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Alderwoman wants to clarify dog rules at Somerville parks

Posted by Matt Byrne  May 15, 2012 05:00 PM

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Somerville Alderwoman Maryann Heuston said she plans to convene a group of city officials to address the need to clarify and publicize dog laws in city parks.

Heuston said she was spurred by a handful of dog-bite cases, the most recent of which occurred in Perry Park, when a dog on a leash and wearing a muzzle managed to bite a girl. The child, who was not identified, was not seriously hurt.

Heuston said she will aim for consistent and visible signage that directly states rules and regulations for dog owners at city fields and parks.

"I'm hoping we can come up with something that everybody can live [with] comfortably," Heuston said.

The discussion among officials is likely to include a city planner, a representative from the Police Department, the Department of Public Works, and citizens, Heuston said.

Heuston also invited the public to attend a Ward 2 ResiStat meeting May 30, when she and others will be available to answer questions about dog policy and discuss how dog owners and families can coexist.

Currently, Somerville lists three off-leash areas for dogs on the City's Dog Owners' Brochure:  Nunziato Dog Park;  Ed Leathers Park (Walnut St.); and
0 New Washington St.

Nine parks -- including Perry Park -- are listed as dog-friendly, meaning well-behaved dogs may be brought on leashes.

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