Wagging tails for new park

2017-08-29 06:00
Ward councillor Dave Bryant with @Fritz’s Sailas Mohpahla and Yanic Klue at the dog park on the corner of Hout Street and Buitengracht. PHOTOS: Nicole McCAIN

Ward councillor Dave Bryant with @Fritz’s Sailas Mohpahla and Yanic Klue at the dog park on the corner of Hout Street and Buitengracht. PHOTOS: Nicole McCAIN

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A new public-private partnership has resulted in the perfect place for pooches to play.

An urban dog park has been opened on City of Cape Town-owned property on the corner of Hout Street and Buitengracht in the Cape Town CBD.

The property, which was public open space, had fallen into a derelict condition and had become a haven for antisocial and criminal behaviour.

But that has all changed now that it houses the dog park and play area.

Yanic Klue, founder of @Fritz dog hotel and day care centre, dreamed of following the international trend of dog parks when she asked to use the land.

The hotel installed fencing with a double security gate system to ensure the safety of the dogs, and uses it as a play area for dogs in the hotel’s care.

With safety as a key concern, the fences were installed below ground level, “so if your dog digs he’s only going to get a manicure”, Klue says.

The park is open to the public, although dog owners will be held responsible for their pets and will need to ensure their dog’s vaccinations are up to date, Klue says.

This is not only to prevent disease spreading among the dogs, but to encourage responsible pet care, she explains.

Around 100 dogs visit the park daily, with smaller dogs separated from bigger ones. Klue also encourages parents to let their children play with the smaller dogs in the separate area demarcated for them.

An agility course is set up in the park every Wednesday for the hotel’s dog clients, but the public is also able to bring their dogs to this training for a fee, Klue explains.

The park has had a good response from both pet owners and the local community, Klue adds.

“When people drive past in their cars, you just see them laughing at the dogs’ [antics],” she says.

Ward councillor Dave Bryant says the park is an example of what can be achieved by working with local businesses in a public-private partnership: A derelict area has now been transformed into a play area with a functional use for the community.

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