ABBEY DONALDSON & REBECCA NASH
On Monday night, 150 outraged community members filled Cottesloe council chambers to save the North Cottesloe dog beach.
Maya Kavanagh spent last Saturday night collecting signatures to keep the dog beach open.
“The actual council meetings are held in quite a small room normally and, when we arrived, it was filled to the brim and people were spilling out the door, because you couldn’t physically get everybody in there,” Ms Kavanagh said.
“The council logically moved everybody in to the big hall.”
She had 48 hours to create public interest after seeing a Facebook post about the council plan to close the dog beach, and managed to compile 1404 signatures on a petition on the change.org website.
Maxine Kaempf who was walking her dog Tiger at North Cottesloe this morning said plenty of dogs and people used the beach.
“When you go for a walk along the beach, say on a Sunday, there’s so many dogs and people,” Mrs Kaempf said.
Claremont law student, Holly Eckersley says she loves Perth’s coastline, and that the beaches should be broadly utilised.
“I’m originally from down south so we’ve grown up with lots of dogs that are constantly living on the beach, so I think being able to live in the city and being able to have this … it makes my dog happy,” Ms Eckersley said.
In July this year, the regulation of dog laws went from the State Government to local government, meaning all local laws covering animal control had to be reviewed.
The plan to close North Cottesloe dog beach came up because of the law reviews.
Cottesloe councillor Robert Rowell is one man who supported the dog ban.
Cr Rowell said community members were frustrated with dog waste not being cleaned up.
“So these people complain about the fact that the dogs are arriving and first of all wee or poo on their front lawn or their verge,” he said.
“Then if they don’t do it there they do it down on the beach and a lot of people don’t clean up after their dogs.”
Ms Kavanagh said retaining a dog beach at North Cottesloe was worth fighting for.
“I’m a huge animal activist and this beach for me it’s not only a part of my life,” she said.
“It’s part of my family’s life.
“We all have memories of growing up here and to lose such an icon was just completely unfathomable,”