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More leash law citations issued in Baltimore

Three times in 10 days, Baltimore city animal control officers and police have descended on the park at Mount Vernon Square to cite dog owners whose dogs were off their leashes.

According to a Baltimore Sun report, the crackdown was prompted by complaints from area residents who say some dog owners allow their pets to run wild and destroy flower beds.

Failing to have a dog on a leash results in a $100 fine for a first offense and up to a $1,000 fine for repeat offenders. Bob Anderson, director of the Animal Control Office, said those fines could soon increase. Officers have also been citing dog owners who do not pick up their dogs’ waste.

With spring on the way, and the city in financial straits, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a lot more of these  — even more than the advent of warmer weather traditionally brings. Most likely, there will be one coming soon to a park near you.

Watch for a lone and dogless undercover officer acting like he’s enjoying a day in the park. If he sees you, he’ll escort you to animal control officers hiding nearby. There you’ll receive your ticket, while police stand by to make sure you don’t abscond. At least that’s how it works at the park I frequent.

Meanwhile, I suggest we all be good dog owner-citizens, keep our dogs on leashes (at least when the authorities are around), scoop our poop, and make sure our dogs don’t tiptoe through, or pee on, the tulips.


Comment from Anne-n-Spencer
Time March 20, 2009 at 7:05 pm

For some reason I find the idea of all these dogless people skulking around in the parks–well, I find it a little daunting. I’ve lived in Baltimore for a long time, and I find Mount Vernon Square to be one of those well-manicured, civilized sorts of parks. I’m going to have to look carefully next time I drive past, because I can’t think of any shrubbery where the Animal Control officers could hide. Maybe the city issues them a supply of leafy artificial boughs in which to take cover…

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