Walking your pooch more often? Remember to follow the rules
AN incident between a horse and a dog at Lennox Head's Seven Mile Beach on the first weekend of May could result in a fine for the dog owner.
According to Ballina Shire Council's Ranger team leader, Joe Sabine, a ranger observed a dog rushing at and harassing a horse with a rider at Seven Mile Beach.
The ranger was able to intervene and the incident wasn't serious.
According to the team leader, "a penalty infringement notice has not been issued in relation to this incident at this time," but she added that "the matter remains under consideration".
Mr Sabine said the northern section of Seven Mile Beach is an off leash dog exercise area and is very popular with dog owners.
"We would like to remind the community that this section of the beach also allows horses, 4WD vehicles - although the beach is closed to 4WD vehicles at this time due to COVID-19 - and members of the public exercising," the ranger said.
"In an off-leash dog exercise area, the person in charge of the dog at the time needs to have the dog under their effective control.
"This means not allowing the dog to roam unattended at distance from them.
"Dogs in off leash areas need to be good at socialising to minimise unfavourable dog behaviour."
This year, council has issued 17 Penalty Infringement Notices for things like failing to register a dog, failing to prevent dog escaping, dog not being under control in a public place, and dog rushing at or attacking.
Designated off-leash areas in the Ballina Shire are Bicentennial Gardens - the northern area of the reserve, Ballina; Compton Drive, East Ballina; Gap Road, Alstonville; Seven Mile Beach - north of Lennox Head-Alstonville Surf Life Saving Club; Ballina Heights Estate - eastern reserve area, Ballina Heights; Headlands Drive Drainage Reserve, Skennars Head; and The Spit in Ballina.
The ranger team leader offered tips on how residents and visitors can avoid receiving a penalty infringement notice regarding their beloved pets.
"Dog owners need to be responsible to ensure they protect their pet and comply with the legislation at all times," she said.
"It is extremely important dog owners are aware of areas where they can exercise their dog whether on a lead or off-lead in a public area or if it is a prohibited location."
For more information on where you can exercise your dog and what rules apply, visit council's website ballina.nsw.gov.au (search exercising your dog).