Leash Law Being Limited To Canines

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Payson residents can forget about having to restrain their pot-bellied pigs and iguanas, but if a new leash law is adopted Thursday, they will have to leash their pitbulls and poodles in public.

The Town Council will hold a second reading and public hearing to amend a section of the Town Code pertaining to dogs at large.

The amended ordinance was rewritten to specify that dogs only, not animals in general, must be on leashes within the corporate limits of the town.

The proposed leash law includes dogs on public streets, highways, public places or on private property other than property belonging to the owner.

It excludes service dogs attending to the disabled and dogs on exhibition at an AKC show, or a park-sponsored- or public school-sponsored event.

The new ordinance also states that it is unlawful for an owner to allow a dog to "soil, defile, or defecate on the grounds of any public street, highway, or public place" or upon private property other than that owned by the dog's owner. The dog's owner will be responsible for removing any feces left by the offending canine.

The amended ordinance had a first reading and public hearing Dec. 10. At the time, Police Chief Gordon Gartner told the council that the present ordinance was not sufficient, that it was simply a subjective control measure.

The ordinance specified only that dogs be under the control of their owners except on school grounds and at public parks, where they were to be on leashes.

Councilmembers Ken Murphy and Jack Monschein asked that the amendment to the ordinance be rewritten to apply to dogs only.

Monschein said he objected to police officers having to spend their time away from criminal cases and traffic control in order to enforce the new leash law.

Gartner said that calls pertaining to dogs at large would be handled as the lowest priority unless the dog was reported to be a danger.

The Town Council meets at 6 p.m. in the Town Hall Chambers at 303 N. Beeline Highway.

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