Should dogs be allowed in the Invercargill CBD? Where should dogs be allowed off-leash in the city and Bluff? These are just some of the questions the Invercargill City Council is calling for feedback on as part of consultation on its draft Dog Control Bylaw and Policy.
Submissions on the two documents are now open after they were approved for consultation by councilors at a meeting on Tuesday.
Policy Analyst Andrew Cameron said many of the changes proposed within the two documents were to ensure consistency across all of Council’s policies and plans, however there were some key changes which would be of interest to the public.
They included the proposal to designate part of Ocean Beach Reserve at Bluff as an area where dogs could be off-leash, and a proposal to allow dogs in the CBD of Invercargill, where previously dogs were prohibited.
Compliance Team Leader Elle Dickson said there was not presently an area in Bluff where dogs were allowed off-leash.
This meant there had been complaints about people walking their dogs without a leash within the town.
“We hope that, if approved, an off-leash area will encourage people to exercise their dogs there, instead of in other areas in Bluff where this is prohibited,” Miss Dickson said.
A new fee of $40 for the return of a wandering dog instead of impoundment is also being proposed.
The proposed new fee comes following a recommendation from the Independent Advisory Panel which presented to Council earlier this month.
Miss Dickson said if the new fee is approved, it is unlikely to be charged for dogs which are wandering for the first time, and could only be applied if the dog picked up is registered and microchipped
More detail on how the fee would be introduced will be included in an Implementation Plan, which is being drafted following the Independent Advisory Panel’s recommendations, and will focus on the rehoming and euthanasia of dogs.
UPDATE: The draft Dog Control Bylaw and Policy were available for download. Submissions closed on Saturday, 26 May.