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Washington County Commissioners to seek public input on 'leash law'

May 08, 2012|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com

The Washington County Board of Commissioners agreed Tuesday to seek public input on the idea of instituting a “leash law” for dogs.

The five commissioners agreed to schedule a public hearing on several proposed changes to the county’s animal-control ordinance, including the addition of a requirement that dogs be leashed when off of their owner’s property, except under certain circumstances.

A date for that hearing has not been set, but the commissioners requested that it be scheduled in the evening to make it easier for more people to attend.

Assistant County Attorney Kirk C. Downey reiterated Tuesday that the proposal for a leash law had not been discussed or requested by the commissioners, but was being included in the draft so the commissioners could hear public input on the idea before deciding whether to include it.

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Currently, the animal-control ordinance requires dogs off the owner’s premises to be under the control of the owner or another responsible person capable of physically restraining them, but stops short of requiring leashes.

Paul Miller, executive director of the Humane Society of Washington County, and Ronald Leggett, president of the Washington County Farm Bureau, have advocated for a leash law.

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