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Monday, February 20, 2012

Somerville Begins Communication Effort to Curb Unleashed Dog Activity

The City of Somerville is beginning the effort to curb the rising unleashed dog activity with Twitter posts from 311 and Facebook messages from the Somerville Police Department that started last week. Prompted by suggestions stemming from a recent meeting of the Public Health and Public Safety Committee, the city has hit the social media world to spread the word that popular spots for dog owners to unleash their pets will be subject to increased patrol by both the Animal Control Officer, as well as, plain-clothes officers issuing citations and fines.

The Somerville News is also experiencing some impressive numbers in the comments section of their article discussing the issue on the Community Path. It looks like irresponsible dog owners are spread out further then the multi-use path between Cedar Street and Davis Square. One reader commented how he was confronted by an unleashed dog at Powderhouse Park while others pointed out that they see unleashed activity right on city sidewalks. 

Readers have also expressed their concern over increasing the amount of off-leash friendly space citing that it would create an awful experience for abutters and encourage more people to get dogs. 

As the warm weather approaches, Police have promised to crack down on unleashed activity to keep our shared spaces safe for everyone. The Committee on Public Health and Public Safety will reconvene in the early summer to see the progress of this effort and be updated on the amount of citations written. The issue was initially recommended to the committee when legislative item number 192345 was submitted through the Board of Alderman by Ward 6 Representative Rebekah Gewirtz.

In the meantime, please continue to record all unleashed dogs with 311 via the iPhone App (examples below), online, by calling 311 on a Somerville landline or at 617-666-3311 from a cell phone.

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