BALLARAT mum Yvonne Jeganathan is looking forward to going back to her neighbourhood park after Ballarat City Council banned unleashed dogs at the Walter Jones Park.
Two weeks ago Ms Jeganathan, who was walking in the park with her two-year-old son and their family pet, a miniature Schnauzer, was attacked by two unleashed dogs.
A City of Ballarat spokeswoman said signs would be posted at Walter Jones Park, situated on the corner of Macarthur Street and Havelock Street, Soldiers Hill, in early May.
“The new signs feature a picture of a dog on-lead and match existing City of Ballarat on-lead signage,” she said.
Ms Jeganathan said she was relieved and grateful to the council for the prompt decision.
“Now I feel safe enough to return to our local playground,” Ms Jeganathan said. “The council’s decision will also ensure that the attack my family experienced will not happen again.”
The Soldiers Hill resident encouraged others to come forward and report any other dog attacks to the council.
“I believe the swift action for the approval of the sign was because the council and the Ballarat community were made aware of the vicious attack,” she said.
“The online article (on The Courier website) also allowed people to voice their concerns or their own attack experiences in the Ballarat area.
“The comments made council aware how regular these attacks occur and how fed-up the community is with irresponsible animal owners.”
Unfortunately, Ms Jeganathan said many of the attacks were not reported to the council, allowing irresponsible dog owners to escape punishment.
“The community needs to be made aware that reporting animal attacks is important, no matter how small,” she said.
“Ballarat families need to voice their concern over feeling threatened in their local playground or reserve and petition to get their local park an animal on-lead area.”
For a list of parks and reserves designated on-lead and off-lead visit www.ballarat.vic.gov.au.