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Tie dogs up – or consider Aitutaki solution

Thursday June 05, 2014 Published in Letters to the Editor
Roaming packs of dogs have been identified as a major isue for the tourism industry in Rarotonga. 14052204 Roaming packs of dogs have been identified as a major isue for the tourism industry in Rarotonga. 14052204

Dear Editor, There has been a long silence and no action at all from the police department to countless complaints via letters to the editor from disgruntled tourist and locals about dogs.

This is as well as regular reminding features in your newspapers about the worsening unchecked problem of roaming dogs on our roads has prompted me to urge the department to tell the public why:

  • There is still no dog ranger appointed
  • The number of dogs is increasing and not decreasing as intended
  • There is no law against roaming dogs

I write as an angry victim of an unprovoked dog attack while cycling on the main road in Turangi recently.

On a 1 kilometre stretch of back road in Turangi there are five homes with more than the accepted number of dogs each. They chase and hassle anything that comes past. This has stopped people from walking there. The main road is just as bad, with marauding packs threatening people on bicycles, motor bikes and even people walking. Why is this allowed to happen?

Yet, every so often, policemen enter properties armed with notebooks to check on dog registrations (collars) and how many dogs the owner has, but they ignore stray dogs that are around. Constable Maatara Cummings came on CITV on Thursday night and said: “Tie your dogs at home to look after your house, not the road”.

Herewith, Editor, is the solution to our roaming dog problem- tie them up!

I suggest that the duly appointed dog ranger be given not a shotgun like before, but heaps of three metre long 10mm thick ropes to tie wandering dogs in their own yards – off the roads.

But what my forefathers in Aitutaki did is a hard act to follow today. They solved their dog problem by shooting and killing all dogs on the island, rendering Aitutaki a dog free paradise, today.

Can the soon to be elected Member of Parliament for Ngati-Tangiia match that?

Dennis Tunui,



  • Comment Link David Matera Thursday, 17 July 2014 11:22 posted by David Matera

    Everyone here has valid points. No, we do not need to kill all dogs; they just need to be desexed. Owners need to be responsible for their dogs by keeping them leashed or pinned on their property, and here in America, they do have a "dog catcher" who picks up stray animals; henceforth, we do not have these widespread problems. My wife and I have visited the Cooks once last year, and there were many dogs, but most minded their business. Let's not waste any more time, government, and hire your dog ranger NOW and enact an anti-roaming law for all pets. The Esther Honey folks, I have read, do a wonderful job with animals--keep it up, and advocate!

  • Comment Link Nio Jim Mareiti Thursday, 12 June 2014 07:00 posted by Nio Jim Mareiti

    Puakaoa: Ka aa ia te puakaoa, e puakaoa aere ua nei? Te kitea nei oki te kino, i te au ngai ta ratou e puakaoa aere ua ra.Te noni ra i te au manu akaperepere, a te angai manu. Te taemoemo ra e te au apinga akaoro, na runga i te au arataa ma te katakata aere ua. Na te tua kaui, e na te tua katau. Te ruketekete ua ra te au akaoro ou ma te vinivini. Te koki atura ki runga i te maunga teitei i Nikao.
    Te akapueu aere ua ra i te au kiri i tona vairanga meitaki. Te ongiongi aere ua ra na miri i te au kete manga a te au tamariki. Te aue ra te tamariki,te rererere aere atura a puakaoa ma te katakata. Te koonga aere ua ra na te au ngai atea.
    Aea ra te matapo e puera’i i tona mata? Aea ra te mata puera e riri ei i tona mata? Ka aa koe i reira? E toka mura paa, te arumaki.

  • Comment Link NC Wednesday, 11 June 2014 05:13 posted by NC

    I think the people of Rarotonga need to admit that we have a dog problem (not the dog's problem though). Do parents know that many dogs roam around our schools everyday. They make a mess, turn over rubbish bins, go into students' bags, eat students' food, leave poops on the very ground your children play on, jump on unexpected students, etc. How do we deal with our roaming unregistered dogs? Well, our government should be responsible for administering relevant regulations such as: dogs to be registered, only two dogs per household and dogs to be spayed - its their responsibility. A 'dog free paradise' is not the answer but having responsible dog owners and effective policing are.

  • Comment Link Jez Saturday, 07 June 2014 07:15 posted by Jez

    My wife and I just arrived back from our 3rd trip, and I'm afraid to say our vacation was tainted by the many wild, sometimes vicious dogs we encountered. Because of this, I doubt we will return until the government puts a sensible policy in place. Here are some of our unfortunate experiences:

    i). A wild pack would aggressively bark and run towards our rental car every time we drove out of our residence.
    ii). The above mentioned pack would bark for hours in the morning and evening, and we could not even escape the noise by sitting on the beach away from the road.
    iii). Dogs from the pack would use our property as a toilet each day.
    iv). My wife and I wanted solitary walks on the beach. Completely impossible now. If don't want to take a stroll with one, two or three or more dogs.
    v). A dog jump out of the bushes on the side of the ride while we were driving to the cross-island hike and almost jumped through an open window to attack us. We almost lost control of our rental car.
    vi. We had to swerve to avoid at least 5 dogs while driving at night.

    I agree with Dennis that slaughtering them all would not be a good idea. However, dog- leash laws, barking ordinances, and neutering of wild dogs needs to be undertaken, otherwise, tourism will steadily decline or remain stagnant at best.

  • Comment Link Randy  Helen Green Saturday, 07 June 2014 06:52 posted by Randy Helen Green

    I am a STRONG DEFENDER of the Island Dogs and ALL the Joy the provide.

  • Comment Link Not a dog fan Friday, 06 June 2014 15:29 posted by Not a dog fan

    Take a drive up Takuvaine Valley and you'll agree with Dennis on this one! Get rid of them, they are a hazard! Ive had many 'near incidences' when a dog has randomly run out at me barking and chasing me while on my motorbike. Its horrifying!

  • Comment Link Mani Mate Friday, 06 June 2014 11:59 posted by Mani Mate

    The photo accompanying the article says it all. Where are the owners of these dogs? Or do these dogs just catch a ride into town to spend the day with their mates?

    Editor's note: These particular dogs were later identified by the Cook Islands SPCA as including one female on heat, while the other dogs were males who had not been desexed. http://www.cookislandsnews.com/national/item/45760-dogs-must-be-de-sexed-says-cispca

  • Comment Link mr.rdgreen@att.net Thursday, 05 June 2014 15:16 posted by mr.rdgreen@att.net

    Mr Dennis Tunui

    I disagree with every single word you said. I spent a wonderful vacation in Rarotonga last December befriending Island dogs and even volunteered at Esther Honey Foundation. Random acts of killing is NOT an answer. The island dogs should be all spayed or neutered which would keep them from seeking mates. Esther Honey does it for free. The cooment of "a dog free paradise" is so far from the truth. The Island Dogs made my vacation to The Cook Islands even more Special.

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