Sections of local beaches became ‘dog on-leash’ zones on 1 December.
As from 1 December, the following areas are dog on-leash zones:
27W to 24W Barwon Heads side of the estuary
20W to south of Riverview Family Caravan Park along the estuary
20W to 13W ocean side of the Ocean Grove Spit.
“This change is nothing new; this change happens every year,” Maddie Glynn from Barwon Coast said.
“Sadly we have already experienced significant attacks on wildlife and people, and the summer months are not upon us yet. These incidents could have easily been prevented if owners had control over their dogs.”
All dogs must be on a leash at all times when in car parks, beach access stairs or trails and pathways. A dog must not be off-leash until it is on the sand in the approved dog under effective control zone.
As the peak season approaches for people, juvenile seals, penguins and hooded plovers also use the beach.
People in charge of a dog must have control of their pets at all times. It is an offence for your dog rush, chase, disturb, harass, or attack any wildlife on the beaches or within the coastal reserves.
“As the weather improves more people with their dogs will frequent the beach,” Ms Glynn said.
“Not everybody who goes to the beach is comfortable with your dog near them, and they have a right to enjoy this beautiful place without fear.
“The word from Barwon Coast is, that not being aware there was a seal resting or plover nesting in a location that may not be signed is no excuse. Letting your dog rush up to a person because ‘he is okay, he won’t do anything’, is not okay.
“Barwon Coast is increasing compliance efforts through the City of Greater Geelong and the Department Environment, Land, Water and Planning to ensure we all Share Our Shores.”