“Brookline could soon unleash an annual fee on dog owners who wish to let their pets run untethered in local parks,” reports Article on Brookline Dog Leash Law“>Boston Globe Town Correspondent Brock Parker.
Brookline officials proposed charging residents who choose not to leash their dogs an annual fee of $50, per dog. Non-residents might have to pay $100, as there is a chance for dog bites, traffic accidents, and over-grazing designated park space.
The money from the fee would pay for Brookline park cleanup, as well as educating the town’s people on its off-leash initiative, Green Dog Program.
Some dog owners compare the current freedom to let their dogs meander Brookline parks without leashes to unorganized human activities, for which there are no proposed fees.
“What I see is bureaucracy spreading out of control and justifying extra costs for the citizens,” dog owner Ron Scharlack told selectmen at a meeting about the proposal Tuesday.
Matt Garvey elaborated on Scharlack’s point during the meeting, “The way I see it, it sounds like more of a sin tax than a use tax.”
Some dog owners, like Carol Hillman, said she would be happy to pay the fee if it supports Brookline park rangers, as Commission member Nancy O’Connor said it might.
Officials have been considering an annual off-leash fee since 2008, but weren’t sure it would be received well. The Green Dog Program, which maintains space for dogs to run leash-less, costs the town about $55,000 a year. The proposed fees could bring in about $30,000.
If you have suffered an injury due to a dog bite, contact the Complex Personal Injury Team at Parker|Scheer LLP for a free confidential case review and receive a response within hours, or call toll free 866-414-0400.