Liz Kelly criticised the bylaw when it was introduced but could now see the value of retaining it as it had put pressure on dog owners to be seen to do the right thing.
"It would be fair to say that I actually thought that it would be superfluous," she said.
"Honestly, when we got the papers I said, `Are you for real, is this really a bylaw or are you just trying to see if we're paying attention?"'
Mrs Kelly said she would advocate for dog-poo disposal bins to be installed throughout the city. -- now isn't that a better way of managing the environment. 
Environment and Regulatory Services general manager David Rolfe said the bylaw was a successful educational tool as it had placed the onus on dog owners to be prepared.  How about EDUCATION instead of ENFORCEMENT?
He said it was more effective than an earlier bylaw which made it illegal for dogs to defecate in public places. "It's a subtle change by putting social pressure on dog owners," he said.  BUT,,, it was ALWAYS dog owners who had to pick it up?! it's called 'dog responsibility'
Most local councils have a similar bylaw but it is very difficult to prosecute as rangers must catch the dog in the act.
Now they are called 'rangers' -- never heard of this word being used here?!? 
It is illegal for dog owners in Wellington, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt to leave their dog's mess in a public place, but they do not have to carry a pooper scooper on them.
Wellington City Council ditched a proposal in 2009 to force dog owners to carry pooper scoopers.
Mr Rolfe said the council visits Porirua's 3822 dog owners each year to explain the need to carry a pooper scooper, and other dog control rules.
"We don't intend to carry out more enforcement but it's there should we wish to use it."  It's the same stupid way of thinking--- I'll just keep this old bit of junk in my garage... I might use it. 
If you haven't used it in three years, throw it out!
No-one had complained about the bylaw, but residents had called the council to dob in dirty dog owners, who were then spoken to by rangers, Mr Rolfe said.
here's that word again... rangers. American word for people who work in a state park, park rangers.



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