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Tag: concerns

Councilman to hear dog owners’ concerns

City Councilman Ed Reisinger has agreed to meet with concerned dog owners Thursday evening at Riverside Park to discuss the city’s ten-fold increase on fines for off-leash dogs and failing to pick up waste.

The law officially went into effect in February, though only this month has the city started handing out the $1,000 citations, most of them during sneak raids at city parks.

While the legislation went through all the proper channels, the city did little to notify dog owners of the increased cost of the violations before launching a series of sweeps in parks this spring. Animal control officers issue the tickets, while police stand by.

The meeting is both open, and open-air. It’s scheduled for Thursday, April 16, at 7 p.m. in the Riverside Park pavilion.

In addition to concerns that the penalties are exorbitant, some dog owners feel well-behaved dogs under voice control should be given a chance to run off leash — either in particular parts of the park, or at certain hours of the day.

Reisinger has graciously agreed to hear those concerns, and explain the rationale behind the increased penalties.

Baltimore has only one dog park, in Canton, which was built with donations and private funds. It’s the only place in the city, other than your own property, where your dog can legally be off leash.

The city plans to open its first city-funded dog park at Latrobe Park in Locust Point later this year, and Mayor Dixon has promised more, but a recent round of budget cutbacks may put their future in doubt.