Use a Leash and Keep the Community Safe

Dog waiting for walk

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the nation have taken to the outdoors to safely get exercise by walking, hiking, picnicking, or taking part in leisure activities. This can be seen in Manchester as well, as more cooped-up residents have been using town trails and parks. However, humans aren’t the only ones getting some much-needed fresh air. Many residents have been bringing along their furry friends for walks on trails and playtime at the parks. While this is a great use of the public trails, there several town ordinances and state statutes that all Manchester dog owners should be aware of. Familiarizing yourself with these ordinances is crucial so that you, your dog, and the community stay safe, happy, and healthy. These laws are conveniently listed on the official Manchester, CT town website. One important law is State Statute 22-364(a) which states that “it is a violation for any dog to roam at large on any town property or the property of another.” A violation of this statute carries a $92 fine. This means that dogs must be on a leash at all times when walking on town property, which includes public trails and parks. Fortunately, right here in town is Manchester Barks and Rec Dog Park, a park which offers the option for dogs to be safely let off leash in the appropriate spaces.  

While many people feel that it is perfectly acceptable to keep their dog unleashed and that their pet is not a danger to others, the law mandates that dogs remain on leashes. In addition to being in accordance with the law, keeping your dog on a leash also ensures that the trail or park is an emotionally and physically safe space for people to walk in. Some residents have complained and posted publicly about frightening incidents involving unleashed dogs on public trails in Manchester. While you may know that your dog is not a danger, you never know how people nearby feel when they see an unleashed dog or the fear they may experience. Keeping your dog leashed also protects other dogs and young children, who often come into contact with pets on walking trails. 

There are many other benefits to keeping your dog on a leash while walking public trails. It can prevent the spread of disease by keeping the dogs restrained from sniffing the droppings of other animals. The risk of accidents and animal bites is also greatly reduced by keeping your dog safely on the trail. In fact, leashes are sometimes referred to as “Your Pet’s Lifeline” as it protects your dog from traffic, unrestrained animals, or unsafe terrain. Not to mention, it’s also a great relief to wildlife when your dog is leashed as it keeps them from chasing after squirrels, deer, or other wild animals that can be found near trails. Above all, the leash law is in place to protect other community members and your pet safe from injury. Keeping your dog leashed makes public trails and parks not only safer but more enjoyable for the whole community. 

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