Why has Council prepared a Dog Friendly Spaces Strategy?
Council has prepared a Dog Friendly Spaces Strategy to guide the provision, improvement and management of dog friendly spaces within Shellharbour City over the next 10 years.
What will the Dog Friendly Spaces Strategy do?
The Strategy aims to:
- balance the needs of dog owners with the needs of the general community for accessible safe parks
- Identify gaps in the provision of dog friendly spaces and ensure equitable distribution across the LGA
- Plan for dog friendly spaces in line with the expected population growth and ownership trends.
Why are we asking for feedback on the draft Dog Friendly Spaces Strategy?
We are seeking your feedback on the draft Strategy to ensure that the Strategy reflects the aspirations of the whole community in dog friendly spaces.
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The term ‘dog friendly spaces’ refers to dog on leash areas, dog off leash areas and dog agility parks. Dog agility parks are off leash areas that are fenced and may include a variety of landscape features and different activity spaces for dog owners and their dogs. These activity spaces may include an open run about area, a training or education area, scramble features such as a rocky outcrops, or ‘sensory areas’ with different plants and bushes that are attractive to dogs.
A dog agility park may also include separate fenced spaces such as a separate enclosed area for small dogs and/or a separate ‘time out’ area for dogs that need to be given time away from other dogs.
There are approximately 27, 081 registered dogs in Shellharbour LGA. For a resident population of 70, 511 people, it is therefore evident that dog owners are a key user group of our open spaces. Shellharbour City Council statistically has a high rate (over 50%) of stray dog returns compared to other local government areas. Ensuring your dog is microchipped and your contact details are updated with Council will assist us with maintaining this great result.
Shellharbour Council currently has two dog agility parks. One in the suburb of Flinders at Whittaker Street and the more recently opened park at the corner of Kingston and Moore Streets at Oak Flats. Please refer to the Exercising your dog brochure to find our dog off leash areas which are different to dog agility parks in that they are not fenced and are often in areas such as trails, sporting fields, open parklands.
Seeking community feedback on our existing dog friendly spaces will help to inform future direction and planning to adequately consider and provide best practice for the development and management of dog friendly spaces within the LGA.
Through community engagement, feedback will inform any future strategy to provide a holistic approach to the establishment, management and control of dogs in the public open space network. Ensuring consideration from a planning, community, regulatory and environmental perspective.