FAILURE by some dog owners to clean up after their pets when they take them to sporting fields has sparked a need for better signage and greater awareness of off-leash areas, with players falling foul of the mess.
At Tuesday night’s Orange City Council meeting, councillor Tony Mileto asked for better signage reminding dog owners of their responsibilities after a six-year-old boy fell over in dog poo during a recent game at Sir Jack Brabham Park.
“I’ve been required to clean the dog faeces off the ground because children are falling in it, which promptly upsets the parent and the poor children,” he said.
“What should be a pleasant experience playing sport turns out like that where he’s got it on his hands and his boots.”
Chris Jacobs runs the canteen on the Forest Road side of the park and said there had not been a week without faeces needing to be removed.
“Obviously if you’re the little kid, it’s not real pleasant and it’s embarrassing,” he said.
Matt Jeffery coaches the under-13s team and said the Huntley Road side was generally poo-free, but the Forest Road side had a fair amount of waste.
Obviously if you’re the little kid, it’s not real pleasant.Chris Jacobs on encountering dog faeces on sporting fields
“We’re lucky in Orange in that we’re spoilt with numerous leash-free areas and it’s disappointing people [don’t] pick up after themselves,” he said.
At the meeting, general manager Garry Styles given the circumstances, the council would likely conduct a blitz, boosting awareness of the nearby leash-free areas at Bloomfield Park and the importance of owners having courtesy for other people using the fields, plus more signage.
Rangers regularly patrol sporting fields on their rounds, with fines for not picking up after dogs.
Mr Jeffery did not believe a ranger blitz was necessary.
“The rules are there and most people are responsible – if you’re doing to take your dog for a walk, make sure you take a plastic bag,” he said.
Mr Jacobs said it “couldn’t hurt” to have more rangers around given Sir Jack Brabham Park was a popular midweek walking area.
Leash-free areas are also located at Anzac Park, Wirraburra Walk, Pilcher Park, Lombardy Way, Brendan Sturgeon Oval, Orange Showground, Paul Park, Riawena Oval, Machin Park and Ridley Oval.
Owners are required to clean up after pets in leash-free areas.