Thursday, September 29, 2011

Letter to Marrickville council

Below is the letter I have sent to Marrickville council. Please feel free to use this as a template. You can email or use their online feedback form.

Dear Councillors

I am writing to you on behalf of dog owners and their pets in the Marrickville area to respectfully urge you to officially appoint Henson Park an “off-leash” dog park.

Over the years our local community of dog owners have frequented Henson Park to exercise their dogs and socialise with fellow animal lovers. We view Henson Park as a community area, designed to satisfy the needs of dog-owners and non-dog owners alike. We are respectful of our fellow neighbours and the environment, ensuring that we pick up after our dogs and that they behave appropriately. We also appreciate that Henson Park is a sporting ground and many dog owners stay clear on designated sporting days.

We believe Henson Park is the ideal location for an off-leash park. It has served this purpose unofficially over many years with the majority of park users on not sporting event days, being dog owners. We can work with the local council and associated sporting bodies to appoint designated off-leash hours/days and/or area based on other usage of the park, to ensure the dogs and owners do not impact on other activities and park patrons.

Appointing Henson Park as an official off-leash dog park will benefit the greater community in many ways including:

  • Well-behaved dogs can exercise in a clean, safe environment without endangering or annoying people, property, or wildlife.
  • Dog park patrons tend to be people who appreciate the park and take an "ownership interest" in it. As a result, they keep the area free of criminal activities and other bad elements.
  • Park patrons want to ensure a clean and safe park for all the dogs attending. Feces pick-up and disposal is an integral part of retaining a clean park. A visit to any dog park will verify this observation. Owners watch for and pick up their animal’s feces, and when a dog defecates, other patrons assume that the dog owner simply did not notice and gently remind the owner to pick up the feces and throw it away. They also will respond swiftly if a dog is behaving inappropriately.
  • Most dogs require exercise that leash restrictions do not allow. The cardiovascular benefit provided by healthy play with other dogs is great for dogs’ longevity and weight control. Dogs are social animals whose mental health is improved by interaction with other canines. Happy, healthy dogs are calmer and better behaved, reducing nuisance barking and other annoying behaviors exhibited by dogs who do not get regular exercise.

No off-leash dog parks currently exist in the suburb of Marrickville. Just as other taxpayers enjoy convenient public swimming pools, jogging/walking trails and playgrounds, dog owners need a place to exercise and enjoy their pets in an off-leash environment. As a working Mum with a toddler it is difficult for me to find time to go to another suburb to visit the dog park. I imaging this is even more difficult for other dog owners in the community who do not drive or own a car.

Again, we would appreciate your consideration in appointing Henson Park an official off-leash dog park and look forward to working with you to acheive this.

Thank you

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mamma on another mission!

Many of you know that we often take our other baby Chewy to the park to run off his energy and experience a bit of grass and socialisation with other dogs. Our local park is Henson Park, it's been frequented by dogs and their owners for many years!

Recently the council decided they would start dishing out fines to people whose dogs were not on leads. With no official dog parks in Marrickville, this is quite an issue for the local dog owner community who live in this great concrete jungle within the inner west!

Hence, I am writing to the council and local government and I've created a Facebook page to request that Henson Park be appointed an official off-leash dog park.

Please show your support by joining our Facebook page Please help make Henson Park an off-leash dog park and sending your feedback to council on their Have your say page at