Big, small, hairy and all lively – much loved four-legged canines gathered in Tanunda on Thursday evening for an off the lead run in support of a Barossa dog park.
The gathering at Heinemann Park was the result of dog owners’ disappointment regarding The Barossa Council's decision to “not support” three separate dog park proposals submitted for the state government's Fund My Neighbourhood scheme.
The $40 million dollar project urged SA communities to put forward ideas they believed would enhance and benefit their local region.
Council's ‘in principle’ decision, made during a special ordinary meeting last week, has since created an alliance among Barossa residents in favour of a dog park.
In response to Barossa Herald's coverage last week, Nuriootpa's Kelly Adams created an ‘I support Barossa dog park’ Facebook page, encouraging residents to support an enclosed park.
The owner of two large rescue dogs said the idea was to raise the awareness for the need of a dog park in the Barossa.
She said the premier wine destination didn’t have a dedicated pet stop – despite almost 90 dog parks being dotted across the state.
"We beg the council to please, please consider a dog park,” she said.
“We really hope to get the community's voice behind it and we would like to reapply to council and have them look at a position.”
Mrs Adams heads to Tanunda each day to give her dogs a run off their leads for about 45 minutes.
"We call it their 'kindy’; it's like they come to play group and meet others dogs and have a really good run,” she said.
“It's more of a secure thing with dogs not going off and get hit by a car
“The other thing I do down here is obedience training because you can train them all you like at home but when you are in a different environment, the recall is very hard to do when there are so many distractions.”
Also in support was Tanunda's Jessica Collins who is working towards setting up a doggy daycare, 'Refreshing Paws’, in the town.
“I am currently doing a certificate in dog training,” she said.
A dog park would mean Miss Collins could take the dogs for “excursions” – “because they need 30 minutes of off the lead play time a day and not everyone has a massive backyard”.
Joining the group of 20 dog lovers on Thursday was Tanunda's Mandy Johns with Charlie.
At the moment, she and a group of her dog loving friends walk among vineyards at Peter Lehmann Wines because it's their only “safe” option.
“It's a big area, with no cars and no prickles, and they are safe,” she said.
The group was addressed at the park by Schubert MP Stephan Knoll, also in support of a dog park.
Mr Knoll said he would now work towards putting together a petition in support of a dog park located somewhere in the Barossa.