Residents: 'Grass, prickles are hurting our dogs'
OVERGROWN grass has left small dogs with prickles and grass seeds in their fur and eyes, forcing their owners to take drastic measures.
After calling on council to deal with the issue and being unhappy with their response, a group of regular visitors to a dog park in Redbank Plains mowed the area themselves.
A lack of overall maintenance has been a problem at Rex Hawkes Park for more than two years according to Barry Bray and his friends Lyn O'Connor and Graham Broom.
The trio have been taking their small dogs to the Redbank Plains dog park for five years now.
Over the last two years the group have noticed a lack of upkeep at the council-owned park, with grass overgrowing, bins lacking pet waste bags and broken gate latches.
"Graham mowed last year and I did it this year about a week ago," Barry said.
"We are getting sick of our dogs coming home with conjunctivitis after getting grass and prickly burrs in them. Their eyes are sore.
"The grass was a problem before Christmas and still hasn't been dealt with. If you're lawn was like this, council would be sending you a letter.
"Our biggest problem is that we love our dogs. We take them here to socialise, not to end up at the vet."
Barry said latches on the entry gate were broken and the bin which stocked the dog waste bags had been empty for weeks.
"We have been begging council to spray the burrs and to mow but we get told that it's already been done by the contractor when we can see it hasn't," he said.
"Who is checking if the work has actually been done?"
Division 3 councillor Kerry Silver said it was difficult at this time of year for council to keep up with mowing.
"I've got dogs myself so I understand they're part of your family and you want to be able to give them a run and socialise with other dogs," she said.
"I've been out there and overgrown grass is something that's always a problem at this time of year.
"It's also a drainage reserve so when it rains water flows through there and it can be boggy for mowing crews."
When it came to prickles which covered the dog park, Cr Silver said there was no immediate solution.
"Once you get prickles in your yard its difficult to get rid of them. That's something we need to treat with prevention,," she said.
"It's in July-August that we need to weed spray as a preventative measure to stop them growing next year."
The councillor said she would be happy to meet with the trio and discuss issues with the dog park.
"It's a very social group in Redbank Plains and I think that's fabulous," she said.
"I would be more than happy to meet with them to try and alleviate any concerns."
Barry said he wanted action from council sooner rather than later.
"We pay our rates and our dog registration fees. Council has to change their priorities and mow when it's needed," he said.
"No other dog park around here surpasses this one. If it was well-maintained it would be an even bigger draw card."