Healthy Pets Chair, Dr Cath Watson, was invited as a panellist to the Auckland launch of the Department of Conservation (DOC) Lead the Way programme. This campaign is educating dog owners who visit our coastal areas about how they can protect our precious wildlife as well as their dogs.
Healthy Pets Principal Partner PD Insurance is DOC’s exclusive partner for the Lead the Way Auckland program. Chief Operating Officer Michelle Le Long says, “We are proud to partner with DOC and are putting extensive time and effort into this crucial programme.”
“PD Insurance is committed to empowering New Zealanders to be the best possible pet parents and wildlife-wise community members. Lead the Way recognises the risks wildlife faces on the coastline, while also understanding the need for dogs and their owners to enjoy these areas too.
“We know the vast majority are respectful, responsible and have positive intentions when heading out. Lead the Way aims to further build their awareness around how dogs and wildlife can happily experience the coast simultaneously in an even safer way for all involved.
“The programme focuses on reducing the impact of dogs on coastal wildlife via effective public engagement and education. As a pet insurance provider established to safeguard animal health, and with our own heavy focus on educating New Zealanders about best practice pet care and management, this partnership makes complete sense to us.”
A key element of the awareness-raising effort is a quiz that educates and then tests people on their knowledge of the coastline’s animals and risks posed to both wildlife and dogs. Visit the Lead the Way quiz at https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/know-before-you-go/dog-access/wildlife-wise/quiz/
After completing this you can get yourself a colour coded lead to take with you on your next visit to the beach or beyond. Lead the Way leads have been designed to provide a visual clue to make others aware of what kind of temperament a dog has – just like the Traffic Light Bandanas.
By using the leads while out on walks, you are also advocating for the protection of our precious wildlife as only those that pass a short, educational quiz can purchase a Lead the Way lead. The Department of Conservation will be using the traffic light system of Red, Green, Orange and Yellow to help you and other dog owners understand each other’s dog’s needs and to show your support for being wildlife wise in New Zealand’s coastal areas.
Please remember there is Space for Each, Share the Beach and have your lead on you at all times.
Find out more about the Lead the Way Auckland programme and the launch event here.