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Move over for Rover on the buses?

Sep 2nd, 2009 | By | Category: Featured Article, Front Page Layout, News

jim-mainNEWSWIRE takes to the streets to ask whether dogs should be allowed on public transport – and finds plenty of discomfort at the idea.

The question comes in light of proposed changes to the number of Wellington City Council off-leash dog exercise areas, from 55 to 60.

Many local owners lack cars and will still have trouble acccessing an exercise area, so they should be allowed to take dogs on public transport, as in Europe, says Roseneath dog owner Sue Cornforth.

rafael-a copyBut the imposition on others’ freedoms would be too much, says Rafagl Almeida (left), a systems architect from Porirua.

“I think we always should respect someone else’s space and. if the person next to you doesn’t like a dog, then a dog shouldn’t be on a bus or train.”marite-tweeddale copy

Retired law librarian Marite Tweeddale (right), of Raumati Beach, says: “I don’t think we should have dogs on public transport because they take up too much room and, when things are crowded, you don’t need to overcrowd the bus or train any more that already is.”

Public transport would have to be completely rearranged, she says.

tijana-cvetkovic copyArt conservator Tijana Cvetkovic (left), of Brooklyn, used to live in Europe and says there, dogs are allowed out in public more and are much better behaved.

“In New Zealand … dogs are not used to seeing other dogs and can fight. Here I see dogs getting very aggressive with each other just because they are not used to it.

“I personally don’t have any problems with it.”bronwyn-barnard copy

Bronwyn Barnard (right)  a Karori lawyer, wants dogs allowed on buses. “Yep, the more the merrier. I think the more people are exposed to having dogs as their companions and just being around the place, the better it would be for all of us.”

People are encouraged to use public transport and many don’t want to go out without their dogs. “So it seems to me quite an acceptable thing for a dog to pop up on a bus, or catch the train or whatever.  I don’t have any problem with it and the Europeans seem to handle it without great inconvenience.”

robert-macmurrayRobert MacMurray (left), a student, of Aro Valley, says “as long as dogs are under control, it’s not like they’re going to attack people or anything”.

Pamela Doake, a preschool teacher from Wilton, says: “I guess if it’s trained, then it shouldn’t poo on the bus.

“It’s a kind of a yes niccola-holmes copyand a no, yes to for the blind people but no to those who just for the hell of it want to put their dog on a bus.”

Niccola Holmes (right), executive assistant, Titahi Bay, wouldn’t be happy about big dogs taking up space passengers could be using.

Dogs can be smelly if not looked after properly, she says. “And they can be a bit vicious. They might bite kids and make other passengers nervous.”

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