I am one of the many people in Scarborough who voted in favor of a town-wide leash law even though I did not in any way support the last-minute effort that brought it about.
For me this issue is not about plovers. It’s about the inconsiderate, oblivious dog owners who make my experiences on the beach and other public lands, with and without my leashed dog, unenjoyable.
The previous law, which allowed dogs to be under voice control, was unenforceable. I’ve only ever seen one dog on the beach effectively under voice control.
This is about quality of life in Scarborough. In following this issue last year I was amazed to learn how many out-of-towners drive long distances to allow their dogs to run free on our beaches and add to our problem.
Although those in favor of unleashed dogs on the beach are a powerful lobby, they are not respectful of other beach-goers: the elderly who fear being knocked over; those afraid of dogs; those who do not appreciate a dog urinating on their towel or defecating in the dune grass, and those who are vulnerable because their leashed dog is being approached by unleashed dogs and the owners are many yards away.
We need a leash law on all public lands in town and dog parks for those who want their dogs to run off leash. With education and enforcement it is possible to legislate responsible behavior by dog owners.
Susan DeWitt Wilder