Sign sparks angry response


A sign threatening to kill stray dogs in Churchill Street has both attracted fear and approval from residents in the street.

The sign appeared on the front fence of a Churchill Street home warned that stray dogs would be killed. It was removed on Wednesday after an outcry on social media.

A neighbour said she felt the sign was an overreaction to the street’s roaming dog issue and was worried the owner might target any loose dog, including pets.

“There’s a better way to handle it than put up a horrible sign like that, I think its absolutely disgusting,” she said.

“Many of us here, including me, have pets and are responsible but what if they accidentally got out and he killed them? I would be furious, and I would want something done.

“There is no need for a sign, why can’t they contact animal control or police if there is an issue? Anybody in their right mind would contact a ranger, I’m just so worried and concerned for the safety of our dogs now.
She said not all dog owners were responsible and said there were three dogs from Arawa Road that regularly roamed the neighbourhood but said this could be dealt with by Whakatane District Council’s animal control department if they could “bother themselves”.

“I’ve contacted the police and animal control about this and I hope they do something.”

However, several comments on a now-deleted Facebook post about the sign applaud the sign maker.

Residents complained they were sick of people not securing their properties and allowing their animals to roam the neighbourhood. If their pet was shot, they said, it would teach them a lesson.

Common complaints include roaming dogs entering their yards, harassing their own dogs and ripping open rubbish bags.

Senior Sergeant Yvonne Parker confirmed police had been contacted in relation to the sign and said officers were planning to visit the home today.

She said it wasn’t an offence to have a sign like this on a residential fence but police would be speaking to the owner about the wording.

“We will give the sign owner some advice around dealing with stray dogs such as reporting it to the dog ranger,” she said.

“We would rather people contained animals, such as we do when called out to reports of wandering stock, and the called the dog ranger. The dog ranger is on call all the time and we don’t want people killing animals on sight without making some effort to move it or contain it.”

Whakatane District Council did not return requests for comments before press time.