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Melbourne Councils, and why dog parks are not designed for dogs

a dog park signA few years ago I heard that Hobson Bay council used to regularly release deadly snakes into a Newport (Victoria Australia) dog park.  They did this for years, and collected snakes from a 20 Km radius to concentrate them in an inner west park.

And that this was after it was declared a dog park where dogs and small children play.  I thought this was a little negligent to say the least.

I am a professional dog walker, and we usually walk early in the morning and try to keep away from bushes ... but surely the council should be held responsible for when their snakes bite our dogs?

If they really felt like it they could remove snakes form inner city parks and put up  snake deterrence measures such as low level electric fields around perimeters - but that would take due care and effort beyond what most of them beleive they were voted in to do. Maintain the status quo and rate values.

My latest concern is that while these deadly and non endangered species are fully protected by the law, the councils make NO effort to remove them systematically from the parks.  There are techniques they could use to humanely remove the snakes to very far away from urban environment areas, but perhaps negligence, convenience and smugness remain the stumbling blocks to keeping people and dogs safe?

Only thirty km away from Melbourne CBD we have wet lands and virgin land highly suitable for snake habitat around Werribee South. But instead of relocating all snakes in inner west dog parks to these kinds of suitable locations, Werribee south is about to be made into a new high end housing Mecca, with yacht facilities of course.

One of the Altona Meadows biggest dog parks not only has the sign I have included in this article, but they have also decided that a sandbar created from their own negligence at not dredging the river of a sand build-up that shadows the river for about 300m along to the mouth of a river, is now a suitable nesting area for birds!

Not only that, they are trying to ban dogs from the river side of the dog park because birds are now landing on the sandbar.  The birds are fouling the water causing an environmental concern, and in summer the mouth of the river almost closes up, but rather than dredge, the council is trying to convert this rare dog park into a bird sanctuary !

How long will dog parks exist in Melbourne?

Pretty much until people start complaining that they should be fixed up. Or other people complain there are off lead dogs in their park. The council is a mini version of the federal government. They prefer not having any assets or responsibility that they have to do work for or be accountable for. THIS is why dog parks are becoming a thing of the past, or are allowed to be so run down.

There are MANY more parks in hobson bay where dogs are not allowed off lead, so you might think that the few that are, should give social dogs a priority, but the opposite is true.

If you are wondering how a park becomes a dog park, typically the parks only exist for dogs because they are built on rubbish tips and the council currently has not given them way to developers.  Most developers have not asked for the land yet, because carting the rubbish away is too expensive, but when house prices climb to a certain level, that will change.

So if you are wondering why some people don't walk their dogs, you might like to figure the quality and blatant anti dog stance that your elected representatives have in place. Or maybe where you live dogs get a genuine dog friendly environment?

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