Manchester aldermen to consider leashes, muzzles for dogs
Such dogs also would need to be enrolled in behavioural modification training.
“These (cases) are few and far between,” Ward 3 Alderman Pat Long said Friday. “It’s not a majority of irresponsible dog owners. However, those that aren’t responsible, unfortunately, we have to make them responsible.”
Police Lt. Maureen Tessier said the ordinance will assist the department’s animal control officers by “spelling out more specific responsibilities they can have in dealing with a vicious dog,” Tessier said.
The ordinance also calls for those designated dogs to be:
• Physically restrained on private property by fencing sufficient to keep the animal from jumping or climbing over it;
• Identified by microchip or tattooing with documentation to be submitted to the city;
• Banned from entering any public “off leash” dog park within the city
It also requires owners of such dogs to notify the City Clerk’s Office when the dog dies, moves or is given over to new owners.
As of Friday, the city had 10,771 licensed dogs, according to the City Clerk’s Office.
Shelley Greenglass, manager of the Manchester Animal Shelter, applauded the ordinance.
She said each incident should be handled on a case-by-case basis.
“It’s not all pit bulls. It can be any dog,” said Greenglass, who has discussed the proposal with an alderman. “You put it on the owner to be responsible.”
“I just wish people will be more responsible,” Greenglass said. “You can’t tell me a dog that just bit, the owners didn’t see something along the way to try to correct the problem or were putting the dog in a bad situation.”
Aldermen have been working on the issue for about a year.
“It’s been a long time in the making,” he said.