Calls go out for dogs to be kept on leads in Hawick park

Hawick's Wilton Lodge Park.
Hawick's Wilton Lodge Park.

Hawick community councillors are urging residents to report out-of-control dogs to the police.

That call comes after Greg McLeod was asked to raise the issue of dogs being off their leads in the town’s Wilton Lodge Park by two separate people.

One had been walking her dog, on a lead, when two loose dogs approached and “had a go” at it. Another reported that a deer had been attacked by two dogs at the town’s playing fields.

“It needs to be addressed,” Mr McLeod said. “The park is still within the confines of the town.

“There used to be signs up saying dogs must be on leads.

“When my kids were small, I tried to keep them as close to me as possible because there were dogs running around.

“There are lots of dogs that run loose that wouldn’t say boo to a goose, but there are others that might.

“There are children running round that area, and if people have dogs running around that are not under control, what’s next?”

Town provost Watson McAteer said it could be very frightening. “This is something I’ve had personal experience of,” he said.

“My wife was terrified after a dog chased her recently.

“It doesn’t matter where it is. In our case, my wife was on her own in the country with this giant thing chasing her around. There was nowhere to turn.

“It’s a control thing. Every dog is different. If people are frightened, then the police should be informed.”

Chairman Ian Turnbull said: “It should be reported to the police every time. That’s the only way to stop them.”

The meeting heard that a historic by-law used to cover the town requiring all dogs to be on leads.

Jim Little asked whether those rules could be revived, but fellow members reported it was very difficult to get a bylaw passed these days.

French Wight added: “At the end of the day, even if you can get a by-law, who is going to police it?”