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Protecting your Pooch in Public

With summer now upon us, it’s the perfect time to get out and about with our furry friends. Before you and your precious pooch hit the streets, there are a number of things you should know to keep you and your dog out of trouble.

The Companion Animals Act 1998 sets out the responsibilities of dog owners when in public places. Some of the key responsibilities are set out below:

  1. A dog that is in a public place must be under the effective control of a competent person by means of an adequate leash, unless in an area declared to be an off-leash area. A dog is not considered to be under the effective control of a person if the person has more than 4 dogs under their control at one time.
  2. Dogs are prohibited in some public places. Generally, dogs are not allowed to go:
    • Within 10 metres of children’s playing areas.
    • Within 10 metres of any apparatus in a public place that is provided for preparation of food for human consumption such as a public barbeque.
    • Onto school grounds or child care centres, unless the owner has permission of the person controlling the school ground or child care centre.
  3. A dog is required to have a collar arounds it neck that shows the name of dog and the address or telephone number of the owner of the dog.

If you are found to breach any of the provisions set out in the Companion Animals Act 1998, you may be subject to hefty fines and in certain circumstances, your dog may even be seized.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

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