Opponents of a proposed leash regulation in North Yarmouth say that it unfairly “punishes” accountable canine house owners by stopping them from letting their canine run free in native parks the place it’s secure to take action.
Baston, Outdated City Home and Chandler Brook parks have giant fields away from roads or automobiles, making them preferrred spots for canine train, the opponents say.
“This could be a disgrace if this handed; these are necessary locations to let canine be canine,” North Yarmouth canine coach Liz Langham with Tree Frog Farm Canine Coaching instructed The Forecaster.
The leash regulation, which might apply to all parks on the town, will likely be voted on on the annual city assembly April 24. It was crafted by the city’s Parks and Recreation Division and animal management officer after the city acquired numerous complaints and realized of incidents the place canine had been uncontrolled and scaring or bothering different park goers, in line with City Supervisor Rosemary Roy.
In line with a draft of the regulation, the house owners of canine discovered repeatedly off-leash could also be barred from North Yarmouth parks. Fines of between $50 and $250 can be levied for the primary violation, and not less than $100 to $500 for every subsequent offense.
Langham stated she’s been bringing her canine to run on the parks for upwards of 18 years.
“These are locations I take each my canine and my shoppers’ canine,” she stated.
Whereas she helps house owners utilizing leashes, to make it necessary is “excessive” and takes away the “magic” of the parks, she stated. Accountable canine house owners can management canine off-leash, and in a “excessive distraction” atmosphere it is a crucial psychological train for his or her pets, she stated.
New Gloucester resident Bert Troughton, a senior vp for the nonprofit American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, stated she has been taking her canine Leroy to Chandler Brook Protect for years, but when the leash regulation passes she doesn’t see going there anymore.
“I don’t have the house to let Leroy get his power out, and if he was leashed I couldn’t sustain with him or give him the train he wants,” Troughton stated.
Chandler Brook is effective to canine house owners within the space as a result of locations like New Gloucester wouldn’t have wide-open parks, and different parks comprising trails may cause issues between canine.
“It’s canine heaven right here,” Troughton stated of Chandler Brook. “Canine don’t want battle and if they’ve issues will keep away from the opposite canine on this giant area. Trails actually put them in shut quarters.”
Choose Board Chairperson Steve Berry stated the proposed leash measure got here after complaints from residents about canine leaping on folks and barking. He couldn’t quantify the variety of complaints. The animal management officer might be reached for remark.
“There haven’t been fights between canine or moments of escalated hazard to my data,” Barry instructed The Forecaster.
The city’s parks are getting used extra this 12 months, he stated, together with by “of us that haven’t all the time accessed our parks.”
“Not everyone seems to be snug with canine and for a lot of, it’s unsafe to have canine leaping at them,” Barry stated.
Troughton stated some canine behave poorly on leashes and parks like Chandler Brook are good observe for them.
“Leroy is so good off his leash however was type of obnoxious when leashed up. I taught him the way to be on a leash right here, the way to work together between being unleashed and leashed,” she stated.
North Yarmouth resident Audrey Lonnes stated at a public listening to in February that the proposed regulation unfairly “punishes good canine house owners.”
“There are fantastic individuals who can management their canine, however we have now the other as effectively,” Roy stated. “We now have too many canine coming in with industrial companies that we’ve needed to ask to not come again. We’ve had people and their canine are operating up and leaping on folks.”
Troughton and Langham, together with advocates who spoke on the public listening to, requested the Choose Board to think about setting off-leash hours or not less than not be strict in imposing the leash regulation.
“Royal River Park (in Yarmouth) does on- and off-leash hours, however by no means can they be off-leash on the paved pathway. I believe that system works rather well. I like to carry my consumer’s canine there,” Langham stated.
Barry stated the committee “mentioned these concepts,” however is transferring ahead with having residents weigh in on a whole ban.
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