Seeing Willow race with her pals around the new Dinton Farm Dog Park, sniffing and exploring, tail wagging so quickly it’s just a blur, you’d never know she had such a rough start to life.
From the state she was in, Willow had clearly not known a lot of love before she was handed into the Lonsdale RSPCA. This is where Morphett Vale couple Laura Sommerville and Jason Russell — both volunteers at the shelter — fell in love with the American Bulldog X Staffordshire Terrier, now aged 17 months. They introduced Jason’s daughter Ella to Willow and when they hit it off, they made the plucky pooch an official member of the family by adopting her in December.
The Huntfield Heights dog park, which opened in May, is the third dog park the City of Onkaparinga has built since 2016. The others are Minkarra Dog Park in Flagstaff Hill and Symonds Reserve Dog Park in Aldinga Beach.
It adds to the approximately 800 reserves, 10 kilometres of foreshore areas and diverse parks on offer to residents for off-leash dog exercise.
The dog park is part of a wider upgrade to Dinton Farm Reserve, which includes a playground, picnic area, paths, seating and shelter.
High fences and double gates around the dog park ensure even the most sneaky escape artists remain safe and secure. There is a large grassed area for dogs to enjoy, plantings and logs to sniff, shady trees and even a doggy drink fountain.
The project was approved after consultation with the community, with responses overwhelmingly supportive of the dog park and the move to bring to life this underutilised space.
“Willow loves the dog park because she gets to burn so much energy and interact with other dogs,” Laura says.
“We chose Willow for her personality, she’s a very playful and social dog but also has her cheeky moments.
“She is such a beautiful dog and hasn’t had a great start to life but she has so much love to give.”The dog park is available for use during daylight hours, with a carpark and on street parking available for users.
Dinton Farm Dog Park and reserve is located on the corner of Melsetter Road and Main South Road, Huntfield Heights.