Dover Adopts New Law on Unleashed Dogs - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dover Adopts New Law on Unleashed Dogs

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DOVER, Del. -- Dover has adopted a new law on unleashed dogs running at large that could carry potential fines and other consequences for violators.

Council members approved the change last week, bringing city law into accordance with the state's code. It requires all dogs to be licensed and leashed at all times.

Violating the license section of the law could result in a fine of at least $50. Loose dogs may be impounded or, in the case of a particularly vicious dog that attacks a police officer or animal control officer, could be destroyed.

The city would be required to notify owners of impounded dogs, through written communication or with public notices.

MCpl. Mark Hoffman, a Dover police spokesman, said in an email message that he does not expect much to change under enforcement of the new law and that use of deadly force on animals is rare.

"While the ordinance has been amended from its original version, it is very safe to say you were not going to see officers putting animals down simply because they could not capture them unless the animal is clearly sick or injured and is suffering, or is a clear danger to people or other animals in the area, he said.

Some Dover dog owners support the move. Debby Murray said she is sometimes worried for the safety of her Maltese around bigger dogs belonging to other dog owners.

"They have the bigger dogs that  maybe are ferocious and might think of a little dog as a toy and go after it," she said.

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