Concerns raised about dog owners’ use of Avalon beach

Concerns raised about dog owners’ use of Avalon beach

Natalia wants dog control signs respected at Avalon beach. Picture: Jon Hewson
Concerns raised about dog owners’ use of Avalon beach
Concerns raised about dog owners’ use of Avalon beach

FALCON resident Natalia swims at Avalon beach every day because of a bad back.

But she is concerned about visiting the beach now because of dogs let loose on the beach and on the Avalon foreshore.

Avalon beach is divided into two areas – one where dogs are banned and one where they are permitted on a leash – but she said owners were taking little notice of signs on the beach and at the entrance to the beach.

Natalia said dogs big and small, aggressive and playful, happily jumped up and scratched her and defecated everywhere on the beach.

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She had been attacked a few times and abused by some owners when they were asked to restrain their dogs.

“All in front of my young children and a regular scenario for us during a simple swim at a family beach,’’ she said.

The mother of two said she had contacted the City of Mandurah with daily calls to rangers and emailed photos of offending dogs.

“Sometimes they respond but it is not enough,’’ she said.

Natalia said she had had no response to appeals for help to Coastal Ward councillors.

“Rangers agree more signs are needed, not just at the entry to the beach and at the bottom of the steps,’’ she said.

“I fear for my safety and my children every time we enter the beach and it’s a shame.”

Natalia said she had no time to take up a petition, although other residents agreed there was a problem.

“Why must we wait for something to happen before there is any action,’’ she asked.

City chief executive Mark Newman said responsibility lay with pet owners to ensure their dogs were under control at all times.

“Owners must keep control of their dogs while walking them along streets, beaches and in parks and keep them on a leash unless in a designated off-leash exercise area.

“We have more than 50km of beach and estuarine coastline that we do our best to patrol but dog owners must remain accountable.

“Our rangers work hard to promote responsible pet ownership throughout the city.”