Round of a-paws for more leash-free pooch areas

Hume City Council will retain all of Hume’s existing off-leash areas and add three new locations as suggested by residents, following a report to Council last night.

The Dogs in Public Places Review Final Report was adopted by Council at last night’s meeting (Monday 9 July 2018) and aims to provide local dog owners with more opportunities to have dogs off-leash within their own neighbourhoods.

Hume Mayor, Councillor Geoff Porter said in addition to existing off-leash areas, Bolinda Road Reserve (Campbellfield), Newbury Park (Craigieburn) and an area adjacent to Hume Tennis and Community Centre (Craigieburn) will become leash free, once rules of use signs are installed.

“There are 18,693 dogs registered in Hume, however as our rates of dog ownership have increased, our backyards have gotten smaller and it’s become more difficult to find spaces to exercise dogs off-leash,” Cr Porter said.

“Designated off-leash areas provide a safe community setting where dogs can play with each other, resulting in dogs that are healthier, happier and less aggressive.

“They’re also a great way for pet owners to socialise and make like-minded friends.”

“While this is a great opportunity for dog owners, all residents and visitors have the right to enjoy public land and its amenities.

“Dog owners must ensure that their dogs are under effective control at all times when in a public place, including off-leash areas,” Cr Porter said.

The review of dog off leash areas contained in the report  is a result of a Council General Business Item to investigate gaps in the provision of off-leash areas in growing parts of the municipality.

Cr Porter said a comprehensive community engagement plan was prepared for the Dogs In Public Places Review Report with extensive consultation in 2017.

“The Dogs In Public Places Review considers the needs of dog owners in relation to other social, environmental and recreational activities that need to be accommodated in Hume’s public places.

“The final report adopted by Council provides dogs in open space planning principles, locations for off-leash activities, dogs prohibited areas and management of dogs in public places in accordance with the legislation,” Cr Porter said.

Posted on 9:00 AM, 10 July 2018

Updated : 9:38 AM, 10 July 2018

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