Inner West Council will trial free puppy classes for dog owners to encourage responsible dog ownership and activation of local dog parks.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, Councillors unanimously agreed to support and encourage responsible dog ownership in the Inner West through several measures, including free puppy training.
“In 2019, there were about 35,500 dogs in the Inner West,” said Councillor Chloe Smith, who moved the motion.
“We know that this number has risen dramatically over the last two years with the Covid puppy boom. As a dog lover, it’s wonderful to see more of our canine companions enjoying parks, cafes, and pubs across the Inner West.
“But unfortunately we are now seeing some unintended impacts including a reported rise in behavioural issues.
“We don’t want to see more aggressive and problem dogs in the Inner West, which put pressure on our companion animal team, local pounds and rescue services. Council has a role to play in supporting responsible dog ownership,” Councillor Smith said.
Some local services in the Inner West have reported a rise in surrender requests due to behavioural issues stemming from lack of proper training and socialisation.
As well as trialling free puppy classes, Council will also conduct an audit of patrols for education and enforcement, and all signage pertaining to on and off leash areas, prohibited areas, and dog etiquette and safety at local parks.
Where signs are not in place, in poor condition, or places of low visibility, Council will resource their implementation or replacement.
Council will also investigate introducing free regular information seminars for residents who are considering acquiring a companion animal. Seminars would address responsible pet ownership, training, registration, and off-leash exercise areas.
“These common sense measures will remove cost as a barrier and support humans and animals alike to enjoy our public spaces safely. It’s not paw-fect, but it’s a good start!” Councillor Smith said.