DIXFIELD — Selectmen have asked the Planning Board to modify the 30-year-old dog control ordinance because dogs are roaming free in the fenced-in Greenwood Cemetery on Pine Street, urinating on stones and defecating on the property.

The ordinance would require owners to pick up their pets’ feces.

Board Chairwoman Norene Clarke and members Ricky Davis and Peter Holman favored the action; Norman Mitchell and Montel Kennedy were opposed. The vote taken at the April 27 meeting.

Road Commissioner Randy Glover reported the problem at the cemetery.

“Where it’s all fenced in, people are bringing their dogs in and just letting them run,” he said. “It’s more of a contained area for the dogs. I’d rather see them use the park.”

Glover said he was recently told by one of his employees that a person pulled in beside the cemetery and let their dog out.

“The dog ran over to the first stone he comes to, urinated all over the stone,” he said. “That’s people’s loved ones in there. People spend a lot of money on those stones. We just need to do something about it.”

“You’re right,” Clarke said. “That’s totally the wrong thing for people to do.”

“We’ve had a lot of dog feces left in the cemeteries,” Glover said. “We’ve got to do something to eliminate that.”

The board voted 4-1 to place “No Pets” signs in the cemetery.

Mitchell opposed the measure.

Clarke asked if the town has a scoop-it law or ordinance?

Town Manager Dustin Starbuck said it does not.

“I think it’s high time Dixfield had a scoop-it ordinance because there’s a lot of people who walk their dogs in town,” Clarke said. “I don’t think that by just saying don’t let them in the cemetery is going to keep them from making a mess.

“There’s supposed to be a leash law, and if they have them on a leash, they’ll know where they poop,” she said. “It seems to be that we need an ordinance that says they scoop wherever it is, and they keep the animal on the leash. You can’t control the cats, but you can control the dogs.”


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