The town of Kittery, Maine, has scheduled a special meeting on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, for public input on proposed restrictions on dogs at public beaches.
The current dog ordinance, referred to as Title 6, prohibits dogs off leash and running at large while off the owner’s premises, unless, “under the control of a person whose personal presence and attention would control the conduct of the dog”. However, over the past six months, concerns have been raised about irresponsible owners not picking up after their dogs and creating a nuisance for beachgoers. The current ordinance allows for fines up to $500 for ordinance violations, including for, “failure to remove and properly dispose of waste on any improved portion of public ways or sidewalks”.
According to a Seacoast Online article published August 25, 2020, if the Title 6 ordinance changes are approved, they would restrict access to three beaches in town during specific months and at certain times.
- The American Kennel Club (AKC) works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. In addition to supporting “curbing” and clean-up ordinances, we encourage owners to provide proper care, training and socialization to ensure that their pets remain happy members of their family, respectable members of the community and well-mannered canine good citizens.
- It is important for communities to explore strategies for dogs to be off leash exercising in open spaces while also considering the wider community’s open space needs. Dedicated off leash areas may be appropriate.
- Visitors should supply their own bags associated with dog waste in the event there are none available onsite and take dog waste with them if designated trash receptacles are not available for normal use.
What You Can Do:
Those impacted by the proposed changes are encouraged to provide input during the public hearing scheduled for 5PM on September 9th at the Kittery Community Center – Star Theatre, 120 Rogers Road, Kittery, ME 03904.
AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) continues to track and address dog-related government activities and will provide additional information as developments warrant. Click here to view the latest federal and state legislative calendar updates. For more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org.