Put a lead on it

A sign at Blue Waters Lake Reserve.

By Mandy Oakham

Locals are being warned to keep dogs on leads when walking through the Blue Waters Lake Reserve area.
Geelong City Council will be stepping up patrols in the area in the near future and are investigating improvements to signage there.
The council was responding to inquiries from the Voice regarding public complaints about dogs off lead in the area. Locals are concerned about out-of- control dogs running at children, the elderly and birdlife.
City’s director planning and development, Kelvin Walsh, said that the council had received only two formal complaints about dogs in the Blue Waters Lake area in 2017.
“We will assess the need to increase signage and organise additional patrols in the area to remind people of the importance of picking up after their animals and using a lead as
responsible pet owners,” Mr Walsh said.
One woman who did not wish to be identified told the Voice that she had been leapt on by the same dog off-lead twice on the same circuit of the lake.
The woman said she had been left with scratch marks on her arms and mud all over her clothes.
“I ran around a bend and saw this dog bounding towards me and she just leapt up into me,” the woman said.
“I have been bitten by dogs in the past and so was more than a little terrified.
“It is not the dog’s fault as she turned out to be a lovely, friendly dog but I just couldn’t believe when I ran into them again and the owner just let the dog run at me again, covering me in more mud.”
A spot check of the lake walking circuit by the Voice found a local walking two dogs off-lead within minutes of entering the area.
Michael (not his real name) has lived at the lake for nearly two years and said he was completely unaware of any rules about dogs on leads.
“I just enter the area from my own backyard and I have never noticed any signs,” he said.
“My two little dogs are very good and stay close but they definitely need to make the signage more obvious around here if they want to enforce this rule.”