The City of Newcastle’s (CoN) latest recruit loves nothing more than getting out and interacting with the community. In fact, you could say that the is definitely a people-canine!
Two-year-old Golden Retriever Bella will be made an official CoN Ranger after wowing all and sundry during her internship.
Senior Ranger Lauren Whitmore said that Bella had outdone herself during a six month trial aimed at engaging the community about responsible pet ownership.
“We have been trialling Ranger dog Bella on foot patrols along Bathers Way and City of Newcastle parks and reserves for the past six months,” Lauren said. “It has been very well received within the community and a considerable amount of positive feedback has been given by members of the public.
“During these patrols Rangers engage with dog owners to educate people about being responsible pet owners. When Bella’s with us during patrols we’ve found people are more willing to engage and have a conversation with the Ranger team.”
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the City’s Dogs in Open Space Plan will guide the provision, improvement and management of dog off-leash areas during the next 10 years and a large focus of the plan was community education and engagement.
“We know that dog owners want suitable spaces to exercise their dogs safely, and work is underway to progress the development of strategically located fenced dog parks such as our Acacia Avenue facility,” Cr Nelmes said.
“Another priority action of the Dogs in Open Space Plan is to provide community education and information on responsibilities for dogs in public places, which is why it’s so great to see our Rangers trialling new measures such as using Bella to enhance their interactions with the community.”
Lauren added that while it is expected that Bella’s new role would be made official in the coming weeks, HR is currently in the process of finalising her position description and figuring out just how many dog biscuits and chew toys Bella should be given as compensation for all her hard work.