While a self-walking dog may seem like a good time-saver, it is important that dog owners in the Taupō District control their pets.
Compliance and regulatory manager Ross McDonald says there are too many dogs off-leash in on-leash areas and taking themselves for walks throughout the district.
“We’d like to remind dog owners that it is the law to ensure their dog is kept under control at all times,” he says.
“It’s best for dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead in spaces where they need to be, and make sure their dogs do not run up to other animals, or people. It’s also really important to make sure your property is set up to ensure your dog can’t leave without you.”
When a dog is allowed to roam, it can become aggressive toward people and other animals in reaction to being in an unfamiliar environment.
“We regularly pick up dogs throughout the district which has a number of negative impacts such as stress on people and the dogs, a risk of contact with disease, financial costs to dog owners, and risks to our staff when handling dogs,” Ross says.
“There is still a misconception of what happens to the dogs that come to us and we would like to emphasise that we do our best to reunite dogs with their owners as soon as possible and preferably without needing them to come and stay at our shelter.”
Dogs can be crafty escape artists at times, but you can help Council’s compliance team by ensuring your dog is registered, microchipped, wearing a collar and identification tag, and ensuring your details are up to date with the council so they are able to get dogs home quickly and safely.
If you see a roaming dog, the fastest way to help it get home is to call the team at the Taupō Pound on 07 376 0899.