Dogs and cats have a friend in Manningham
by SUSAN FOREMAN
6th March 2023
FRIENDS OF Manningham Dogs and Cats (FOMDAC) held their Dog Activity Centre (DAC) Open Day on Sunday, February 26.
The event, at the centre located at Aranga Reserve, Donvale, marked the 10th Anniversary of the facility.
FOMDAC Secretary Andrew McFarland gave the Diary a potted history of the establishment of the DAC.
For 14 years, FOMDAC worked towards establishing the DAC and gaining a building for our club rooms.
Over the 14 years, many potential sites were visited, but none were found to be suitable for various reasons.
We were fortunate to have a supportive CEO, Lydia Wilson, at Manningham Council, who helped in the process and Councillors who, in 2009, were prepared to put a DAC in the budget.
After yet another possible site was abandoned, Director Teresa Dominik suggested Aranga Reserve.
While it wasn’t as spacious as FOMDAC had hoped, it did have the added advantage of an adjacent disused kindergarten building that could be easily converted to club rooms.
Community consultation followed, and Council resolved to proceed with establishing the DAC and leasing the building, which needed minor conversion, to FOMDAC.
In six months, the Aranga Reserve was fenced, and dog exercise equipment was installed, along with drinking fountains and seats.
The DAC was established, and FOMDAC was granted the lease of the building in 2012.
At this time, having a dedicated and secure, fully fenced off-leash dog park was innovative.
It was an instant success, attracting dogs and their owners from Manningham and beyond.
FOMDAC’s rooms are also much appreciated by the community.
As possibly the only Manningham council building allowing access to dogs, it has been a great success, being used by trainers, dog clubs, and community organisations such as Ambulance Victoria.
In 2020, Council renovated our rooms to a very high standard: lino was laid throughout, a dog bath was installed, and the walls of the small room were removed, making the space much more user-friendly.
FOMDAC appreciates this wonderful facility and thanks the past committee members for their advocacy and for never giving up on our dream.
Long may we continue to service the dog and cat communities and be their advocate.
Heralded as a tail-wagging success, with over 50 people and 35 dogs, including Rough Collie Minka who has famously appeared on Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries, FOMDAC thanked all those that attended the day:
“Thank you to all our furry and non-furry friends for making our Open Day such a great success.
“Great to see so many supporters and lovely doggies.
“A special thank-you to our Mayor, Cr Deirdre Diamante, and Keith Wolahan MP for your generous support and kind words (bring that doggie next time, Keith).
“Also, a big thanks to Manningham Councillors Anna Chen, Stephen Mayne and Tomas Lightbody, Kevin Foster from Vets on Parker, Templestowe, Brigitte Hunt of Darling Doggies, and our great supporter Angela Heidy-Tennyson of K9 Nose Fun.
“Also, thanks to the Deputy Mayor of Whitehorse Council, Prue Cutts, for your support.”
Preparing for 24/7 Cat Curfew
On March 27, the centre will host an information session about Manningham’s trial 24/7 Cat Curfew, which is due to come into effect in July.
Secretary Andrew McFarland spoke to the Diary about the group’s upcoming event.
He said during the session, Manningham Council Officers would provide background, purpose, and implementation of the new regulations, take questions and hear concerns about the forthcoming trial.
“The Council are going to be moving softly in the introduction of the curfew; they want to give people the opportunity to set up cat runs and get their cats used to the curfew,” he said.
He said that as a not-for-profit organisation, FOMDAC wants to promote responsible pet ownership, so hosting this information session is a great way to let people have a conversation with Council about how the curfew would impact their family and their cats.
The information session will be held on March 27 at the FOMDAC clubrooms 53-55 Aranga Crescent, Donvale, and entry is free.
Attendees are invited to bring along a cat or dog toy to be donated to Blue Cross Animals Society.