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Provide A Secure, Off-Lead, Dog Park In Ballymena

This petition had 691 supporters

It's becoming increasingly difficult for dog owners to find suitable, safe places that they can exercise their dogs off-lead and socialise with other dogs. Changes in Dog Control Orders enforce short leads and/or complete exclusion zones in many of our public parks and beaches where they would previously been allowed. For many breeds lead walking alone will not fulfil their daily exercise needs and for some owners even moderate lead walking is difficult due to their own health issues.

Belfast City Council has already provided two such dog parks situated in Stormont Estate and at Grove Playing Fields and they are running very successfully. A similar facility in the Ballymena area would be a great boost for local dog owners. Dog parks allow dogs to get adequate physical and mental exercise therefore lessening destructive and annoying behaviours in general. This can impact on the dogs quality of life, their owners quality of life and possibly even their neighbours if the dogs are barking excessively due to boredom etc. We also believe it will help reduce the number of dogs needing to be rehomed due to these types of behaviours. One of the other reasons that dogs need rehomed is due to changes in their owners health that impact their ability to exercise their pet, a facility like this could help people ensure their pet gets adequate exercise even when they are not physically able to walk them enough. It opens up dog ownership to new groups of people who may not be able to lead walk a dog far but could take it to the park for regular exercise.

People attending dog parks with their pets have a great opportunity to learn all about lots of different dog types and behaviours and get advice from more experienced dog owners. Well behaved dogs in the park help to influence the behaviour of other dogs. It provides a place where people can socialise and make friends with other dog-lovers and helps build a great community spirit. The park can also be used by local animal charities to hold fund raising or public awareness activities and possibly even recruit more volunteers to help with their work.

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