POOCHES will have their own playground when the City of Wanneroo’s first dedicated dog park opens in Madeley tomorrow.
UPDATE, 3.25pm: The City of Wanneroo said the dog park will open next week.
Landsdale dog owner Victoria Arkell said the fenced exercise area was much-needed in the City as the only other alternatives were the Whiteman Park dog park, with limited opening hours, and Hillarys dog beach.
“Facilities like this where you can let your dog socialise off-lead in a safe environment, legally, are severely lacking, so the few that are established tend to be overcrowded,” she said.
Ms Arkell said Kingsway Regional Sporting Complex was the ideal location for the enclosure.
“It is central with all the required facilities established, including plenty of parking,” she said.
“Many people already take their dogs there for on-lead walks; this accessibility just enhances the experience for owner and dog – a bit of on-lead walking mixed with a bit of off-lead socialising.
“We will probably be down there much more than once a week because our dog is such a social butterfly.”
Councillor Domenic Zappa helped push the idea after Ms Arkell contacted him in January last year about a general dog issue.
He was aware many owners let their dogs off the lead in the fenced baseball pitch at the complex, so he created a survey seeking feedback on establishing a dog exercise area.
“A lot of residents shared the view that a dog park was needed,” he said.
“There’s very limited spots where dog owners can let their dog off lead and run free.”
The project was awarded $25,000 of funding in the City’s 2016-17 budget and it ran community consultation last October seeking feedback on stage two of the facility.
Cr Zappa said he believed it would benefit dogs, their owners and the wider community.
“I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback,” he said.
“It will provide a safe space for dog owners to take their dogs and let them mix with other dogs.”
Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts said dogs were permitted in more than 350 parks in the City except for the Wanneroo Showground and Fred Stubbs Park in Quinns Rocks.
“However, council recognises that it is not always appropriate for dogs to be exercised in parks that are regularly used by children and sporting clubs,” she said.
“By providing a dedicated dog exercise area, our City’s furry friends will have a space specifically designed for them.”
The area, at the corner of Hartman and Sporting drives, includes perimeter fencing and seating.
“Subject to future funding approval, the City plans to include other elements including agility equipment, a sand play area, a dog-friendly drink fountain, and an exercise area specifically designed for small dogs,” Mrs Roberts said.
The park has been a long time coming; a City newsletter published in 2006 said council would install a dog exercise area at the complex for a 12-month trial period.
In the City’s 2012-13 budget, funding was allocated for a facility in Wanneroo but a petition was lodged against it and councillors voted not to support it.