What facilities are needed in Melbourne dog parksI recently read that a uni student was looking for a concise definition of an ideal dog park.
This park (and many others) are readily becoming the opposite of a functional dog park. Included in the issues are restricted zones in many parts of the park trying to discourage park use by dog owners !
Here are a few of the mismanaged things that the Melbourne council brings to this park:
- It is situated on a busy 70 km highway and has very poor wire fencing to keep the dogs in.
- The entrance to the park has a path from the car park to the water but the path is actually in a zone that the dogs are supposed to be excluded from.
- The park has a child's playground very near this path, and the edge of the dog allowed zone. It used to have a fence around it, but that fence was removed to put the responsibility back on the dog owners.
- The only water source at this end of the park is located in the non dog allowed zone, next to the child's playground.
- There are inadequate bins for dog waste bags (only two bins at either far end of the park).
- The parks is said to have snakes throughout it. And instead of removing snakes, the council recommends "to avoid snakes please keep to the paths". Is that honestly a joke or a reasonable recommendation for a dog park??
- The council has also tried to ban dogs from the river side and water. The safest part of the park and that part that is most away from the highway.
- The council allows cyclists to travel at high speed along the path near the water way (even though a new path was built for them next to the road) and allows cyclists to abuse dog owners for dogs being on the path.
- I and several other people have complained about cyclists behaviour and the council line is that its a "shared resource" meaning that cyclist seem to have full rights to abuse dogs and dog owners.
That is the kind of 'dog friendly' council that currently exists in Hobsons bay in 2016
I have read many statements from potential council potential officers during the election run up wanting to "improve" the parks for people, but very few of them mention improving them for dogs.
If you dont regular walk a dog or own a dog its hard to imagine that these people know the benefit of social dogs to the neighbourhood and community in general.
Dogs are owned by 25% of households in Australia, and without quality near-by off lead dog parks, that actually protect the dogs, MOST OWNERS do not want to visit these lands.
If dogs are not exercised and allowed freedom to learn to be social, there will be many more barking and noise complaints in the hobson bay council area, and dog attacks, because dogs have not learnt to be social.
Allowing dog parks (or areas were dogs are allowed off lead) to be so uninviting, restrictive and dangerous, the council is being extremely negligent to a big slice of their community.