NEW HANOVER COUNTY -- Should New Hanover County tighten the leash law? That was the question Commissioners tackled today. The Commission voted four to one to change the existing leash law to say a dog must be controlled by an attended leash, but for the law to pass, the vote needed to be unanimous. New Hanover County Commissioner Chairman says the commissioners want to clarify if the leash needs to be attended by a person. He says, with the current law’s wording, you can put a leash on a dog, drop the leash, and let the dog run. People on both sides of the vote are passionate about their cause. Jill Jones wants the law to state that a person must attend the leash. Jones says, "A dog left on a tether is 2.8 times more likely to attack and be more aggressive. This comes on the heels of a child who was mauled last week in Durham County by a chained dog in her own back yard.” Wilmington Resident, Andrea Press opposes a leash law change. She says "we just increased our leash laws, we just made them more strict and today is a big step back. If you cannot tether your animal in your back yard then we'll have a problem with animals at large, which is a public safety issue." Both sides made their case to the Commissioners today, but no final decision was made. Marlo Hitriz who rescues animals says, “I am upset about the decision. I don't feel that it is healthy or safe for our animals to be tethered." Opponent Andrea Press disagrees. She says, "It's sad that the County officials don't want to listen to the facts, thank God one of them is taking the time to look it over. We have parents who abuse children, we don't take away their rights to have children, so you need to promote responsible dog ownership." The Commission will discuss the proposed change again at the next meeting on April 2 at 5:30 p.m.
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