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Dogs in Public Places

People, Dogs and Public Places

Many people and dogs share parks, bushland reserves, shared paths, bicycle paths and the footpaths around our streets and shopping centres. They are provided for all residents of all ages to encourage social opportunities, exercise and pleasant leisure activities. Many people enjoy sharing them with their dogs.

Not everyone likes or understands dogs and some dogs are wary around people they do not know.

To make sure everyone enjoys these shared public places, responsible pet ownership and pet management are needed for safety and health reasons at all times.

Responsible Pet Ownership Rules

To encourage and ensure responsible pet ownership in Knox, rules about dogs in public places were introduced on 10 April 2006. It is important for all dog owners to understand the importance of their role as dog owners for the safety and wellbeing of everyone their dog meets and also for other dogs.

The rules were introduced because the majority of Knox residents who took part in a lengthy, community-wide consultation exercise in 2005 asked Council to act to make sure people are safe from dog attacks, rushing and to avoid stepping in dog faeces (waste) in public places. These rules are about ensuring safety and pleasant access to our public places for all residents of all ages at all times.

Dogs may be off lead in a public park or reserve within Knox (unless it is a bushland conservation area) as long as they are under effective control. Effective control means that the dog owner must remain within effective voice or hand control distance of the dog at all times. To find out what other restrictions apply to off lead areas or which reserves are on leash only reserves, have a look at the brochure attached below.

Dog waste

The most common ‘dog' complaint to Council is about dog droppings or dog waste on footpaths and in parks. Each day in Victoria over 90 tonnes of dog waste is produced from over 900,000 dogs! Pick up after your pet for a safer environment.

Council’s General Provisions Local Law requires dog owners to remove and dispose of their dog's waste in public places. It is also an offence not to carry a receptacle (e.g. bag or scoop) to remove dog waste. Dog owners or people taking dogs for walks must also carry a plastic bag or a POOch Pouch and pick up and remove all dog droppings every time dogs are walked.

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