[Adopted 4-9-2007 by Ord. No. 07-01]
[Amended 9-10-2018 by Ord. No. 18-12]
Except as expressly allowed in § 152-28 hereof, it is unlawful for any person to allow or permit any dog or other pet to run at large in any park, or to permit any dog or other pet with or without a leash, except service animals or dogs used by public law enforcement agencies and under control of a law enforcement officer, to enter any public beach, swimming or wading area, pond, fountain, stream, organized athletics area or designated children's play area. The Superintendent of Parks or the Animal Control Officers may ban dogs and other pets, or a specific dog or other pet, from areas of any park where he or she determines the same may be a nuisance. "Service animal" means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual's disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing nonviolent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.
Dogs may be allowed to run at large only in the following areas hereby designated as off-leash areas: To be determined based upon recommendations from the Town Council Parks and Recreation Committee in conjunction with the Animal Control Officer.
Dog exercise area rules and regulations.
All dogs must be accompanied by an owner or handler at all times.
Owners must remain in the dog exercise area at all times and keep their dogs in sight and under their control.
Owners are responsible for the behavior of their dogs and shall be held responsible for any injuries or damage caused by their dogs.
Any dog showing aggression toward people or other dogs must be immediately leashed and removed from the dog exercise area by its owner.
Dogs with a known history of aggressive or dangerous behavior and/or dogs that have displayed aggressive or dangerous behavior at any municipal facility are prohibited.
Any dog barking continuously or uncontrollably must be removed from the dog exercise area.
Owners shall carry a leash at all times, and dogs must be leashed when entering and leaving the dog exercise area.
Owners are responsible for securely latching any gates as they enter or exit.
Owners must pick up and properly dispose of their dog's feces.
Any dog using the exercise area must be currently vaccinated against rabies; legally licensed to residents of the Town of Stratford; and current on all applicable fees or fines. Nonresidents can obtain a permit to use a Town of Stratford facility by paying a user fee of $25 annually and must provide vaccination and current license information to the Animal Control Officer from their current town or city of residence on an annual basis.
Dogs shall not be allowed to dig. Any holes created by a dog shall be immediately filled by the dog's owner.
Children must be accompanied at all times by a responsible adult that will be accountable for the behavior and well being of the child. Children should be discouraged from approaching or playing with strange dogs.
Puppies using the dog exercise area must be four months of age or older.
No female dog in heat or in season is allowed in the dog exercise area at any time.
No eating or smoking is allowed inside the dog exercise area. No dog food treats or toys from home, except tennis balls or Frisbees are allowed in the dog exercise area.
Professional dog trainers may not conduct their business inside the dog exercise area. There shall be no dog grooming inside the dog exercise area.
People who violate these rules are subject to removal from the dog exercise area and may be prohibited from using the facility.
No bare feet are allowed in the dog exercise area.
No spiked dog collars are allowed in the dog exercise area.
Failure to comply with any of the rules and regulations will result in a fine of $100.
Dog exercise areas are municipally-designated, membership-only, fence-enclosed facilities owned or operated by the Town of Stratford specifically intended for dogs to acquire owner/custodian supervised off-leash exercise.
It shall be unlawful to:
Enter or remain on the facility at hours other than the Town-designated hours of usage.
Enter or remain on the facility with more than two dogs per individual.
Fail to immediately remove from the facility any dog showing aggression toward people or other dogs in the facility.
Fail to immediately remove from the facility any dog that barks continuously or uncontrollably.
Enter or remain on the facility with a female dog in estrus.
Enter or remain on the facility with a dog not currently vaccinated against rabies.
Enter or remain on the facility with a dog younger than four months of age.
Fail to immediately leash and restrain a dog in the facility when advised to do so by a Town official.
Fail to abide by the rules and regulations posted at the entrance of the facility.
Fail to immediately depart the facility when ordered to do so by a municipal official.
Enter on or remain upon the facility without a valid Town of Stratford membership tag or a valid Town of Stratford pet license properly displayed on each dog or a current Town of Stratford authorized guest pass.
Dog exercise areas require a valid membership to use each facility. Every owner that is a nonresident of the Town of Stratford shall acquire a membership or guest pass for each dog that wishes to enter onto and remain in a dog exercise area. Such membership shall be obtained from a person designated by the Mayor of Stratford to issue such membership. Applications for such membership shall include photo identification for each dog using the facility. Membership fees shall be established by resolution by the Mayor and Town Council. Membership tags shall expire on the last day of the month one year from the month it was issued. A membership tag must be properly displayed on each said dog while it is inside a facility. Town residents must acquire a Town of Stratford pet license that needs to be displayed on the dog while it is in a facility. It shall be unlawful to transfer a membership tag or to deface the tag in any manner. A membership tag shall become invalid with the transfer of the dog to a new owner. The Mayor or his designee may revoke a membership at any time if an owner fails to abide by the rules and regulations of the facility or is in violation of any other provision of this article. Failure to comply with these directives shall constitute grounds for the temporary or permanent banning of an individual and/or dog from the facility.