Local News

Raleigh dog owners may soon be on short leash in city parks

Posted January 20, 2014

— A City Council committee is considering a proposal that would keep dogs out of portions of public parks in Raleigh.

After receiving complaints from people about dogs running off-leash in parks and about animal waste on athletic fields, Raleigh's Parks and Recreation Department began looking into limits on dogs in city parks last spring.

"Because of the extent of the restrictions being sought, we thought it was appropriate to go ahead and look at this more closely," City Councilman Wayne Maiorano said.

The proposal would bar pets from playgrounds and athletic areas like ball fields and tennis and basketball courts and would require dogs be on non-retractable leashes no more than 6 feet long.

"It's been an issue, honestly. I feel like (dog owners) should be able to clean up after themselves," said India Lockett, who supports the proposed restrictions. "At least have them clean up after the dogs."

Akia Rogers said she doesn't believe new regulations are needed.

"I don't think it's a good idea. I mean, like, why? Dogs are no problem here," Rogers said.

Under current city ordinances, allowing an unleashed dog within the city limits is a misdemeanor punishable by a $50 fine for a first offense and fines of $150 and $200 for subsequent offenses. The city's "pooper scooper" law carries the same penalties.

There is no timetable for when the City Council's Public Works Committee could make a recommendation to the full council.

Hough Price, who takes his dog, Killian, to Carolina Pines, one of three dog parks in Raleigh, a few times each week, said he hopes that city officials don't put dog owners on too short a leash in all other parks.

"I hope that we can keep bringing our dogs around," Price said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • AvalonMoon Jan 27, 2014

    I no longer take my dogs to the ''dog parks''. In Cary , my dog suffered a broken elbow after colliding with another dog. My pomeranian got kennel cough after going to millbrook dog park and the aggressive pit mixes have caused so many dog fights at both parks Im even afraid of being in a fence with them. I was at Oakwood the same week the pitbulls mauled the corgi also, that was the last week I will never take my dogs to another park like that. I prefer the outer sections of the baseball fields . outside the fences of course, to play frisbee with my unleashed dog.

  • Mon Account Jan 22, 2014

    I've been bit by 2 unleashed dogs, almost ran over 4 that bolted into the street, have had 2 friends lose their dogs because of cars ("I just let them out to go to the bathroom"), and have a friend who was laying in the yard with her dog when a train when by and spooked the dog, who ran to the house and jumped through a window to hide (spastic dog, really). Fortunately my friend is a vet and saved the dog's life.

    A simple leash, when used, prevents more problems than any inconvenience it causes.

  • dwntwnboy2 Jan 22, 2014

    "If "ALL" people should be able to enjoy the park as you say, why should I have to have my dog on a short leash"- dogs aren't people. YOU can still enjoy your dog, no one is stopping you, you just can't do it off the leash. Much like speed limits- you CAN enjoy your sportscar, just not past a certain speed.

  • RUcraZy2 Jan 22, 2014

    We need more dog parks, not fewer! I've been begging Garner to add a dog section to one of our local parks for a long time now and for whatever reason, they simply won't do it. When White Deer Park was being built, there were lots of folks here that requested that they section off for a dog park. We even got some positive feedback at first and then it simply didn't happen. What a huge disappointment to the people of Garner.

  • cn38of50 Jan 22, 2014

    What we need are people in the parks and on the Greenways to enforce the rules! I walk and ride my bike there where it is common to dodge dog poo and have dogs lunge at me. My friend was recently bitten and the dog owners comment was "He has NEVER done that before".

    Leash them, clean up after them, AND muzzle them!

  • 5Rs Jan 22, 2014

    There are sufficient laws on the books, but that doesn't stop people and our enforcers from ignoring them. At Millbrook Exchange Park, there are regular abuses.

  • logitech Jan 21, 2014

    They also need to add a law about foxes, raccoons, and any other animal that leaves a present on the ground at the parks. Ill vote for the law that makes seagulls illegal at the beach too since I walk barefoot and have stepped in there reminants before.

  • spiritseeker Jan 21, 2014

    What good does it do if the owner has his/her dog on a leash and just walks away after dog defecates and doesn't pick it up as my now ex-neighbor routinely did.

  • nicolle Jan 21, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Seriously??? The reason why "grown adults [are] trotting behind an animal and picking up its waste in pretty little bags to take home and put in the trash can" is, besides all the obvious reasons, a safety hazard for other dogs. Some dogs like to eat the "treats" that other dogs leave behind (yes, gross, but a fact of life). They can get hookworm, etc. We have doggie stations in our neighborhood--the bags and the trash are right there, and people STILL leave dog waste right in front of them!

    "If my dogs couldn't run loose on my property I wouldn't have dogs..." -- This statement is a bit disturbing. What would happen if you had to move from your house for some reason and had to live somewhere without a fenced yard? Would you get rid of your dogs because you don't want to look "dumb" being a responsible?

  • pedsrndad Jan 21, 2014

    This problem is again not all pet owners but the irresponsible ones. I enjoy seeing animals in the park but then I see a pile beside the path or by the water, disgusting. I'll bet that pet owner said to themselves, "it is only one" and walked away not thinking their "one" and all the other "ones" add up.