Public Hearing Set for April 18 for Possible Leash Law

The Town Council is considering an amendment to the Town Code that would establish a “leash law” in Londonderry.

“To further provide public safety, there is the need to prohibit dogs from running at large, fouling and creating disturbing noise,” the proposed ordinance reads.

Based to the amendment, a dog will be deemed “at large” if the dog is in, on, or being walked upon a public street, park, parkway, cemetery, town forest, trail-way or other public place in town; or on a public street, sidewalk or right-of-way adjacent to a public place and is not secured by a leash or chain or within a carrier in the possession of a person of sufficient strength and age to effectively restrain the dog.

Curtis Boles of Hovey Road told the Council he would like to see the amendment include a restriction on dogs in town cemeteries.

Boles said he and his wife have seen dogs running loose at Pillsbury Cemetery multiple times and have observed dogs urinating on gravestones.

“It has been an ongoing problem. I don’t think we should have a leash law in the cemeteries. Dogs don’t need to be in there,” he said, noting plots are small and dogs on leashes cross into people’s space while visiting loved ones in the cemetery. “I would strongly encourage you to not allow dogs, other than service dogs. It’s not the place for them.”

Chairman John Farrell told Boles the Council is “willing to look very hard at the issue and entertain it in the public hearing.”

Boles recommended the Town consider installing at town cemeteries a sign similar to those at Derry cemeteries, which include an explicit restriction on dogs. The Council directed the Town Manager to look into what restrictions the Town of Derry places on use of town cemeteries.

Additionally, Councilor Tom Dolan said if the Town is considering a town-wide leash law, councilors may want to revisit discussions of establishing a dog park.

“We’re still in the process of looking for land to locate the dog park,” Town Manager Kevin Smith said.

The Town Council will hold the public hearing on the proposed amendment on April 18 at 7 p.m. in the Moose Hill Council Chambers at Town Hall.

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