Ask for portions of parks, beaches to be set aside where canines can be unleashed and exercised

Dog lovers in Chennai have had a long-pending demand for an open space where they can allow their pets to exercise. Though there is no official order on this, Chennai Corporation parks have not allowed people to walk in with their pets because of the inconvenience it might cause to others.

Such facilities are available in Western countries and even in cities like Bangalore, where pet owners can access portions of massive parks within the city limits. Several dog lovers in Chennai say that though they understand the paucity of space within city limits, they hope at least one such facility could be opened up.

A community of dog lovers, ‘Dog Lovers Chennai,’ who operate through a closed Facebook group, say this has been a long-pending demand and they are willing to pitch in for any help such as setting up barricades should the Corporation be willing to offer an open space within a park or even an earmarked space on the beach.

Pet lover and actor Mohan Raman says he takes his Golden Retriever Bailey for a walk through the Poes Garden stretch in the evenings, holding him on a leash. “I would love to set him free and see him play around and get some exercise,” he says. “Unfortunately there is not a single park in the city where I can do that.”

Arunodhaya Reddy, who runs the Pet 101 Hotel for dogs off East Coast Road, says there are enough pet lovers in the city who would gladly lend any support for a project such as a dog park. “It is a fair demand for a place for pets within the city,” says Mr. Reddy, who has a golden retriever called Harley.

“However, sometimes pet owners must also do their bit when it comes to parenting. Some park users treat pet dogs as a nuisance because the dogs are not groomed properly.”

Javeen Mehta, a businessman in Vepery who has a Labrador retriever, Rambo (seen in pic), says that sometimes it is tough to take the dog out even for the only exercise he gets.

“The roads are cramped, there isn’t any space and stray dogs chase him.”

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