Proposed law would require dog owners to pick up waste on public property

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JAY — Selectmen are expected to decide Monday if they want to put a proposed animal control ordinance before voters in June. The proposal would require dog owners to pick up animal waste or excrement from any sidewalk, street or town property.

It also puts restrictions on how long a dog is allowed to bark before it is considered to be violating the ordinance.

The proposed ordinance would control dogs and other domesticated and undomesticated animals within the town in the interest of health, safety and general welfare of its residents.

The adoption of the new ordinance would repeal the existing ordinance first adopted on March 17, 1986, and amended on June 18, 1986.

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A resident had previously requested selectmen ban animals from the Church Street Park where children play. However selectmen and police Chief Larry White Sr. said then, the current ordinance does not allow for that or enforcement of such a provision.

Under the proposed ordinance, selectmen would have the right to post town property as “No pets allowed” or to restrict pet access to certain times of day or certain periods of the year.

It would also be considered disturbing the peace for a dog to bark, yelp or howl continuously for 20 minutes or intermittently for one hour.

It would be violation of the ordinance to own, keep or harbor any dog that by habitual barking, yelping or howling creates a nuisance and disturbs the peace and quiet of any neighborhood or persons.

The ordinance also clarifies the section dealing with dangerous dogs.

It would be a violation of the ordinance to own, keep or harbor a dangerous dog.

A dangerous dog means a dog that bites an individual or a domesticated animal who is not trespassing on the dog owner’s or keeper’s property. Under the proposed ordinance a dog would be considered dangerous if the animal causes a reasonable and prudent person who is not on the dog owner’s or keeper’s property and is acting in a non-aggressive manner to fear imminent bodily injury. The ordinance would cover individuals or their domestic animals.

A minimum penalty for a violation of that section of the ordinance is $500 for the first offense, $750 for each subsequent offense.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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