Allowing dogs in cemeteries has “overwhelming” support from the community but the Dunedin City Council has warned there is no excuse for failing to pick up “doggy-doo”.
Council animal services officer Tony Newman finished installing six “doggy-doo” bag dispensers at entrances to Andersons Bay Cemetery this week.
The dispensers are part of a trial, after the council reviewed a 2016 change to a bylaw allowing dogs on leads in the 20 council-owned cemeteries.
During the review, one funeral director and two council cemetery officers asked that dogs be prohibited from cemeteries because of concerns about fouling.
However, the council left the bylaw unchanged after 97% of the public surveyed wanted to continue seeing dogs in cemeteries.
Council compliance, animal and parking services team leader Peter Hanlin said the “overwhelming response” from the public spurred the decision to continue to allow dogs in cemeteries.
While most dog owners were being responsible, some were failing to pick up after their dogs.
“It’s the irresponsible dog owners who decide it’s not their job to pick up after their dogs, which is disappointing.”
If a dog owner failed to pick up after their dog they faced a $300 fine, he said.
Signs warning dog owners of the rule had been installed at cemeteries.
After consulting council crematorium and cemetery staff, it was decided Andersons Bay Cemetery was the best site to install “doggy-doo” bag dispensers for a trial.
“There is no excuse for failing to pick up after your dog.”
The cemetery was selected because it had the most visitors, he said.
“If it proves successful, we will look at installing dispensers at other cemeteries.”
May 2016: Dunedin City Council adopts the Dog Control Bylaw 2016 and agrees to change the bylaw to permit dogs to be taken, on a lead, into council-owned cemeteries and agrees to review the change within 12 months to assess the impact.
2017: Public and stakeholders surveyed for the review. All three stakeholders who responded wanted dogs prohibited from cemeteries. Of the 157 people in the community surveyed, 153 wanted dogs to continue to be allowed in cemeteries. Council animal services staff reported noticing fouling in cemeteries but considered dog owners to be “very responsible” overall.
October 2017: A council committee confirms there will be no change to the bylaw and dogs on a lead will continue to be allowed in cemeteries. This week: The last of six “doggy-doo” bag dispensers are installed at Andersons Bay Cemetery.
2026: The bylaw is due for review.