Residents show bark and bite in Sans Souci park fight

A group of dog lovers are pushing for Bayside Council to make upgrades to one of the only dog parks in the area.

16-year-old Melissa Puckeridge is spearheading the campaign to improve the Bona dog park in Sans Souci where she takes her dog Rocky most days.

She joins a tightknit group of locals who meet in the park most afternoons.

Ms Puckeridge said the problem had gotten worse in the last year where holes have been left exposed for weeks causing injury to owners and their dogs.

‘’We have people of all ages coming down, it’s like a family,’’ she said.

‘’We’ve complained for months about the holes until last week when they were filled.

‘’I just love coming down here and I hate that it’s been ruined by a lack of maintenance.’’

A petition has since been launched with 330 people signing it since March 29.

Kirsty Bayer is one local who signed the petition.

The Sans Souci local said her dog Bruno has been left with a lame front leg after falling into a pothole.

‘’If he falls into a hole, that’s it for the rest of the week,’’ she said.

Vicki Tuckwell said both her and her dog have been injured by the exposed holes.

‘’I rolled my foot and banged my knee,’’ she said.

‘’I ended up having to go to the physio and get acupuncture. It really hurt.’’

Ms Puckeridge is also calling on the council to add extra benches. Currently, there is only two metal benches installed.

Pictures show the benches they do have aren’t concreted underneath leaving them a muddy hole after rain.

Locals have tried to get around the problem by bringing their own chairs to the park.

However, council workers have either moved the chairs or taken them away.

One quick-thinking local even captured a council employee riding over the chairs in a ride-on mower.

Ms Puckeridge said she hopes the council will see the passion of the community and make some changes.

‘’When you love something, you want to keep it safe,’’ she said.

‘’I’m hoping we can get a resolution, we’re all pushing for it.’’

A Bayside Council spokeswoman said the park is mowed monthly while holes are also filled in.

She said staff were considering funding for the concrete slab and extra seating.

‘’Council has not prevented residents from taking their own chairs to the park and leaving them there,’’ she said.

‘’However, plastic chairs left out in the elements over time become brittle, crack and therefore unsafe.

‘’Council must always be mindful of the safety of all the park users therefore broken chairs that are unsafe for use will be removed.’’