Playtime doggy woes

Dogs are said to be the cause of all the damages at the Rochester Road Park in Salt River.

Dogs have taken a bite out of playtime at a Salt River recreational park, resulting in a few angry locals calling for help.
The Rochester Road Park is neatly tucked away between Salt River houses and has been a popular recreational space for children over the years. Recently, however, , people started bringing their dogs there and some concerned parents are arguing that the facility is not a suitable space for dogs, that the equipment is being damaged and the grounds are not big enough to accommodate the animals.

Salt River resident, Aaliyah Stevens, has noticed more teenagers bringing their dogs to the park daily, and using the equipment to “show off their dogs powers”.

“Some of the dogs coming into the park are quite mean-looking and they look as if they want to inflict damage, but a dog will not if it’s not instructed to do so. There are kids playing in the park and are exposed to these dangers,” Ms Stevens, adding that she once spotted a young pit bull aggressively chewing away at one of the tyre swings.
“What if something goes wrong and the dog decides to turn on the kids?” she said.

Another concerned resident, who only wanted to be known as Robert, said the park had been neglected for years and he believed its poor condition encouraged further vandalism.

“I have three children and all of them just love the idea of being free and the park is the best space to do so. They unfortunately have to walk to Shelley Street to go and play there. Even though it’s still not in the best shape, it’s the best option for them,” he said.

A few weeks ago, Robert witnessed what he said was a pit bull fight being encouraged by the dogs’ teenage owners, and youngsters baying for blood.

“I walked into the park and I addressed the children first, because they need to be guided in situations like that. These idiots (teenagers with dogs) just loved being in the limelight and these children were making them feel like superstars. There was dog faeces everywhere and there were signs of the dogs being used to tear up things all over the place,” he explained.
“I made them pick up everything. We as residents must make it known that we are not happy.”

Another distressed resident, Shaheem Adams, bemoaned the fact that parks in more affluent areas were in good condition, and when he had questioned the City about improving the state of the park in Salt River, he was given the “standard response” that there wasn’t budget to do so.

They built Green Point Urban Park, skipped the likes of Bo Kaap, Woodstock and Salt River, jumped to the more affluent areas to give those kids the best equipment Our kids don’t appreciate the stuff that is there, simply because it already looks like crap.”

The Tatler contacted ward councillor, Paddy Attwell for his response to the matter, but the time this edition went to print, he had not yet responded.

Salt River resident, Aaliyah Stevens, has noticed more teenagers bringing their dogs’ to the park daily, and using the equipment to “show off their dogs powers”.

“Some of the dogs coming into the park are quite mean-looking and they look as if they want to inflict damage, but a dog will not if it’s not instructed to do so. There are kids playing in the park and are exposed to these dangers,” Ms Stevens said, adding that she once spotted a young pit bull aggressively chewing away at one of the tyre swings.

“What if something goes wrong and the dog decides to turn on the kids?” she said.

Another concerned resident, who only wanted to be known as Robert, said the park had been neglected for years and he believed its poor condition encouraged further vandalism.

“I have three children and all of them just love the idea of being free and the park is the best space to do so. They unfortunately have to walk to Shelley Street to go and play there. Even though it’s still not in the best shape, it’s the best option for them,” he said.

A few weeks ago, Robert witnessed what he said was a pit bull fight being encouraged by the dogs’ teenage owners, and youngsters baying for blood.

“I walked into the park and I addressed the children first, because they need to be guided in situations like that. These idiots (teenagers with dogs) just loved being in the limelight and these children were making them feel like superstars. There was dog faeces everywhere and there were signs of the dogs being used to tear up things all over the place,” he said.

“I made them pick up everything. We as residents must make it known that we are not happy.”

Another distressed resident, Shaheem Adams, bemoaned the fact that parks in more affluent areas were in good condition, and when he had questioned the City about improving the state of the park in Salt River, he was given the “standard response” that there wasn’t budget to do so.

“They built Green Point Urban Park, skipped the likes of Bo-Kaap, Woodstock and Salt River, jumped to the more affluent areas to give those kids the best equipment. Our kids don’t appreciate the stuff that is there, simply because it already looks like crap.”

Ward councillor Paddy Chapple called on locals to identify the culprits and alert the authorities.

“Members of the Salt River community must identify the alleged culprits as the dogs seem quite distinctive and that the complainant provides an affidavit so that the City can criminally charge the alleged vandals for the damage to the park equipment.”