Video: Leash Law Introduced
Worcester County Commissioners meeting of 3/15/2005. Video segment covers introduction of bill with changes to the county animal control laws. Major changes would be creation of a "leash area" in Ocean Pines that will require animals be on a leash, including dogs, cats and other animals. The bill also authorizes the county to create leash areas on county-owned property.

As a practical matter the law will not solve a problem many see in Ocean Pines - the so-called driveway dogs. The leash law will not apply if the dog or animal is on the owner's property. The law does not even specify that a dog on the owner's property must be under the control of the owner.

All in all, if passed in present form, the law would be useless "feel good" legislation and would not solve any major problems in the Pines. Commissioner Tom Cetola initiated the proposed bill and the decision to move it forward for public hearing was supported by Tom Cetola, Judy Boggs, Louise Gulyas, and Bud Church. Sonny Bloxom and Virgil Shockley did not sign it. James Purnell was not present.

The proposed bill would require clean up of dog poop in areas covered by the leash law. Enforcement would be assigned to Worcester County Sheriff's Department. How Ocean Pines police would fit into the equation is not clear.

The county will hold a public hearing on the proposed bill at its April, 19, 2005 meeting. There appears to be fairly broad support for a leash law in Ocean Pines but this bill, as presented, probably does not address the expectations of most residents who support a leash law.