Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dunedin passed ordinance for unleashed dogs: $88 ticket

DUNEDIN — Dunedin dog-walkers, the city's got a new law: fetch a leash or pay up.

Any animal found in public without a leash could net its owner an $88 ticket, city commissioners voted Thursday. Leashes can be no longer than 16 feet. Exceptions are the Happy Tails Dog Park and guide pets used by the handicapped.

The unanimously passed ordinance breaks with Pinellas County code, which says dogs can still be under "physical control" if they respond to visual signals or voice commands. Nine residents at City Hall Thursday said that suited them just fine.

"We bought our house in Dunedin specifically because we like to take our dogs off the leash," said Eileen Cullen, whose dogs Jimi and Pup-Pup ran often in Hammock Park. "Most of the people that do let their dogs off the leash in the park, they are very responsible."

The ones who aren't, however, have led to years of complaints and dog scares in public parks. Deputies and parks staff were frustrated, commissioners said, that they had little legal power to police free-running dogs.

The new law does afford animal owners some running room. The once-proposed 6-foot length limit more than doubled to accommodate retractable leashes, and Mayor Dave Eggers asked if the city could ease the law even more with a warning system or cheaper fees.

"I don't want to be balancing the budget on fines," he said.

City Attorney John Hubbard, however, said the $88 was determined by the county court and that a three-strikes system would become an "administrative and law enforcement nightmare."

Some residents said the real headache for deputies would come from unnecessary patrolling.

"Are we really going to waste time and money for policemen to be out there when there's other things to be worrying about," asked Dunedin resident Lisa Rosenow.

"I think we have bigger and better problems to be worrying about than if people have a leash on their dog."

A 6-foot leash law once pitched to the city after a dog died from a fight was deemed unnecessary in 2007, said parks superintendent Art Finn.

Also included in the ordinance: animals aren't allowed on public playgrounds, owners need consent to take animals onto private property, and animal waste needs to be immediately removed.

Drew Harwell can be reached at dharwell@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4170.

Dunedin passed ordinance for unleashed dogs: $88 ticket 11/06/09 [Last modified: Friday, November 6, 2009 8:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Hernando County Sheriff's Office: Deputies shoot suicidal woman who brandished shotgun

    Crime

    BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Sheriff's deputies shot a woman they believed to be suicidal after she pointed a shotgun at them Sunday, according to a police report.

  2. Trump administration disbands federal advisory committee on climate change

    National

    WASHINGTON - The Trump administration has decided to disband the federal advisory panel for the National Climate Assessment, a group aimed at helping policymakers and private-sector officials incorporate the government's climate analysis into long-term planning.

    President Donald Trump. [Associated Press]
  3. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) with starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) after the top of the seventh inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  4. No touchdown, but fun lesson for Bucs' Adam Humphries

    Bucs

    It didn't end up being a touchdown, but one of the Bucs' biggest hustle plays in Thursday's win over Jacksonville saw receiver Adam Humphries scoop up a loose ball just before halftime, after what looked like an incompletion but was correctly ruled a Jameis Winston fumble.

    Bucs WR Adam Humphries runs to the end zone with QB Jameis Winston trailing -- his alert play wasn't a touchdown because teammates cannot advance a fumble in the final two minutes of a half.
  5. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week

    Bucs

    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]