Jan 9, 2008

More Off-lead Parks!

I just found out that Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, is proposing about 30 parks and reserves to be added to the present 20-something areas where dogs are allowed off-lead. RSPCA is backing the plan.

This is the best news I've heard in a long time! In fact, just yesterday I was corresponding via email with a reader concerned about the lack of pet friendly places, including the increasing laws banning dogs in our neighbourhood parks. These laws make it challenging to enjoy the company of your dog in a fun and enriching environment!

I'm sure Clover Moore's proposal will be like a breath of fresh air to many dog lovers, especially those who live in city apartments! Plus, time restrictions - which allow dogs off-lead before 8am and after 6pm- could also be scrapped! (Fido will be happy to go for a run in the park after mummy and daddy return home late from work!)

The Mayor assures the proposal will not lead to dogs being out of control. She says dog owners will still be required to keep their pets under control and the city will take enforcement action, otherwise. I am personally happy about this proposal, but I can't help but think about the small percentage of irresponsible pet owners who don't care about their dog's behaviour when in an off-leash area. You know, the owner of the Labrador (as friendly and cute as the dog can be) that wags his tail and walks straight onto your picnic blanket and spills your juice, steps into your food and frustrates everyone, including your dog who may feel protective and react inhospitably to the intrusion.

I hope that with this wonderful proposal comes an increased push to educate dog owners about doggy park etiquette. Come to think of it, we have a great article on the topic in Dogs Life! (Remember the #81 Jan/Feb 2007 edition?)

Clover Moore's plan is open for public to comment until February 1. Your dog can't talk. Make your voice heard!

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