Dog owners need to pick up on more than the poo

NOW that summer is here, council rangers are reminding dog owners of their legal responsibilities.

During the summer months, there is regularly a rise in the number of complaints about dogs that are not being kept under proper control.

“Issues regarding dogs in public places are among the highest number of complaints we receive,” said senior ranger Gordon Polkinghorne. “They range from dog waste nuisance, to people walking their animals in places where they are not allowed, or allowing their dogs off the lead in public areas rather than leash-free locations, right through to serious attacks on members of the public.”

A dog in any public place must be leashed and under the effective control of a competent person, regardless of the area being urban or rural. The general exception to this is if the area is designated as 'leash free'. Even then the owner is still responsible for keeping the dog under effective control.

Dog owners are responsible for immediately clearing up and properly disposing of dog waste.

Dog-prohibited areas mean that no dogs are allowed. In addition to the areas signposted, dogs are also banned from public playgrounds, sporting fields, school grounds and food preparation areas.

Microchipping of your pet at point of sale or at three months of age is compulsory.

Registration by six months of age is also compulsory although there are some exceptions to this rule. It is also necessary to ensure details are kept up to date.

“Dog waste can be harmful to other dogs, wildlife and, ultimately, us. Unless dogs are regularly wormed, they can carry parasites. Roundworm is a good example of a parasite that can be passed from dogs to humans,” said Mr Polkinghorne.

Bio-bag dispensers can be found at Arrawarra Beach, Mullawarra Beach, Hearnes Lake Beach (main access point at Hearnes Lake and Sandy's Beach Drive), Emerald Beach (near leash-free area north of Fiddamans Creek), Moonee Beach, Sapphire Beach, Sawtell Beach, Park Beach (South), Korora Bay Beach, Boambee Beach and Thompsons Park (on Thompsons Rd). Pet-owners who fail to pick up their animal's waste can face an on-the-spot fine of $275.

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