Fur flies over Hutt dog park by little dribblers
A junior soccer promoter is predicting mayhem if a proposed dog park in Petone gets the green light.
The fenced-off park on McEwan Park is supported by a group representing small dog owners who regularly use the park. Dogs will not be allowed to run free freely in the fenced park, with the council emphasising it will be for training and socialising dogs.
Tony Morrison, who runs the Little Dribblers junior soccer programme said the Hutt City Council was ignoring existing users and catering to dog owners who already flouted the rules.
Morrison runs four modules a year at McEwan Park for 60 to 100 youngsters. He said the park was popular with dog owners and claimed many owners had no control over their pets.
As well as dog poo on the ground, dogs regularly interrupted games and caused problems.
‘‘I have a rule with Little Dribblers that there are no dogs, but we get them knocking our kids over. They are just out of control. Why would the council want to assist something like that?’’
Complaining to owners made no difference.
‘‘People just park and let their dogs out of the car. It runs around and pees and craps, and then they put their dog on a lead.’’
Morrison believed there were already enough areas for dogs in the city without the council giving them use of a sports ground.
Existing users, including rugby league and table tennis, had not been consulted, he said.
Regulatory services manager Geoff Stuart rejected the claim the council had not consulted park users.
As well as general information in local papers, it was on the council’s website and dis- tributed in a flyer drop. Park users had also been contacted directly and Stuart said the mayor was well aware of their concerns.
‘‘A dog park will always be a balance between the enjoyment of dogs and their owners, and the rest of our community. We have listened to our community during the consultation and we are keen...to get the best outcome.’’
A council hearing on the proposed dog park heard from representatives from the Tenths Trust, which also strongly opposed the idea.
Putting a fenced dog park near the junior football grounds is ignoring users, a football organiser says.