Revised Leash Ordinance Goes into Effect Sept. 1
Electronic collars no longer considered physical restraint.
The leash will soon be the law in Alexandria.
Earlier this month, City Council voted to adopt an ordinance that excludes electronic collars as means of restraining dogs, meaning dogs must be on a physical leash while in public places like parks and sidewalks.
The ordinance goes into effect on Sept. 1 and violators can be fined up to $100.
Council initially adopted the law as proposed by the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria in November. The ordinance was rescinded a month later after dog owners and local businesses such as the Olde Towne School for Dogs raised concerns. Several argued that the law did not consider owners who spend a lot of time, money and effort to train their dogs on electronic collars.
The Animal Welfare League, city staff and stakeholders held a series of meetings to revise the ordinance. The measure passed on June 16 does not pertain to dogs in off-leash dog parks, those participating in obedience training or canines on private property. The sale and use of electronic collars as a form of training will not be affected by the ordinance, but dogs must be on a physical leash while in public.
The ordinance purportedly makes it easier for Animal Control officers as well as citizens to determine if an animal is running at large.
Animal control will begin issuing warnings to owners without a physical leash and urging compliance between now and when the law goes into effect.
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