Dog Parks OK but Separate Big from Small

Filed under Council, Event & Venue, News, Sport & Recreation ~ by Press on  30 Mar 2019

City of Newcastle will build the city’s first fenced dog park where owners can legally let their dogs roam free.

The announcement coincides with a Facebook reported incident at Islington dog park where a Mastiff allegedly savaged a 12 week-old Scottish terrier. As described, the owner might have contravened council’s off-leash conditions, which state:

Dogs declared dangerous dogs by Council – menacing and restricted breeds eg. Pitbull Terriers as indicated under the Companion Animals Act 1998 – are not permitted to use any designated off leash areas.”

A 1.5-hectare fenced area at Acacia Avenue reserve, North Lambton will be part of the City’s Dogs in Open Space Plan.

The plan was adopted by council last week to cater for the 44,300 registered dogs in the Newcastle local government area.

The project will provide separate areas for big and little pooches and include additional natural shade, shelter and seating for owners, plus drinking water.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the plan would guide the provision, improvement and management of off-leash parks across Newcastle over the next 10 years.

Novocastrians absolutely love their dogs, with more than 50 per cent of households across the City owning at least one pooch,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

This places us at the top-end of the list in terms of dog ownership across the country, so I’m delighted that this long-term plan has been adopted to cater for what is certainly a growing community need.

Dogs are becoming an increasingly popular addition to the family household, so it was no surprise that many submissions to the draft plan provided positive feedback around the provision of more fenced parks and increased off-leash areas.”

Proposed in the 10-year Dogs in Open Space Plan

Merewether’s Jane Garrick, a long-time supporter of fenced dog parks in Newcastle, owns a five-year-old Ridgeback-Kelpie crossbreed called Evee.

Ms Garrick said she was elated to hear that she’ll be able to take Evee across town to Lambton rather than drive the longer journey to Speers Point.

We take her to Speers Point where there’s a fenced park and this works really well for her,” she said.

I’ll definitely take the trip to Lambton for future visits but ideally I’d still love something a bit closer where I can walk her to and from home.

She’s easily distracted by birds and cats and often won’t listen or come back when she’s called.”

Ms Garrick said fenced parks where perfect for keeping Evee from straying on to nearby roads. 

Based on the likely success of the new fenced park at Acacia Avenue, the City will explore other possible sites at Lambton Park, O’Connell Reserve, Carrington Foreshore, Maryland Drive Reserve and Stevenson Park.

Where size permits council hopes to provide separate small and large dog parks and dedicated quiet zones for temperamental breeds.

Separating large dogs from small

Yesterday, Islington Village shared a Facebook post by the owner of a 12 week old Scottish terrier describing how it was savaged by a mastiff dog “visciously and without provocation” at Islington dog park.

For more information and to view the full plan, visit

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