Stuart Whitaker is a sports reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times and a general reporter for the Bay News.

Dog events planned for Bay

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BTG 20Oct16 - WBOPDC Animal Services staff Betty Hall, left, mascot Alfie Hall, and Peter Hrstich.
BTG 20Oct16 - WBOPDC Animal Services staff Betty Hall, left, mascot Alfie Hall, and Peter Hrstich.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council has organised a series of Wander Dogs get-togethers across the district sfter the success of several similar events.

Last Saturday, dog owners gathered at TECT All Terrain Park where a walk marked the launch of the council's 2016 Dog Control Policy and Bylaw which came into force the previous day.

A summer series of walks will start on November 5 at Te Puna Quarry Park.

''It's a new initiative and something that's come from the animal services team and feedback from various things we've been doing,'' said council community relationships manager Frank Begley.

''Earlier in the year we had a doggy day out at Omokoroa which was a big success and we had one last year in Te Puke so this is really just part of an ongoing series of activities and events around dogs to get people more engaged make sure they know what's happening.''

As well as being an opportunity to spread the word about the most recent policy and bylaws, the walks will give people the chance to exercise their dogs off the lead in a dedicated environment, said Mr Begley.

''It's part of an ongoing programme of animal services activities. It's very much a team that's been really quite proactive, wanting to do more and be seen out in the community.

''Some of the roles that animal team plays necessarily involve dealing with bad dogs and bad owners or bad behaviour, so it's good to get that balance.''

The new bylaw includes minimum standards for the welfare of dogs.

''The animal control officers said they would be educating people on the minimum standards of care now required and looked forward to having this tool,'' said Mr Begley.

Registered dog owners in the Western Bay district will also be shortly receiving the first of what are hoped to be regular newsletters containing ''everything and anything dog related''.

Context box
Wander Dog Summer Walk Series
Nov 5, 10am: Te Puna Quarry Park.
Nov 16, 7pm: Jubilee Park Te Puke.
Dec 3, 10am: Whakamarama, reserve car park, Leyland Rd.
Dec 14, 4pm: Yacht Club car park, Omokoroa.
Feb 4 10am: Anzac Bay car park, Seaforth Rd, Bowentown.
Feb 15, 7pm: Haiku Reserve car park, Katikati.
Mar 4, 10am Maketu, cnr Beach and Park Roads.
Mar 15: mystery location.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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