SAFETY APPEAL: Alana Staff is calling for the Ballina Shire Council to fence more of the off-leash dog park on Compton Dr at East Ballina.
SAFETY APPEAL: Alana Staff is calling for the Ballina Shire Council to fence more of the off-leash dog park on Compton Dr at East Ballina. Marc Stapelberg

One dog killed, two hurt at 'unsafe' off-leash park

Calls for fencing for dog park: Alana Staff is calling for the Ballina Shire Council to fence more of the off-leash dog park on Compton Dr at East Ballina.

A GROUP of dog owners have called for more fencing at an East Ballina off-leash park.

Alana Staff said the death of a dog that was struck by a car, and an incident where her niece ran toward traffic at the Compton Dr park, inspired the push for improved safety there.

"In the last six weeks there's been about three accidents," she said.

"Two of them (had) severe injuries, one of them died. Apparently it's not the council's problem."

Ms Staff has not appealed for Ballina Shire Council to fence the entire park, but to extend the existing fence to reduce the expanse exposed to the road.

Jan Brady said even well-trained dogs didn't necessarily have good road sense.

She said they needed a secure space where dogs could exercise freely without such a great risk from nearby traffic.

"There's a lot of people ... that won't come down because they're frightened," she said.

Natasha Henry, visiting Ballina with her dog, said when councils listed off-leash dog areas on their websites, she expected them to be safe to exercise dogs freely.

Ms Henry said she had not found this to be the case at Compton Dr.

Councillors adopted a review of the Companion Animals Management Plan, and voted against fully-fencing the park at their ordinary meeting last November.

The council's manager of public and environmental health Kerri Watts said it's vital that all dog owners have "effective control" of their pet in any public space.

"From a council perspective, we want dogs to go there that are well-socialised and have good behaviour and return to their owners," she said.

"We want dog owners to be responsible."

She said fully-fenced dog paths were not generally in line with the council's view, but didn't rule out a future review of Compton Dr's fencing.

"From an operational staff perspective, we know it's now being discussed a lot in the community," Ms Watts said.

"It's something we may consider in the next operational plan."