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Should Dogs be Kept Out of Concord’s Cemeteries, Playgrounds?

Proposed changes to the town’s dog bylaw could keep man’s best friend on a short(er) leash.

Leashed dogs in Willards Woods, a conservation area over in Lexington. Patch file photo
Leashed dogs in Willards Woods, a conservation area over in Lexington. Patch file photo

Proposed changes to Concord’s Dog Bylaw could mean more restrictions for dogs in public areas and would require owners to pick up after their pets in all areas other than an owner’s property.

The changes, being proposed jointly by the Recreation Commission and Cemetery Committee, will go before annual Town Meeting this spring. But residents will have opportunities to review and discuss the proposed changes prior to the May meeting.

The proposed revised bylaw has been posted to the town website, with a separate sheet detailing changes. Additionally, an information session will be held at 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday, Jan. 21, at Hunt’s Gym.

A few impacts from the proposed changes: 

  • The updated bylaw would require owners/keepers would be required to remove and properly dispose of dog waste. Currently, owners are not required to pick up after their dogs.
  • Language around leashes and “owner’s control” is strengthened, including requiring dog-walkers with three or more dogs on public ways, trails or town property must have them all leashed.
  • Dogs would not be allowed within any public children’s playground, nor would they be allowed on cemetery property unless attending an owner’s funeral.
  • Dogs would be required to be on-leash at Emerson Field from late June through late August between the hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. due to summer camp activities there.
What do you think of the proposed tightening of Concord's Dog Bylaw? Is it too much, too little or just right? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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