By Melissa Sheil
MAN’S best friend is jumping with joy as the first enclosed dog park in the City of Kalamunda officially opened last week.
Located on Elmore Way in High Wycombe, the dog park has two separate enclosures for both big and small dogs, fitted with a number of agility and play equipment and plenty of space to run around.
High Wycombe resident Kaye Smith sparked the project four years ago.
“I initially proposed the idea because I had a little pug Millie, who was eight at the time, and I couldn’t take her for a walk around the area because there were a few attacks and little dogs weren’t really safe being walked in the area,” she said.
“I put the idea of a dog park up on Facebook and I think within an hour there were a few hundred replies saying what a great idea it was.
“I took the idea to Council and now, four and bit years later, here we are with a lovely dog park that our community can enjoy.”
Though Millie has since passed away, Ms Smith can take her two other pugs, Maggie and Molly to enjoy the facilities.
“I went down there a few weeks ago when it was pretty much finished and it’s looking really lovely,” she said.
“I saw a lady with her Labrador’s and they were sprinting towards the gate because they were so excited to get in there.
“It’s certainly got the dogs’ mark of approval and it’s good to have something just for them.
“It’s got some lovely soft grass, established trees and a lovely area with seating and barbeques and a park for kids so a little bit for everyone – you could have a lovely family picnic there.
“Even for people who don’t have dogs, it’s good to know there’s a place for dogs to run around in without scaring other people.”
The opening of the park comes simultaneously with the announcement of City of Kalamunda’s new dog regulations.
Dog’s Local Law 2021 is to be implemented from April 30, overruling previous legislation.
The law controls the number of dogs allowed on a premises, yard requirements such as fencing, details dog friendly and prohibited areas, and dog impounding as well as penalties for non-compliance.
A City spokeswoman said though the timing of the law and the opening of the dog park happened by coincidence, it was a good opportunity to make the community aware of the new law and remind people to be a responsible dog owner.
“Even though the park is enclosed, we encourage dog owners to have effective control over their dogs before using the park and while the park is for everyone, dogs that are not adequately socialised or have aggressive tendencies should avoid being inside the enclosures,” she said,
Mayor Margaret Thomas said she hoped the community would thoroughly enjoy the new facility.
“Councillors are thrilled that after many years this project is now a reality,” she said.
“This is a wonderful space for families and dog lovers alike.
“We encourage everyone to be a responsible pet owner and to only bring your furry friend to the dog park if it is well-behaved.
“Accidents do happen but please make sure you clean up after your dog and report any incidents to the City’s Community Safety team.”