Dog leash law to be considered
By KRISTEN DAUM
The State News
Dog owners might have to keep their canine friends on a tighter leash if the East Lansing City Council moves ahead with a new animal control ordinance.
Dogs are required to be leashed in public parks. There's no law that requires it elsewhere in the city. The proposed dog ordinance will go before the council during its work session at 5:30 p.m. tonight in City Hall, 410 Abbott Road.
This interest in having the ordinance stems from city officials' discussions about a potential off-leash dog park in East Lansing, Assistant City Attorney Tom Yeadon said.
"In the process, they discovered there is no general leash law, and there was some interest in having one," Yeadon said. "This is just a way to get it in front of the council to see what interest there is."
During the discussion tonight, Yeadon said the council might introduce a public hearing for citizens.
In the absence of an East Lansing leash law, Ingham County Animal Control enforces its own ordinance, which states dogs must be in the immediate control of an owner. But this still doesn't require a leash, Yeadon said.
Biochemistry junior Erin Maresko said she doesn't think a leash law is necessary in the city, since owners seem to control their pets.
"I've never met a person with a dog here that's mean," Maresko said, as her greyhound, Jackie, frolicked around Bailey Park. "People know their dogs. I would never bring her out here if I thought she'd be threatened or get in a fight."
Not requiring dogs to be on the leash is problem everywhere, City Council member Kevin Beard said.
"I'm firmly of the opinion that dogs should be under the control of their owners by leash, not just by voice command,"
Beard said, adding that the city's lack of an ordinance was a "bureaucratic oversight."