Raleigh dog owners may soon be on short leash in city parks
Posted January 20, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.