In the wake of recent complaints of uncontrolled pets-and a recent Merrill Police response to a complaint of a dog chasing a mail carrier on East Street- City Administrator Dave Johnson issued a reminder to city residents on Thursday afternoon, regarding standing ordinance 6-86-Animals Restricted on Public Grounds and Cemeteries.
“There’s a steady flow of people allowing their dogs to run free in city parks and public property in violation of city ordinances,” Johnson stated.
“While our furry, four-legged friends love their freedom, it’s important to know our local leash laws and adhere to them. Not everyone you meet while walking your dog is physically or emotionally able to withstand a dog jumping on them, even a nice dog. People have the right to walk in a public park without being confronted by loose dogs. In contrast, dog owners do not have the right to let their dogs run loose in the park. Merrill’s City Ordinance pertaining to the requirement to leash dogs reads in part:”
“No dog or cat shall be permitted in any public playground, school grounds, or swimming area within the city unless such dog or cat is kept on a leash or is entered in a contest or obedience class approved by the common council.”
“Dogs or cats in public parks shall be on leashes at all times and the owner shall be responsible for feces removal.”
“Remember that this means all parks, including the River Bend Trail and Prairie Trails Park,” he added.
The only exception is the dog park at the MARC, which was designed as an area for dogs to run free. Be a responsible dog owner and keep your dog leashed
in parks and on public property, and please clean up after your dog.