Petersburg considers leash law

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) – Petersburg is looking to tighten its law when it comes to pets in public places. Right now, pet owners are not required to have their dogs on a leash while on public property but that may soon change.

When one year old Diva is on her owner's property the pup runs free around the yard. When she's on public property her owner says a leash is a must.

"It's a good idea for everybody's safety -- it's a good idea," said Diva's owner Chris Morgan.

It's an idea that could be required. Tuesday night, city council will introduce a leash law at its meeting. Currently, city law states your animal should be under control at all times if it's on public property. The proposed change would require a dog to be on a leash when off the owner's property.

"A dog could see a squirrel or rabbit and take off. On a leash that would not be possible," said city spokeswoman, Joanne Williams.

The proposed change comes less than two weeks after two dogs got into a fenced area and killed four pet sheep. Mary Munyat witnessed the attack.

"I feel there are far too many dogs running loose in this city and I think it would be appropriate for them to enact such a law," said Munyat.

Munyat says she was floored to learn the city does not already have a leash law.

"I assumed it was already in place. I've lived here for 5 years and I wasn't aware that it wasn't," said Munyat.

There's another part to the proposal. It includes requirements for picking up waste behind your pet.

"When dogs are off their property and defecate their owners are responsible for cleaning up the manure right there in a sanitary manner," said Williams.

Pet owners we spoke with call the proposed changes long overdue. Tuesday night's City Council meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Union Train Station in Petersburg.

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