Leashed dogs now allowed at Chestnut Branch Park

Owners are expected to police themselves and their animals

Joseph Metz/The Sun.
The committee chose to unanimously adopt an ordinance enabling dogs on leashes in Chestnut Branch Park, effective March 18.

The Mantua Township Committee adopted an ordinance at its March 11 meeting that now allows leashed dogs in Chestnut Branch Park.

The new rule went into effect on March 18, but was first suggested in the beginning of the year by Mayor Robert Zimmerman.

- Advertisement -

“No dogs should be permitted to run at large,” he said. “All dogs – this is per the ordinance – are required to be on a leash no greater than 6 feet in length. Every dog shall possess a valid license through the township of Mantua of where the respective owner resides.”

Officials have placed signs around the park regarding the ordinance and are also reminding owners to pick up their dog’s waste and deposit it in one of about a half-dozen new stations there, according to Zimmerman.

“Every person possessing a dog is required to immediately dispose of the dog’s waste,” he added. “And no unruly or aggressive dogs are permitted, as per state statue.”

The mayor also noted that owners are expected to police themselves when handling their dogs and/or the dogs of others. The ordinance marks the first time that pets of any kind are permitted at the park.

“I can’t emphasize enough that people need to police themselves,” Zimmerman said. “This is a change. A big part of it is going to be educating the public, educating those that will be out there with their dogs.

“We’re gonna put something on the (park) entrance sign for the first couple weeks educating the public,” he continued, adding that police will also assign officers to enforce the leash measure.

Park visitors should report unleashed dogs – and their recalcitrant owners – by calling the non-emergency police number at (856) 589-0911. If the park’s leash rules are consistently violated, the ordinance could be rescinded, according to the mayor.

“There’s going to be some growing pains,” he acknowledged. “But I can tell you that the vast majority of people have been positive, it was on a Mantua social media site. As of Friday (March 8) or Saturday (March 9), over 200 people liked it or loved it.

The next Mantua committee meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, April 8.

- Advertisment -