During the last election I was contacted by local resident Steve Cartwright in regards to a project Council had put on the backburner. This project was an off-leash dog park and it had been pending for close to 7 years. With the help of Council staff and then CEO Gavin Cator, Councillors were presented with several options for locations, before going out to consultation. North Shepp was ruled out due to residential backlash, but eventually we settled for Ducats Reserve in South Shepp.
The dog-park was passed in the budget and had the important provision of separate areas for smaller dogs and larger dogs. Since being built, the Shepparton Off-Leash Dog Park has close to 1240 members on it’s FB page. Play dates are made regularly and it is a terrific source of exercise and socialisation, for both owners and pooches.
Listening to the community, users require more shade, seating, obstacles and lighting. These can be achieved through external sponsorships, or by direct Council funding, depending on political will.
Recently Council moved to form an Advisory Committee for the Park and to inform future locations for more parks. I would love to see off leash dog parks in every small town and public places where off leash dogs are a problem.
This is a discussion I’d enjoy taking part of if re-elected. #Vote1Summer to secure more off-leash dog parks!