Cats and dogs
Dog off leash areas
Off leash areas are provided by Council to allow pet owners to responsibly socialise their pets. Off leash areas are not only beneficial for dogs; they also provide an area for owners to build strong community relationships with other dog owners.
Local Council’s provide off leash areas that can be enjoyed by all animal owners. Like any area of open space it is important that all users follow basic etiquette to ensure the enjoyment of all users:
- ensure your dog is socialised
- ensure you are able to control your dog with effective voice commands
- do not take a female on heat to an off leash area
- do not take puppies to an off leash area unless they have attended basic training and are fully vaccinated
- remove any faeces left by your dog
- if any dog/s show signs of aggressive or anti-social behaviour the dogs handler must remove their dog immediately from the area
- please do not crowd the entranceways, keep moving around the park
- please be considerate of all other park users, as well as neighbouring properties and their pets.
Children in off leash areas
Considering the main purpose of an off leash area is to provide owners with a safe and legal area to exercise their pets, the inclusion of children in these areas should be considered.
Large excited dogs chasing other dogs and toys may accidentally knock over a child, who may in the course of events, be accidentally injured.
Furthermore, if a spat or minor disagreement occurs between two dogs, an adult is better equipped to deal with this behaviour without exasperating the situation.
Parents and guardians may also need to consider the possible health risks in the area due to faecal contamination.
Off leash areas, although provided for the use and enjoyment of dog owners, are not exclusively provided for the sole use of dog owners.
Other community members may wish to visit off leash areas for the social connections that such areas provide.
Owner’s legal obligations
If your dog causes any injuries or damage, you may be held liable for these actions and Council may commence enforcement and/or the owner of the injured animal may commence civil action.
Being in an off leash area does not negate the owners or keepers responsibility to ensure the dog is under effective control (which includes voice commands).
Dog off-leash areas
Within the Somerset region there are three dog off-leash facilities: