Out-of-control dogs a problem, says Coast resident
SHANE Burke has only lived on the Sunshine Coast for eight months and he's already fed up with his fellow dog owners.
The Doonan resident said he and his hounds were approached by people with out-of-control dogs "everytime we walk" at their favourite spots - Noosa and from Alexandra Headland to the Mooloolaba point.
Originally from Ireland, Shane and his wife brought their two Siberian Huskies Brodie and Gizmo with them when they moved.
In Ireland, Brodie was mauled after he stepped in to protect the vicious dog's initial target - a baby in a pram.
These days, Brodie is a bit wary of strange dogs - making walk-time a nerve-wracking experience for Mr Burke.
"He's fine walking but if he's walking along and there's another dog not under control you can see the tension in him change," Mr Burke said.
Mr Burke said he was sick and tired of dogs on slack leads bounding up to Brodie when out for walks.
"These irresponsible dog owners are messing it up for the rest of us," he said.
"I think I have every right to walk down the left hand side of the path, walk past someone on the right hand side and our dogs don't need to meet if they don't want to."
Mr Burke joked that he was considering getting a shirt made to get his message out while they're out for walks: give my dogs some space.
Shane's frustration comes only days after Buderim man Paul Jones was fined $243 on Friday for failing to have his dog Hugsly under "effective control" on an on-leash beach.
Hugsley was tied-up and snoozing on the sand when council workers issued the fine as a part of a zero tolerance approach to irresponsible dog ownership.
Mr Jones said while he did not have an issue with the law itself, he believed that council workers should have discretionary powers like police.
"I understand why the laws there and I do agree with the law but I also think there's a law of common sense," he said.
"Officers can observe a situation and if they feel that it is not right and if the owner is breaking that effective control law, then fine them."
Sunshine Coast Council defines effective management of an animal in a public place restrained by a leash with collar/muzzle and being held by a person who is physically able to manage the dog; or is restrained to a fixed object and is under the continuous supervision of a person who is physically able to manage the dog.
"When in a public place, it is a dog owner's responsibility to keep their dog on a lead and under effective management at all times," a Sunshine Coast Council representative said.
"Serious dog attacks have occurred on our beaches in the past, which is why these laws are strictly enforced.
"If an incident were to occur, a dog owner must be able to respond immediately."
Between January 1 2016 to January 21 2017, 373 dog-related infringements were issued by council.