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.

February 27, 2012

Dog owners protest bylaws

Owners of dogs of all shapes and sizes came together to send a united message: they do not agree with proposed changes to the city council's dog control bylaw.

About 300 canines and owners gathered at the Church Steps in Nelson before marching down Trafalgar St to the council offices on Saturday.

Nelson resident and dog owner Elizabeth Dooley organised the event for a sign of solidarity to the city council and raise awareness of the issue. The proposed changes have generated a lot of talk in the community. If passed the new bylaws would see dogs prohibited from more areas and only allowed on leashes in public areas including the Maitai walkway and the Railway Reserve.

Before the protest set off, Ms Dooley warned dog owners they would not be able to gather if the bylaws were passed, because they were at the Church Steps.

She urged all dog owners and non-dog owners to put in submissions on the changes and let the council know how they felt.

Kevin Isherwood, owner of pugs Rollo and Eric, said he thought the proposed changes were "completely unnecessary", "silly" and "mean spirited". Mr Isherwood had moved to Nelson from England four years ago and regularly walked his dogs up the Maitai, and had never seen any signs of bad behaviour from dogs and he could not fathom why the changes were necessary.

"It just seems like a wooserish, mean-minded, pointless act to make people unhappy, to impinge on people's enjoyment."

Cynthia McConville said it was another example of the council not consulting with the public, and it had put the proposed changes out without talking to the dog owners.

Speaking at the end of the protest, Ms Dooley said she was "rapt" with the turnout.

"Three weeks ago we felt helpless, do we feel helpless now?" she asked the crowd.
Submissions close on March 5. For more information, visit
Ms Dooley is setting up an advocacy group on the proposed changes. For more information, email


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