Bella, the Ranger Dog, is the City of Newcastle’s newest recruit and is helping to educate the community about pet ownership and the responsibilities that come with it.

Bella the Ranger Dog with Allan Hong, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen

Two-year-old golden retriever Bella has been joining the Rangers for patrols along Bathers Way, as well as the off-leash dog park at Acacia Avenue Reserve, North Lambton.

Senior Ranger Lauren Whitmore said for the last six months they had been trialling Bella on foot patrols around parks, and footpaths like Bathers Way.

“It has been very well received within the community and a considerable amount of positive feedback has been given by members of the public,” Whitmore said.

“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 was a guide that helped to improve and manage off-leash dog areas for the next 10 years.

“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.”

Bella the ranger dog

Newcastle has one of the highest rates of dog ownership in the state, with more than 44,300 registered canines in the local government area.

Whitmore said they were looking at making Bella an official Ranger later this month.

Information Source: Media Release, Jan 27, City of Newcastle

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