Walk time? Make sure your dog is on a lead

Rangers in the City of Melton are urging pet owners to ensure their dogs are on a lead in public or otherwise secured safely at their property after a recent spike in animal complaints.

Over the past four months, Council has received about 30 per cent more reports of dog attacks compared to the same time last year, and 15 per cent more animal complaints overall including complaints about dogs off-lead and dogs roaming.

With many dogs being treated to more walks during restrictions, it’s a timely reminder for all dog owners to ensure they keep their dogs on a leash in public.

Dog owners are also asked to check their properties are fully secure by inspecting their gates and fences, and to restrain their dogs when in an unfenced front yard or open garage.

City of Melton Mayor Cr Lara Carli said the rules were there to protect both beloved pets and the community.

“People have been spending more time walking their dogs during restrictions, and I’m sure there are some very happy furry friends as a result,” she said.

“We want to make sure you, your pets and our whole community stay safe during this time, which is why it’s important to walk your dogs on a lead in public and keep them secure at home during all other times.

“These are legal requirements and pet owners are responsible for the safety of their dog and anyone their dog comes into contact with.

“Our rangers are doing what they can to ensure all residents have a positive experience exploring local walking trails, parks and neighbourhoods and are available to address any concerns.”

Dog off-lead areas:

Right now, Council’s off-leash dog parks are closed under the State Government’s Stage 3 restrictions. Once these restrictions are lifted, residents will be able to exercise their dogs off-lead at one of the fenced-off areas for dogs (Boronia Drive Reserve in Hillside; Diggers Rest Recreation Reserve; Fraser Street Reserve in Melton South; Navan Park Reserve in Harkness; and Commonwealth Drive Reserve in Aintree). These areas are identified by signs and have conditions which must be observed and obeyed when your dog is off-lead.

Council also reminds residents to ensure they pick up after their dog. Residents can either use the plastic bags provided at some local parks, or carry bags with them on walks.

To report any incidents of dogs off-lead or roaming, or to make any other animal complaint, please contact Council’s rangers on 9747 7200.

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