Roaming dogs causing chaos at Halls Gap

Dogs roaming around the Halls Gap township without their leads have left town residents concerned, saying they posed a danger to the environment and motorists.

The issue was raised at the latest Halls Gap Residents and Ratepayers Association meeting. 

Halls Gap Caravan Park manager Claire de Groot said she had noticed an increasing number of dogs wandering through Halls Gap without leads and had rescued many of them. 

”We manage the caravan park right in the middle of the town, so it is very central and we are finding that we are rescuing quite a lot of dogs,” she said. 

“When we have tracked down the owner they have mostly been the dogs of locals and some we are finding are repeated offenders.”

Ms de Groot said her biggest concern was safety. 

“It is not fair on the dogs and the environment,” she said.

“They can quite easily be hit by a car or they could run out onto the road and cause an accident.” 

Ms de Groot said dog owners needed to ensure they had adequate fencing to prevent dogs from escaping. 

“Some dogs we have not been able to track down, so we drive down and hand them over to the ranger,” she said.

“It is unfortunate, but some dog owners just don’t have good enough fencing, so the dogs are escaping.

“We just don’t want to see Halls Gap turn into a dog free zone, like it is with cats.

“It wouldn't be good for the township and for businesses like ours.”

President of the Halls Gap Residents and Ratepayers Association Paul Turner said dogs had been seen chasing kangaroos. 

“It is dangerous when dogs are off their leads,” he said. 

“They are chasing kangaroos and this can easily result in them jumping out onto the road causing serious accidents.

“People cannot relax the fact that you must keep dogs on a leash, especially in a national park where we have protected flora and fauna.”