DOG DETECTIVE: Simon Crombie on the West Beach boardwalk which is the scene, he alleges, for indiscretions by dog owners. Picture: Tony Cross.A CASE of dogs and their owners behaving badly in Burnie has not gone unnoticed, despite the Burnie City Council voting to let sleeping dogs lie.
What started out as a simple exercise by Cooee man Simon Crombie turned up 36 breaches of the Dog Control Act and the council’s Dog Management Policy.
Mr Crombie recorded the breaches over one week and presented them to the council last Tuesday night.
One of those breaches were detected within 30 metres of a designated dog exercise area.
In a letter to the council accompanying the submission, Mr Crombie called for the council to act by increasing the funding for animal control seven days a week and noted that the revenue that could have been raised from the breaches he detected would have totalled $6760.
The councillors voted to keep the status quo, agreeing they were satisfied current commitments to municipal dog control provided a reasonable level of comfort, convenience and safety for the community with respect to the purpose and objectives of the Dog Control Act 2000.
Burnie Mayor Steve Kons and aldermen Malcolm Ryan and Jim Altimira thanked Mr Crombie for his considerable effort and time to prepare the submission.
Following the decision, Mr Crombie said he felt patronised by the aldermen’s comments and decision to do nothing.
Mr Crombie said he was trying to show people were not using the current dog exercise areas following a discussion at a previous council meeting about creating fenced dog exercise areas with CCTV, Astro Turf and electronic swipe card access.
Mr Crombie said he couldn’t see the point in creating designer dog exercise pens when dog owners were not using the facilities currently provided and not enough was being done to enforce the current dog laws.
The Burnie City Council’s land and environmental services officer, Patrick Earle, said animal control was about providing a reasonable, balanced and practical approach.
“It’s unnecessary to reach for a big stick – people don’t respond to that.”
Mr Earle said, in most cases, it was enough for a council officer to politely ask people to put their dog on a lead or move out of a restricted area.
“People aren’t constantly coming to us saying I feel uncomfortable or I’ve been hurt,” Mr Earle said.
“When they do, we respond.”
This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.