KNYSNA NEWS - The Leisure Isle Festival has a total of nine beneficiary charities, with a new initiative by one of them – Steenbok Nature Reserve on Leisure Isle – particularly evident.
The reserve has devised a system of coloured ribbon leashes and collars to identify traits in dogs to make life easier for dog owners walking their pets in the popular reserve.
Ribbons are divided into red (for aggressive), white (handicapped), green (friendly), blue (in training), yellow (nervous), or orange (for not dog-friendly). In this way, even if a dog does not fall into any of the categories, it allows for the detection of such traits in other dogs which pet owners may come across when out for a walk with their pooch.
The ribbons – visible from a distance – thus aim to help strangers identify a dog's personality before they are approached, making dog-walking more enjoyable for everyone.
The plan is to introduce the system to dog walkers in Steenbok Nature Reserve soon and it is hoped that the system will be applied further afield if it is successful.
A local dog owner (also known for her work with CAT Garden Route), Melissa Smith, is delighted with the initiative. "I think it's a brilliant idea and really a great step toward responsible dog ownership. Most of all, it will help to avoid the tragedy of injury or death when dogs fight, which still happens too often. I think it should be rolled out to all areas of Knysna and beyond."
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