A decision is expected soon on future dog bylaws in the Western Bay of Plenty.

The Western Bay of Plenty District Council sought feedback on key issues such as whether dogs must be on a leash and picking up doo poo responsibilities as part of a review into the district's dog rules.

Public consultation began last month and councillors will meet in August to decide on the new Dog Control Policy and Bylaw.

Read more: Beach patrols to educate dog owners


Group manager policy, planning and regulatory, Rachael Davie, said changes proposed in the policy and bylaw followed feedback from the public earlier this year.

"When we asked our communities what changes they'd like to see we had a really good response. More than 1000 people visited the Dogs of the Western Bay feedback website and hundreds came to our Doggy Day Out.

"A lot of people were in support of more dog exercise areas and felt strongly about putting leash restrictions in certain places."

The Dog Control Policy and Bylaw set the rules and controls for the management of dogs in the District. They also place requirements on owners to ensure negative aspects of dog behaviour are minimised and recognise the positive contribution responsible dog ownership makes to the community.

Key changes proposed include:
• People walking dogs must carry a means of picking up dog poo at all times and remove and dispose of their dog's poo in public places or land owned by someone else.
• Several changes to public place restrictions, including a 'dogs on leash' restriction in Waihi Beach, Katikati and Te Puke town centres; a prohibited area along the foreshore between Cooney's Reserve and Lynley Park, Omokoroa; and an on leash resitrction along the new Omokoroa to Bethlehem Cycleway. New-look maps showing the proposed changes can be viewed on the consultation website.
• A statement of intent to develop designated dog exercise areas in the District where there is strong community support for such a facility
• Introducing a range of minimum standards to improve the welfare of dogs
• All dogs classified as menacing must be neutered within one month of classification
• All dogs impounded or infringed for roaming three times within any 12 month period must be neutered within one month

Ms Davie said the consultation was not just for dog owners.

"People who use a certain park or reserve may have a view about what the dog restrictions should be, or some people might have a general interest in animal welfare."

There are currently more than 8000 dogs registered in the Western Bay District.