Fenced off dog leash park grows legs

Euroa Gazette - - NEWS -

GAZETTE read­ers may re­call an ar­ti­cle ear­lier this year, “New fenced dog park a pos­si­bil­ity”, which in­di­cated that coun­cil had shown in­ter­est in the idea of a fenced off leash dog park in re­sponse to sig­nif­i­cant com­mu­nity de­mand.

Spokesper­son for a group of res­i­dents who have been pur­su­ing this pro­posal, Bron­wyn Starkey, con­firmed that they are de­lighted coun­cil has demon­strated its com­mit­ment to this pro­posal.

Work­ing along­side with the in­ter­est group, they will iden­tify a suit­able lo­ca­tion to get the project un­der­way, with fund­ing for the project hav­ing been al­lo­cated in the cur­rent bud­get.

Mrs Starkey said it is well known that Euroa is a town with many dog own­ers and dog lovers.

“It is also widely ac­cepted that dogs need ex­er­cise, par­tic­u­larly the op­por­tu­nity to do so off leash, for op­ti­mum ex­er­cise and so­cial­i­sa­tion,” Mrs Starkey said.

“While some dog own­ers let their dogs off leash in var­i­ous parks or walk­ing tracks, they are never to­tally se­cure from the dis­trac­tions of traf­fic or other dogs.

“Only a gated and fenced des­ig­nated dog park al­lows this to hap­pen in a safe en­vi­ron­ment.”

Other city and coun­try Coun­cils have gone down this path with great suc­cess and Mrs Starkey said while some peo­ple may have con­cerns about hav­ing dogs all to­gether in one area, gen­er­ally it works well, pro­vid­ing peo­ple fol­low some ba­sic reg­u­la­tions.

“It has been so suc­cess­ful in Shep­par­ton, for ex­am­ple, that they are cur­rently seek­ing fund­ing to add lights to their dog park to al­low ex­tended use, a boon in the hot sum­mer months,” she said.

Euroa are at the stage of iden­ti­fy­ing suit­able lo­ca­tions for our off leash dog park, with an ideal lo­ca­tion cen­tral to most town res­i­dents and have easy ac­cess to cur­rent users.

“We be­lieve that a lo­ca­tion close to the Apex Walk­ing Track would be ideal, as many peo­ple al­ready walk their dogs along this track and they can in­cor­po­rate a ses­sion off leash into their ex­er­cise rou­tine,” Mrs Starkey said.

“It could also ben­e­fit peo­ple stop­ping for a break while trav­el­ling and those us­ing the car­a­van park, which is al­ready dog-friendly.”

Once a suit­able site is found for the off leash dog park, Mrs Starkey em­pha­sised it is quite straight for­ward to con­struct.

Fenc­ing needs to be wire mesh, a min­i­mum 1.8 me­tres high, with child proof gates with re­quired seat­ing dog lit­ter bins and wa­ter on tap.

The group’s next hur­dle is seek­ing per­mis­sion from the Goul­burn Bro­ken Catch­ment Man­age­ment Author­ity for con­struc­tion of the park due to its pro­posed prox­im­ity to the Sevens Creek.

“Of course, if per­mis­sion is not granted it will be back to the draw­ing board to find other al­ter­na­tive lo­ca­tions,” Mrs Starkey said.

“I am con­fi­dent that work­ing to­gether we can achieve this ex­cit­ing project in the very near fu­ture, so that our cur­rent dogs and their own­ers get the full ben­e­fit from this ven­ture.”

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