Shared parks, shared beaches – socially responsible behaviour! That’s the message Sunshine Coast Council is spreading as part of a community education and awareness campaign to bring responsible dog ownership sharply into focus on the Coast.
Council today launched the campaign at the Town of Seaside where a local dog beach comes into effect on 1 January 2012.
Division 8 Councillor Debbie Blumel said council was committed to working with the community to develop a shared responsibility for dog management.
“Dogs are an emotive subject. Council is well aware of this,” Cr Blumel said.
“The goal of the responsible dog ownership campaign is to encourage mutual respect and understanding between people with different ideas about dogs in public and community spaces.”
The responsible dog ownership campaign will also raise awareness about dog management regulations contained in council’s suite of new local laws to take effect from 1 January 2012.
Cr Blumel said council was calling on the community to do the right thing.
“Council is focused on raising awareness about dog laws and what they mean for all residents,” she said.
“Some hot topics in the media have been about changes to dog on- and off-leash areas, dogs in cafes, and picking up after your pooch.
“These dog laws are not that complicated and are grounded in common sense.
“They are about sharing our public spaces, caring for our pets and caring for our environment – the basics of being a responsible pet owner and respecting each other.
“As well as advertising, media, and clear signage in public spaces, council officers will be out and about in parks and on beaches providing information and education in the first instance to encourage responsible dog ownership.
“Enforcement will only be necessary if dog owners are uncooperative, there is a risk to public safety or a legislative breach.”
Cr Blumel said residents could visit council’s website, contact Customer Contact or pick up a responsible dog ownership brochure from a council library, gallery, visitor information centre or Customer Contact Centre to find out all they need to know.
“Residents can find clear information on our website about responsible dog ownership including details about the animal management local laws.
“Council has also mapped this out in a new information brochure to act as a dog directory of sorts for residents.
“As well as providing simple tips and guidance on how to be a responsible pet owner, the brochure includes a comprehensive map of the region identifying dog on- and off-leash areas and prohibited areas.”
Here is a quick snapshot from the brochure of Sunshine Coast Council’s top tips to become a responsible dog owner:
- Register your dog annually.
- Walk your dog on a lead in public places – in designated off-leash areas you must be able to control your dog. Be sure to check the signage to see whether dog off-leash times or conditions have changed. (Penalties apply if used as an off-leash area outside of those times.)
- Carry a doggy bag when walking your dog to pick up your dog’s faeces and dispose of it responsibly. Otherwise, fines may apply.
- Keep your dog in your yard by providing a suitable enclosure.
- Respect the neighbours. If your dog continually barks find out why and learn how to change its behaviour. Excessive barking may result in costly legal action.
- Vaccinate and worm your dog.
Dogs are prohibited from outdoor dining areas attached to licensed food premised under the Queensland Food Act 2006 (other than assistance animals as defined under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992). Penalties may apply if breached.