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Laurel Park eyes leash law, for dogs AND cats

LAUREL PARK — The Laurel Park Town Council will take up a leash law after postponing action at its Jan. 19 meeting.

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“We had a couple incidents where people had some complaints and we just needed to address them,” Mayor Carey O’Cain said. “Someone brought up that we ought to consider what to do with unleashed cats as well. We tabled it for a month because we weren’t sure exactly what the concern was. Dogs definitely need to be addressed. The question was do we need to address an issue about cats.”
The proposed leash ordinance would require that owners keep dogs to be on leashes whenever they leave their property, Town Manager Alison Melnikova said. Currently in Laurel Park dogs have to be under voice command.
“We are trying to be proactive,” Melnikova said.
After a short discussion, the ordinance was tabled until next month’s meeting.
There have been “annoying incidents where a dog without a leash would go into someone’s yard and start a fight with another dog,” O’Cain said in last month’s meeting.
Laurel Park Police Chief Bobbie Trotter said there have been a few complaints about roaming dogs in the area. Trotter said she knows where most dogs’ homes are located so she often returns them to their respective residences. If she doesn’t know where the dog lives, she has no choice but to take the dog to the shelter. She said she gets more complaints about barking dogs than anything else.
By having dogs on leashes whenever they leave their homes, Trotter said Laurel Park residents will be required to be accountable for their animals.
“I think animals need to be on leashes,” she said.
In an active community with walkers, joggers and bicyclists, dogs running free can make people uncomfortable.
“It makes some people worry,” she said.