Husky owners' plea for doggy playground after Costello site in west Hull condemned
THEY are known for being one of the most intelligent and beautiful breeds of dog in the world.
But, as any Siberian husky dog owner would confirm, despite their intelligence, it is not safe to let them off their leads.
The active, energetic and resilient breed have an independent intelligence with an instinct to run, run and keep running.
If they are set free in an open area, unlike other dogs, it is likely the husky would run off forever.
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The Huskies In Hull group, which was formed to bring husky dog owners together, is now appealing for a place they can let their dogs off their leads safely.
Mike Gibbs, group co-ordinator said: "You can't let them off their lead unless it is in a secure area.
"We need somewhere enclosed. An ideal place is a tennis court or something similar with a 6ft fence.
"The dogs need exercise, a walk with a lead is not good enough.
"They are not the type of dogs you can just sit on your lap and expect to be good.
"If you do not let them exercise, they get frustrated, they chew carpets and furniture and eat just about anything."
Up until recently, the group were meeting at the Costello playing fields in west Hull and using the tennis courts which are currently not in use.
However, they were moved off by staff who have told them the area had been condemned.
Hull City Council has told the group they may be able to use the site in future, but would have to pay for use.
Mr Gibbs said: "We do not see why the council can't provide some sort of doggy playground where we can let them off their leads safely, without charging us to do so.
"If they can't, we are ideally looking for someone who has enclosed land somewhere in Hull who wouldn't mind us bringing the dogs for a run-about.
"If anyone has any land we could use, that would be brilliant."
The group currently do have the option to pay £1 per dog to use grounds at the Oakwood Rescue Centre on Sutton Fields.
However, the grounds are woodchip so, in winter, it is mostly waterlogged and unusable.
Mr Gibbs said: "We don't mind paying £1 to the charity as we know it goes to a good cause.
"However, a lot of the time the ground is unavailable, plus it is used for coffee mornings and for other dog owners who may not want to see the huskies off their leads."
A spokeswoman for the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain said it is important owners are not tempted to let their huskies run free.
She said: "The club does not endorse or encourage anyone to let their Siberian huskies off lead.
"People all like to believe their dogs are different but, unfortunately, this is not true. Every Siberian is unreliable and just thinks it knows better.
"Your dog might decide to chase a furry thing such as a cat, rabbit or squirrel and get killed.
"They have no road sense and will just keep running despite traffic.
"It is not much hardship to keep the breed on the lead. In fact, I believe it to be more responsible."
Adam McArthur, assistant head of service for waste, cleansing, grounds and parks at Hull City Council, said the council was looking for a solution that suits everyone.
He said: "We have been working with the group for a number of months to look possible areas that will be suitable for them to exercise their dogs that have very specific needs.
"There is one possible area that would be appropriate but the group has not come back to us to move that forward to formalise an agreement."