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Tag: leash laws

Leash law hearing is tomorrow

Reminder: A Baltimore City Council committee takes up the subject of leash laws at a 9 a.m. meeting in City Hall tomorrow (Tuesday).

The hearing, before the council’s Judiciary & Legislative Investigations Committee, was originally scheduled for April 28, but was postponed after a water main break forced City Hall to be emptied.

The council is reconsidering the $1,000 fine it approved for unleashed dogs earlier this year, leading to an outcry by some dog owners who say it’s excessive, especially in a city with only one small dog park. (A second, and the first the city has helped fund, is expected to open by fall.) Also to be presented at the hearing, before the council’s Judiciary & Legislative Investigations Committee, is an amendment to allow the city’s director of Recreation and Parks to enact off-leash hours at city parks. The meeting is in the City Council Chambers on the 4th floor of City Hall. (A picture ID required for admission to City Hall.)

As of this weekend, an online petition calling for a reduction of the fine had more than 1,500 signatures.

Water main break postpones leash hearing

This morning’s Baltimore City Council hearing on leash laws was postponed after a water main break forced City Hall to be emptied. It has been rescheduled for May 12 at 9 a.m.

After an outcry by dog owners, the council is reconsidering the $1,000 fine it approved for unleashed dogs. Also to be presented at the hearing of the council’s Judiciary & Legislative Investigations Committee was an amendment to allow the city’s director of Recreation and Parks to enact off-leash hours at city parks.

When dogs rule the world

   Memorandum

From: Department of Human Control

April 1, 2116

In light of numerous complaints, Rex, director of the city office of Human Control, is reminding canine citizens of local regulations regarding the care and treatment of humans.

1. All humans must be registered and, when in public, must wear the official city tag and be up to date on their shots. While we do not require humans be leashed, owners are expected to be in reasonable control of their humans at all times.

2. Please be sure your humans use the public restroom facilities designated for them, and that they are using them appropriately – especially males of the species. Missing the urinal spreads germs, and is punishable by a 10-biscuit fine. While some members of the council have proposed a 1,000-biscuit fine, we consider that amount exorbitant.

3. Peoplefighting is a felony, whether it is spontaneous or organized, as in the case of what, during the era in which humans ruled the world, was formerly known as war.

4. Constant yelling is not pleasant for anyone, including your neighbors. If your human is unnecessarily loud, please take appropriate steps to modify the behavior. For instance, if your human’s loud behavior is triggered by sporting events, or alcoholic beverage, remove them from his or her environment.

5. While we don’t feel it necessary, as some have contended, to establish segregated areas in our parks for humans, we do ask that you practice common sense and courtesy. Some humans are unexplainedly aggressive. Not everyone likes humans. And some young dogs are frightened by them. Remember, the park belongs to everyone.

6. While humans may in fact be walking two-legged germ factories, they are allowed to enter bars, restaurants and any business establishment that permits them. Guide humans, therapy humans and assistance humans cannot be barred from any establishment or office.

7. As entertaining as they are, humans are not here for our entertainment. Publicly displaying humans, incorporating them into circus acts or holding them up to ridicule is not allowed, unless said human has chosen to be a celebrity. Humans cannot be forced to take part in human racing, or to pull sleds in sporting events of a length of more than 100 miles.

8. If, due to your negligence, your human ends up at the human pound, you will be required to pay a 25-biscuit fee to reclaim him or her and attend a mandatory human training program. Humans will be kept until claimed. In the event a human goes unclaimed, he or she will be put up for adoption.

9. All humans are created equal; discriminating against humans because of their size, shape, sex, age, color, religion, breeding, or how much they drool will not be tolerated.

10. Cruelty to humans is a serious offense, punishable by kennel time. Abusing, neglecting and euthanizing humans is prohibited.

(Inspiration: Hungarian Academy of Sciences study)

(Photo: Mosaic by Jill Beninato, Sitstaysmile.com)

(Photo: Cap from dogsrulegearstore.com)

Mass. town tries dog park experiment

There’s an experiment underway up in Newton, Mass — a compromise of sorts between those who would never allow dogs to be off leashes in a municipal park and those who think dogs need to, once in a while, run free.

Up to now, most cities dealing with the same conflicted interests, have tried only a couple of alternatives: One is passing laws that require dogs to be leashed, which many people don’t bother to obey, which leads to crackdowns and ill will. The other is creating fenced in dog parks, which costs money, not a whole lot of which is available these days.

Newton is trying something different. A nine-month dog park experiment at Cold Spring Park was launched last week, allocating one area of the park to off-leash dogs, and, while neighbors of the park objected even before it started, given a chance it just might work.

In a way, it’s a perfect solution. Dogs can run. People who dislike dogs can avoid the off-leash dog part of the park. And police and animal control officers can still cite dog owners whose off-leash dogs stray from the designated area.

Lee McIntyre, a dog owner who helped spearhead the experiment, told the Boston Globe the change will benefit everyone.

“We have had an underground illegal dog park here for years,” said McIntyre, who estimated nearly 200 people bring their dogs to Cold Spring. “… Now that there is an official place to bring dogs, a place with a set of rules, it should really keep them from being places they shouldn’t be.”

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Unleashed desires in the state of Maine

Residents of Ogunquit, Maine, voted this month to allow dog owners to let their pets off leash in public areas — as long as those residents can prove to animal control officials that said animals are under voice control.

The change in the dog law was the work of dog owner John Mixon (Go, John!), who gathered enough signatures on petitions to have a rewording in the town’s leash law — one that added the words “or under voice control” — put on the ballot. Voters passed it.

Then, a few days after the election, Mixon was nabbed and charged for having his dogs off their leashes.

Now, things have escalated to the point where Mixon has complained to the Maine Secretary of State that his civil rights have been violated, according to Seacoastonline.

It seems town officials are refusing to honor the change, and debating its wording, saying it — the change, not the leash law — is vague and unenforceable.

Mixon was issued a ticket by Ogunquit Police Department on Nov. 8 for walking his dogs without a leash, despite his claim that they were under voice control.

Town Manager Phil Clark said ensuring that a dog can always be under someone’s voice control is next to impossible. “There are no criteria of what to make the dog do,” he said. “The Animal Control Officer said there’s nothing he can take to certify that he can judge that. You just open yourself up to liability.”

(Photo: Lobster collar and leash from agathaandlouise.com)


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