Leash law returns to Cumberland council with more restrictions

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CUMBERLAND — A proposed town code amendment requiring dogs to be leashed on public lands returns to the Town Council Monday, June 2, with some added restrictions.

The amendment – discussed by the council April 28 before being sent to Ordinance Committee for further consideration – would restrict people who have dogs on public land to no more than two of them under voice control; any more would have to be kept on leashes.

Town-owned lands include the Twin Brook Recreation Area, the Town and Rines forests, and the Val Halla Golf Course and Recreation Center.

But the new language that goes from the Ordinance Committee to the full council for the first time next week tightens that restriction.

Voice command for up to two dogs would be allowed from 6-9 a.m. and 7 p.m. to closing, while all dogs would have to be on leashes no more than 15 feet long from 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

No more than two dogs could be under the control of a single owner at a time while on public property, according to the proposed language.

Shane said many residents have called town councilors on the subject, “sharing numerous encounters with dogs at the parks and demanding some action so everyone can enjoy the parks again.”

“As surrounding area towns have become more restrictive toward dogs in their own parks, we have had an increase in complaints at our own parks,” he said.

The manager told the council last month that the town has had “requests from the public to do something about the packs of dogs that are showing up on public land,” adding that the town does not have regulations in place, only Town Council policies that are not enforced by any type of summons or fine structure.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.