HORSHAM Rural City Council's decision to continue a ban on dogs in Horsham's Botanic Gardens has been met with mixed reviews from owners.
At its meeting on Monday night, a majority of councillors voted to maintain the current 'no dog' policy.
It followed a survey completed in February by 419 residents, with 50.48 percent saying dogs should not be allowed in the gardens, and 46.64 per cent saying they should be.
Hear what some owners had to say while out with their dogs tonight
In moving the motion on Monday night, Councillor Pam Clarke said it was a "difficult decision".
"The botanic gardens are a historical gardens, and we need to protect them. We have many off-leash areas now in Horsham and they are widely used.
"It's not the responsible owners that are a problem, it's irresponsible ones that ruin it for the rest of us and don't pick up after their dogs. I walk along the river and alot of the time you have to look down and watch where you put your feet."
Councillor Les Power spoke against the motion. Cr Power, a member of the council's Domestic Animal Management Advisory Group that put forward the proposal, said it was disappointing.
"I agree the gardens are a beautiful place to be. I have a dog and would like to stroll through the gardens, but at the moment I have to tie the dog up at the entrance with the risk someone will take it home with them," he said.
"Lots of visitors that come to towns in caravans, and they like to go to botanic gardens when they do, but when they come ot Horsham there is a dirty great big sign that says 'No Dogs'.
"There must be a way around this. The community vote was very close... even if there were a couple of hours a day you could go in there that would be better than no dogs at all."