- Tuesday 14 February 2012
This is a key message in Sunshine Coast Council’s new community education and awareness campaign that is working to bring responsible dog ownership sharply into focus on the Coast.
As part of the new campaign, council officers are out and about in local parks and on beaches providing information and education to encourage responsible dog ownership.
Officers are currently visiting the Coast’s southern parks and beaches including:
- the new ‘dog off-leash at all times’ stretch from Wurtulla to Currimundi Creek (beach access 249 to 253, Moondara Drive);
- the popular ‘dog off-leash at all times’ Currimundi Beach stretch from Gothic Parade to Ann Street (beach access 255 to 262);
- the ‘dog off-leash at designated times’ area from Cooroora Street at Dicky Beach to Russell Street at Shelly Beach (beach access 270 to 276).
The community information campaign also aims to raise awareness about dog management regulations contained in council’s new local laws. The laws came into effect on 1 January 2012.
Division 3 Councillor Keryn Jones said the goal of the responsible dog ownership campaign was to encourage mutual respect and understanding between people with different ideas about dogs in public and community spaces.
"The campaign is all about creating awareness and appreciation that our beautiful beaches and parks are shared spaces to be enjoyed by everyone by following some simple socially and environmentally responsible behaviour," she said.
"Dog owners, please take note, you are always responsible for your dog, even when your dog is off-leash in a permitted area.
"Your dog should not charge up to other people or other dogs which can be very intimidating, especially when large dogs are involved. Your dog should only be off-leash if it can be reliably controlled with voice commands.
"Another problem for many beach goers are full dog bags being left on the sand.
"This spoils the visual appearance of our beautiful beaches and impacts on the environment and wildlife if the bags are washed out to sea as the tide rises, which I have seen happen on several occasions. It is also against the law and fines apply– even if you intend to pick it up on the return walk.
"Carry a dog bag with you at all times when walking your dog, pick up after it, carry it with you on your walk and dispose of the bag in a bin. It’s good manners and good for the planet."
Division 2 Councillor Tim Dwyer said residents could expect to see council officers in their local parks and beaches providing information and education to encourage responsible dog ownership.
"As well as advertising, media and clear signage in public spaces, council officers will be out there taking a grassroots approach in the first instance by talking with park and beach goers about the local dog laws and what they mean for them," he said.
"The dog laws are based on common sense. They are about sharing our public spaces, being considerate of others and their personal space, caring for our pets and caring for our environment – the basics of being a responsible pet owner and respecting each other."
For further information about council’s responsible dog ownership campaign visit council’s website or pick up a brochure of information – including a map of the region’s dog friendly parks and beaches – at one of council’s customer contact centres, libraries, galleries or community centres.
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.