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DOG owners have criticised the dog run in King George V playing field, calling it ‘not fit for purpose’.
They have spoken out in response to an upcoming campaign by Melksham Town Council that will encourage dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead whilst in the park, unless in the designated dog enclosure, which is located next to the skate park.
Whilst supportive of the campaign, dog owners have explained that the dog run is too small, and have asked that the town council consider providing a larger off-lead dog walking area for the thousands of dogs and their owners in the town.
Local dog owner, Catherine Cooper, told Melksham News, “The dog run is a joke, it’s a total joke. I have four small dogs and they can’t play in there – and to take a big dog in there, like a labrador, that likes to run, well they can’t!
“It’s just impossible for a big dog to run in there. Dogs need to run and they can’t run far in this dog walk. You couldn’t throw a ball properly in that area – it’s just not suitable.
“I agree with the council that dogs should be kept on leads in certain areas – the number of people who are just letting their dogs run free in the park is just not fair, especially on more nervous dogs – but the dogs need somewhere to go if we can’t run off-lead in the park.
“It is a problem, Melksham has nowhere sufficient for dogs to exercise. Even the main park itself doesn’t have much of interest for dogs. Please Melksham Town Council, provide a proper, off-lead dog walking area for the thousands of dogs and their owners in Melksham.”
Another resident, Pamela Hartley, said, “The so-called dog walk is completely inadequate. If there was more than one dog at a time in there it could literally end up with dog fights as they would feel cramped and trapped!”
In response to the concerns, Melksham Town Council has said that it will consult dog owners about the need for a dog run in the park, as part of its ‘masterplan’ for the park, which has already seen the successful introduction of a splashpad, a new patio area outside the pavilion, and outdoor gym equipment.
Economic development manager for the town council, David McKnight, told Melksham News, “Our focus currently is to encourage users of the park to respect the enjoyment of the facility by others and keep dogs on leads in this public space.
“We are currently considering the dog run area and no decisions have been made on this facility. In due course, we will also be seeking the views of dog owners regarding the need for dog run facilities as a future stage in the master planning for redevelopment of this park.
“We have made good progress in the park this year considering the very difficult season. The new pathway is complete, the planning for the sensory garden is advanced and the Splashpad has reopened in a Covid secure manner.”
Picture: Dog owners Arthur and Catherine Cooper with their dogs Hannah, Penny, Strudel and Marcus, outside the dog run in King George V park.