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Possible town ‘leash law’ to be discussed

by Tom Chillemi

Dogs, leash laws and the “responsibilities” of pet owners headline the agenda of the Urbanna Town Council meeting set for 7 p.m. on Monday, October 19.

At their September work session, council members seemed ready to stop dogs from running free in Urbanna. A leash law was discussed, but no change in the ordinance has been proposed.

However, council now wants to hear what town residents have to say about roaming dogs.

Diane Gravatt of “Lansdowne” on Virginia Street has written two letters to town council explaining how she has been harassed by dogs that came onto her property. She said a dog recently chased her cat, which ran off her property to escape.

Gravatt’s letter asks council to enact a “Leash Law” and “specify the responsibility” of the dog owner.

“It is imperative that the Urbanna Town Council protect the citizens and the visitors to our town from careless and reckless ownership of dogs,” Gravatt wrote in her October 5 letter to council.

Chip and Mary Buxton of Kent Street also wrote to council indicating that if a leash law is enacted, it should not prevent letting dogs swim or run when the owner is present.

Gravatt’s letter notes that owners need to have “control” of their dogs even when they are not on a leash.

Council member Bill Thrift said the fenced area behind the Urbanna firehouse is used as a dog park to let dogs run. However, this area will be closed for the Oyster Festival but will later reopen.

posted 10.14.2009

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